Connecting with “Home”


Kristen Bagdasarian is a sophomore at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She is studying anthropology and Middle Eastern Studies with a focus on Armenian history.She confesses “As a Diasporan, I felt unable to connect with Armenia, because my ancestors did not come from the Republic of Armenia and because no one in my family had ever been there.  Being half-Armenian, not speaking the language and not being involved in the community meant that with very little effort I could distance myself from my heritage.My connection to my Armenian heritage was rekindled while choosing a topic for a research paper in my junior year of high school.Then the AYF Internship in Armenia provided me with the incredible opportunity to jumpstart this career. I have met with field experts from the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute and the Institute of Molecular Biology. My journey from rejecting my culture and heritage to embracing it head-on was long and at times very difficult, but I am confident that as a result, I am that much more appreciative and proud of my Armenian roots. I am also incredibly grateful to the AYF for nurturing my relationship with my homeland both within the Diaspora as well as here in Hayastan, and to all of the researchers who have shared their vast knowledge with me and helped me to advance my own studies. I am extremely proud to be in Hayastan at such a crucial time in its history, and I cannot wait to see where my journey here will take me next.”,take%20me%20next


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