I was introduced to Armenia in Poland. For many years my family has been friends with Armenian family who lives in the same city. And during all those years with many friendships fading and disappointments in other people growing, one stayed unbreakable: our relation to this Armenian family. As a teenager I participated in Armenian family fests, dinners, and heard long toasts that touched my soul. I listened to old Armenian songs sung with a longing for motherland and Armenian language spoken between family members. I heard the stories about the 1988 earthquake and the Armenian Genocide. I was told Armenian legends and the most famous poems. Those moments were magical and after the years, I realized, how lucky I was to grow up in such an atmosphere. Armenia became a part of me. Wherever I went, I took it with me. My husband got to know Armenia that I carried in my heart. Later on, he met the real people who planted this Armenian seed in me.
It is summer 2012 in Poland. We are already engaged and pre-inviting people to our wedding. We invite our Armenian family too. Everyone is excited and hugging doesn’t come to an end. The story of how we got engaged is told over and over again. And soon all people passing us by know that we are getting married 🙂 I remember the talk with the father of this Armenian family on that day:
– We would like to invite you to our wedding.
– That’s great! Congratulations! When are you getting married?
– Next year in August.
– Ooo, it’s a long time …
We buy shoes from His shop, but of course He sells them to us for the price much lower He bought them. I try to make Him take a real amount of money, as I know this time they have some financial troubles. But it’s impossible. He refuses and says: “I’m not enriching myself at the expense of someone with whom I eat at the same table.” This sentence stays in my heart forever.
Before going back to Germany, we meet still a few times. As usually, we sit at the table, talk, sing, and play the guitar. Dario grabs a camera and takes some picture. We want this moment to last.
Indeed a long time
We come back to Munich and after few weeks we find out that the father of our Armenian family dies. It comes as a shock to us. I sit with the list of our wedding guests and am about to cross out HIS name. But I can’t somehow let it go. I can’t forget and be happy planning our wedding. That time we talk a lot with Dario about what happened. We go back to the time we spent together with our Armenian friends in Poland. We look at the pictures, we took last time we saw each other. HE is sitting in my mum’s living room, playing the guitar, with closed eyes and smile on HIS face. Later we find out this was HIS last picture… We remember the amazing love HE had with HIS wife had. The picture of them sitting under the apple tree at my grandma’s village stays in front of our eyes.
In the spring next year we are travelling back to Poland to officially invite everyone to our wedding. We enter the house of HIS wife playing Armenian folk dance and saying: “Barev dzez” (which means: hello! In Armenian). On our wedding invitations, that we give to HIS wife, we put her and HIS names. We believe HE will be during our wedding with us, HE wouldn’t miss it… We as well already know, that the only place, where we want to celebrate our love and go to our honeymoon, is Armenia. HIS wife can’t be happier for us. We sit the whole evening with a map of Armenia, listening to the stories about all those magical places we are going to visit soon…
“You live as long as you are remembered” – a Russian Proverb
At the wedding our first dance as a married couple is an Armenian song “Ganchum em ari ari”. “Կանչում եմ արի, արի,Յար, բոյիդ մեռնեմ Չես գալի մուխդ մարի, Ասա ի՛նչ անեմ.” In the background there is a huge picture of the Mount Ararat on a projector. While we are dancing, for a second I take off my eyes from my husband to look at HIS wife’s face. I see Her eyes full of tears and I nod my head. She knows, at this moment we give respect to HER husband and THEIR love. “Փնջերով վարդ եմ բերել, Յար, բոյիդ մեռնեմ Քո դարձի ճամբին շաղել, Ասա ի՛նչ անեմ …” And despite the sorrow, all of us feel somehow much happier and lighter.
As a wedding gift from the Armenian family I get an old family ring passed from generation to generation. After the earthquake only three of those rings survived. One got the daughter, the second – the daughter-in-law, the third one – me on my wedding day. I became a link in a chain, a part of Armenian family. In one month we are going for our honeymoon to Armenia to discover our Armenian roots.Feel free to share: