ENDLESS CROSSINGS: Reflections on Armenian Art and Culture in Los Angeles
by Arpi Sarafian
In a wide-ranging and diverse mix of essays published over a span of over thirty years Sarafian explores the complexities of the immigrant experience. In a new definition of reality, she contends, survival requires the negotiation of several worlds. “Ethnic” is past its definition of the clash of two cultures. Indeed, deconstructing the ethnic/mainstream polarity, that is removing Armenianness, and by extension any other ethnicity, from opposition to the “System” may well be the only hope for survival, if at all possible, for Armenians in the Diaspora. Sarafian would like to see the hyphen dropped from Armenian-American (as well as from Chinese-American, Mexican-American or from any other hyphenated American) as it creates a hierarchy which inevitably leads to the valuing of the so-called “majority” culture and the belittling of the “other,” the “lesser” culture. A rich and vibrant culture like ours is capable of continual renewal and cannot but find its way into the mainstream. Thus, rather than deplore the gradual loss of our ethnic identity, we could help make “ethnic” a relative term with no stigma attached to it.