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Let us celebrate tangible achievements and not just anniversaries 2011-09-19

By Hrach Kalsahakian

The call for celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Republic of Armenia is an opportunity to ask some questions. What is the percentage of Diaspora Armenians that was involved in the previous period with the Republic of Armenia? How many were emotionally related to Armenia or at least followed news about Armenia?

On the other hand, we need to ask how many citizens of Armenia feel that they enjoy the benefits of an independent country and get more or at least equal to what they think they offer their country.

The 20th anniversary of is certainly an event that we should not fail to mark, but the question is how we should mark it?

The celebrations will not attract Diaspora Armenians that are excessively involved in their daily life, who have not even applied for dual citizenship. It will not attract those who have forgotten the language and are already feeling as foreigners.

The celebrations will not inspire the ordinary citizens of Armenia who are subject to poverty and injustice, the ex-citizens of the Soviet Union who have started to look with suspicion to the ideas of freedom and independence.

Ten years ago when the 10th anniversary of the independence of Armenia was celebrated, it became clear, that the first decade of the independence was not particularly a period of achievements. At that time it was heard that "Armenia is only a ten years old child, which has witnessed unprecedented problems. Tomorrow it will grow up and become stronger".

Ten more years have passed since then and the child of yesterday is the young person of today. The problems have grown up and have taken become serious. The young man can see for himself, using his own eyes, where we stand as a nation and what challenges are ahead of us. Moreover, he can realize the reason why his progress has been halted or restricted.

It is relatively easy to mark 20th, 25th, 30th and other anniversaries. We are known to have been keen in celebrating anniversaries. If needed we are ready to celebrate ordinary anniversaries with the same vigour.

But let us stop a while and celebrate what really we have achieved. In other words, let us celebrate the tangible achievements, even under the disguise of the 20th or other anniversaries.