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Sonya Orfalian
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Organized with the Graduate Studies Seminar.
The Armenian diaspora’s experience represents an interesting example of integration. This population has managed to maintain a strong identity over time. Armenians have integrated the local traditions of the cultures they have intermingled with during their forced migration into their cuisine. This practice of incorporating and mixing the host culture’s customs and traditions, as well as the absence of food taboos, has contributed to Armenian communities’ rapid integration into their host countries’ social life without losing their identity. As a result of one particularity of the Armenian genocide - the men were immediately killed - women took responsibility for what was left of devastated families and perpetuated Armenian identity outside of Armenia’s national borders. Women’s daily activities, repeated like a traditional song, have served as a means for the transmission and conservation of memory, as has the mother tongue. The preservation of identity took place inside homes, around the fireplace, where people gathered to share food traditions. Cuisine thus became a place of transformation, elaboration and survival of the memory and identity of a population that was lost and dispersed around the world.

 
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Igiaba Scego "My Home is Where I Am. Re-Mapping my Afro-Italian Identity."
A Lecture by Igiaba Scego: September 13, 2013 - 06:00 PM - Casa
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