Armenia ethnic minorities facing difficulties in preserving culture

Armenia’s ethnic minorities facing difficulties in preserving culture

Noyan Tapan news agency
2 Aug 04


The Armenian government is currently elaborating a number of concepts
to preserve the cultural originality of the country’s ethnic
minorities. However, the chief of the Armenian government’s department
for ethnic minorities and religion, Granush Kharatyan, has said that
it is difficult for the ethnic minorities of Armenia to preserve their
originality simply because there are no areas predominantly populated
by them. In addition, she said, international experience testifies to
the fact that the preservation of ethnic peculiarities is possible
only if the ethnic minorities comprise at least 15-20 per cent of the
country’s population. Meanwhile, all 11 ethnic minorities living in
Armenia comprise only 2.2 per cent of the country’s population.

However, Kharatyan said, Armenia allocates 3m drams (about 5,500
dollars) every year for the publishing needs of the ethnic minorities,
as well as 20m drams about 35,650 dollars for their educational and
cultural needs.

The chairwoman of Armenia’s Jewish community, Rimma Varzhapetyan, told
our Noyan Tapan correspondent that there is a major need for the
aforesaid funds. She spoke highly about the government’s decision to
allocate premises to the House of Culture of the ethnic minorities. An
exhibition hall, a library, a concert hall, a language laboratory and
a gym will operate on these 800 sq.m.

However, she said, “there is a desire to achieve more”. She
particularly said that it is necessary to set up a joint web site and
a joint almanac of Armenia’s ethnic minorities with the help of the
state. She added that the ethnic minorities need a weekly programme on
Armenian Public TV, which is envisaged by the Council of Europe’s
Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities which
was also signed by Armenia.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress