From 17-25 March, hundreds of activities took place all over Europe to protest against racism and advocate for open, inclusive, and united societies. Federation of Youth Clubs of Armenia joined to this Action Week to promote tolerance, diversity and solidarity. The
slogan of the week was “Diversity – never enough!”, aiming to focus on what we have in common rather than what separates us. We are against all forms of racism and discrimination and celebrate the diversity that enriches European societies.
WostAYN joined to European Action Week Against Racism 2018 by announcing essay competition on the topic. Below you can find Zara Karapetyan’s essay.
Every year the UNITED network coordinates the European-wide Action Week Against Racism from 17-25 March and captures the attention of international community into worldwide racial discrimination issues, which is very vulnerable theme nowadays.
In my estimation, race is a powerful, destroying idea, invented by society.
I believe and I think that we are all born equal. My freedom begins and ends where the others’ freedom begins, and all of us are equal in rights, equal in opportunities, equal in dreams and goals. But one word, one expression can change everything.
Racism – one of the ugliest things of our society, which means a belief in the superiority of a particular race; prejudice based on this, discrimination of skin color. Racism is an attitude of a person who with his acts, behaviour, and his words differentiates another person for the above reasons.
To refer to this I want to present the situation of racial discrimination in my country, in Armenia.
First and foremost, discrimination depends on sex, race, skin color, language, religion, or other circumstances is forbidden by Аrmenian constitution.
But in addition to this, we have to accept the unpleasant truth, that most of the Armenians are racists.
A striking example of my words is a reaction to the well known picture of an Armenian girl, who is married to a “black” man. Photo of her husband and child in Аrmenian national suits caused very aggressive reaction in social networks. Comments were also very bad to the address of the girl.
It was the first time I saw the massive hatred of my nation, it was also surprising that people in the 21st century think that this kind of actions express nationalism. People with this kind of worldview are ready to destroy anyone who does not look like them, who does not have the same skin color as they have…. they are people with limited mentality.
People need to understand that nowadays world is much wider and larger than they think. Also, they need to realize that every person is free to choose, and no one has rights to force someone’s point of view and understandings of good and bad.
But in contrast to the previous example, many Armenian men, who can’t find a good job in Armenia immigrate to Russia on purpose of a job, live there for many years and most of them marry Russian girls. For the majority of people there is nothing unnatural in this kind of marriages. People accept men who marry Russian girls, but they are ready to throw mud into the face of an Armenian girl who married a boy with dark skin. These are two opposite sides of life.
Some people have been created white, others black. But the hearts are of the same color. So, some people just need to accept that our world is full of colors, and start to change, everyone must start from himself, it’s time to act, time to change the world to the best.
To sum up, we have to accept that our world is colorful and if none of us knew what signifies racism, our world would have been a better place to live in.
By Zara Karapetyan
A big realist, someone who adores music, art and also playing the guitar. I am studying at the French University in Armenia, in the faculty of law. I have chosen this profession, because I want to be helpful for vulnerable groups of people.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the organization.