Armenian | Australian

Matt Gharakhanian.jpg

I was born and raised in Australia. My dad is Armenian and came there as a teenager. My family on dad’s side are very traditional. Armenians marry other Armenians. He is one of the rare ones that broke that. We used to visit his family every now and then but because I was obviously only half Armenian it was like I was this weird white kid who was hanging around everyone else who had beautiful olive skin and who could speak the language. I was never taught Armenian even though I wanted to learn it. With Armenians they are very traditional, family is everything.  When you are around that environment and you are not really involved, you are kind of excluded and don’t get to immerse yourself in the culture as much. It used to bother me that I couldn’t define myself as one thing but now I have realised that I am made up of a million different pieces and I am learning to embrace that. It takes time and I am still learning. There was love from my Armenian side for sure but I never felt really apart of them. It definitely played on my mind growing up.

I think that being mixed race is going to be the norm. People aren’t feeling as restricted now to date different races. In the future, you are going to see more mixed people around. I think that is a good thing. It helps people break out of stereotypes and takes away people’s preconceptions of how somebody is going to be when you meet them. You can’t really do that to mixed race people because you try and categorise them but that is only one part of them. They have multiple parts and multiple stories.