My Way Home
19.11.2015Armenian by Birth
Tadevos and Sasnuhy Paskevichyan
| From Los Angeles, USA | Moved in 2002
Tadevos and Sasnuhy Paskevichyan are two siblings that have repatriated to Armenia from the United States thirteen years ago.
Tadevos was born in Yerevan and moved to the US when he was just four months old. He has studied in the US for twelve years, and then, after moving to Armenia, he got accepted to study in the Romance-German department at Yerevan State University and majored in Spanish with a minor in Italian. After graduation, he got accepted into the American University of Armenia (AUA) and achieved his MA in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL).
He currently works as a chief translator at the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia. He works as an English and Spanish website translator at the Ministry of Diaspora and as a Spanish translator at the Public Radio of Armenia, in addition to some freelance jobs on the side (tutoring for TEFL, etc.)
Tadevos expressed his love for Armenia by stating that he loves both countries (US and Armenia), but he has a different kind of love and affinity for Armenia, but cannot exactly put to words his sentiment.
Sasnuhy considers herself 100% Armenian although she was born in California. She moved to Armenia when she was fourteen. In the past, when people asked her what her nationality was, she used to state that she was Armenian-American, but now, she proudly states that she is an Armenian that was raised in the US.
Sasnuhy is passionate about her culture and nation, preserving and motivating others to have the same mindset although nowadays globalization is taking over.
When Sasnuhy graduated from school, she majored in Tourism and Hotel management, however she does not work in that field, instead, she works at the Agent Development Bank.
Sasnuhy’s main passion is working as a makeup artist. Her goal is to start an online beauty community in Armenia, where she will sell products and also include tutorials and reviews that will teach those interested in beauty about Sasnuhy’s makeup and beauty tricks.
Tadevos and Sasnuhy, alongside their parents, were involved in the Armenian community in California. Their father is a composer and started the first TV channel that broadcasted in Armenian: Tele Armenia. They were both consistently exposed to Armenian arts, language, and attended Armenian Sunday school. Their father was so passionate about preserving their Armenian identity that he did not even allow them to speak English at home!
The Paskevichyan siblings believe that the diaspora and Armenia are connected to a certain extent through the Armenian identity components of the shared religion and language.
Their move to Armenia was initiated by their father. He had moved to the US in 1980, but always had the notion of moving back to Armenia in his mind. The family always knew they were going to move to Armenia sooner or later. According to Sasnuhy, her father was never able to write a single song during the 25 years he was in the U.S.A, because there was no passion whatsoever.
When they first moved to Armenia, the only thing that irritated them the most was the reaction of the locals when they said they had moved from the U.S. Tadevos and Sasnuhy believe Armenia is a piece of land, and a developing country, but at least it is theirs. They feel lucky that they at least have a country to call home, because there are races that do not even have a country.
Tadevos is a kind of person that always seeks change, gets bored when he is in a certain place for long, but Armenia is not boring him because he always sees changes; positive changes!
Sasnuhy says that when they moved, they saw everything evolve in Armenia, and seeing that is so “beautiful” to her that she gets goosebumps every time she remembers that.
Tadevos stated that we should not think much about the faults in leadership in Armenia, instead think about what the civil society can do to impact the country. So, he said people should change the mindset and look at the brighter side of things and see that Armenia is in a way better situation that most other countries.
The period of adaptation for Tadevos and Sasnuhy was eased by their mother who was born in Armenia. The only issue they faced was the cultural shock.
According to them, life in Armenia is both hard and easy. The hard part is the difference in mindset and the difference approaches to life, but the easy part is that you can easily find people to share ideas with; all you have to do is create your own community.
Tadevos and Sasnuhy have an aunt in the U.S.A who runs a dance group with her husband. They really would like her to move to Armenia, but her husband’s job is there.
“Armenia is not easy, but livable” said Tadevos. His advice to newcomers is to be patient and not get frustrated over everything. According to Sasnuhy, those who live in Armenia should try to “exclude the black color from the rainbow”, and instead of thinking about the negative aspects of the country, try to think about how you can contribute to Armenia.
Conducted by Nayiry Keshishian
Edited by David Tashjian