Armen Remembers Trying to "Fit In"
Armen Remembers Trying to "Fit In"(Transcript)
Interviewee: Armen Jermakian
Jermakian (Armenian Music and Foreigner):
My mother used to love to play the music. It was Armenian and Turkish music that they played. And in the summertime the windows would be opened. And my playmates now were both Armenian and non Armenian. And they'd hear that music coming out, you know, they'd call us "foreigners" and things like that because of that music. And I used to go home and tell my mother, "Shut it off," or "Stop that music. Everybody thinks we're..." and that I distinctly remember because we didn't want to, and I love that music now myself but at that time, you know, they always think you're, they always looked upon you as being not native, you know. They looked down on you, they did. At the beginning they did look down on you.
Did You Know?
Although most immigrants processed at Ellis Island stayed between three and five hours, about 20% stayed overnight in dormitory rooms until their cases could be cleared. Many immigrants found these accommodations a big improvement over the severe conditions of traveling to America in "steerage".