Homenetmen (Armenian: Հ.Մ.Ը.Մ., pronounced [ˈhɔmɛnetmɛn], short for Armenian: Հայ Մարմնակրթական Ընդհանուր Միութիւն, meaning 'Armenian General Union of Body Culture') is a pan-Armenian diaspora organization devoted to sport and Scouting. The motto of Homenetmen is "Rise and Raise" (Elevate Yourself and Elevate Others with You) (Armenian: Բարձրացի՛ր, Բարձրացո՛ւր, Partsratsir Partsratsour).
Homenetmen was founded in 1918 in Constantinople by Shavarsh Krissian, Hovhannes Hintliyan, and Krikor Hagopian. The first Homenetmen Executive Committee was formed on December 16, 1918. Four Homenetmen chapters were soon opened in various Constantinople neighborhoods.
On July 20, 1920, the founding members of Homenetmen were officially invited to the independent Democratic Republic of Armenia to share expertise regarding athleticism and Scouting with the Republic's government. The Homenetmen Executive Committee sent Vahan Cheraz, Dikran Khoyan, and Onig Yazmajian to the meeting. Although initially successful in their efforts to spread Homenetmen’s athletic and Scouting movement within Armenia, Homenetmen later was banned from Armenia after change of regime and the establishment of Armenian SSR in 1921. In 1922, the Homenetmen chapters in Constantinople were forced to close their doors, with the organization's leaders dispersing throughout the world.
Almost all chapters established have activities in Scouting and sports. The mission of Homenetmen is to prepare physically strong Armenians and exemplary citizens with the highest intellectual and spiritual virtues:
- By teaching endurance and courage, nationalism and patriotism, obedience to the law and orderliness.
- By developing awareness of duty, feelings of responsibility and honour, in a spirit of harmony and cooperation.
- By satiating the mind and heart with the noblest of sporting spirit.
Homenetmen's objectives are realized by Scouting, general physical education and sports, lectures, seminars and public activities, publications, clubs, gymnasia and sports facilities.
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The biggest number of adherents to Homenetmen are the Scouts, male and female. Most of the Homenetmen Scout groups are also integrated in the national Scout or Guide organizations of their host countries. In many chapters, there is also a section for music bands. The Scouting Division's main objective is to help scouts develop character, citizenship, knowledge of Armenian culture and personal fitness, and acquire scouting knowledge. The program is developed and implemented by the Scout Council, a body appointed by the Regional Executive. It features regional camping trips and seminars on scouting and Armenian-related topics, supplemented by illustrated manuals written Armenian language. Following completion of each educational manual, a final exam is administered, and those who pass receive the appropriate badge and certificate.
The Scouting program also features troop activities such as field trips to local museums, and amusement parks. Moreover, each troop hosts an annual camping trip, inviting other chapter members to participate.
Every four years, there is a Jamboree camp that takes place in Armenia. Scouts from chapters from all over the world attend this two-week long camp and do community service while also completely immersing themselves in the Armenian culture.
Homenetmen chapters throughout the world also have well-developed sports activities and programs, with various levels including professional sportsmen and in certain cases, with an active participation in local official championships (particularly in Middle Eastern countries, most notably Lebanon and Syria).
Main sports included within the various Homenetmen programs include:
- association football
- track and fields athletics
- table tennis and others
Although not officially admitted, Homenetmen is widely considered to be affiliated with the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) and is generally considered the sports and Scouting wing of the party in the Armenian diaspora.
Homenetmen has been a pioneer in developing sports publications in the Armenian diaspora. It has its own monthly magazine Marzig published in Beirut, Lebanon, but covering the pan-Armenian worldwide activities of the organization.
- Hayastani Azgayin Skautakan Sharjum Kazmakerputiun
- Homenetmen Lebanon
- "The History of Homenetmen". Armenian Online News Source. January 5, 2006. Retrieved 9 October 2011.
Various chapters: Antranig, Ararat, Arax, Gamk, Navasart
- Homenetmen Armensika IF -- Homenetmen Sweden
- Homenetmen Bulgaria Region
- Homenetmen France
- Homenetmen London / UK
- Homenetmen Holland/ Almelo
- USA Eastern Region
- USA Western Region