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Armen Remembers Trying to "Fit In"

 

Armen Remembers Trying to "Fit In"(Transcript)

Interviewee: Armen Jermakian
Date of Birth: September 8, 1923
Date of Interview: September 26, 1996
Interviewer: Paul E. Sigrist, Jr.
Immigrated from Turkey in 1923 at Ellis Island
Ellis Island Collection: EI-808

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.

Download Copy of Transcript: Jermakian "Fit In" Transcript

Did You Know?

Notable Ellis Island Immigrants

During the island's 62 years of operation, over 12 million immigrants were processed at Ellis Island, including quite a few who went on to become famous such as: Frank Capra, Bela Lugosi, Baron Von Trapp, Irving Berlin, Max Factor, Claudette Colbert, Rudolph Valentino, Igor Sikorsky and Bob Hope.