Unemployed Armenians In Glendale
The photograph below, courtesy of Brenda Walker`s post, comes from the LA Times story, California`s unemployment rate shrinks – but so does the number of jobs. It`s from the Glendale Unemployment Office, and I didn`t recognize the characters in the third line. I knew they weren`t Cyrillic, Arabic or Hmong, and it didn`t seem likely that they`d be Klingon.
What group, I asked myself, is large enough and unemployed enough in Glendale to merit this trilingualism? It turns out to be the Armenians.
William Saroyan`s parents weren`t demanding Armenian language signs in the unemployment office, because in 1908, there were no unemployment offices, and immigrants who were unable to support themselves could be deported as a public charge.
Now Glendale, CA, has the third largest Armenian population of any city outside Armenia itself, after Moscow and Los Angeles.