Meet Tamar, An Armenian-American


Name: Tamar Sosi Beylerian, age 11

School: Westbrook Middle School, Paramus, New Jersey

Language: English, Armenian Religion: Armenian Apostolic Christianity

Favorite subject in school: Biology

Favorite hobby: Dance

Family: “All eight of my great-grandparents survived the Genocide of the Armenians in 1915. My father’s side came to the U.S. through the Middle East, but my mother’s side came directly to the U.S. through Ellis Island in the 1920s. That makes me a fourth generation Armenian living outside our homeland.”

Sibling: A sister, Lucine, age 8

What she wants to be when she grows up: A nature photographer or a ballerina

Why she wants to be involved in Armenian cultural activities: “I think it’s important to know where your ancestors came from. I enjoy learning and performing Armenian songs and dances and to be able to tell people about my background when they ask. If we don’t keep our customs alive, they will die off. By speaking Armenian, I can enter a whole different world.”


These words are from the Western Armenian Dialect:

Hello: Parev

How are you? Eench bes es?

I’m fine: Lav em

Dance: Bar

School: Tubrotz

Book: Keerk

Family: Undaneek

Donkey: Esh


Population: 3 million

Capital: Yerevan

Official language: Armenian

Religion: Christian (97%)

History: In 1915, the Armenians were killed or driven from their native homeland by the Turkish government in what is defined as genocide (a deliberate attempt to wipe out a racial group or nation). A piece of Armenia gained independence in 1918, only to be absorbed into the Soviet Union in 1920. Armenia achieved independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

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