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“Working in a collective is good, you don’t feel the burden of the work”

Completing the care of the margines in the small garden and placing the apples and pears fallen from the trees in one corner, Grandma Olya washes her hands and slowly steps up to the second floor of the house. Here she works, she makes sour lavash on sheets and polyethylene on the table, and she makes nuts in the trays. There is not much in the rooms, there is always clean and tidy, there is no thing that is not in its place. She lives alone, though she has four daughters, nine grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

 

I ask, why do you live alone? “It’s not like I’m all alone. One of my daughters is married in the village, I go to her house, , staying all day, but returning home in the evening. I do not feel comfortable at home with my son-in-law. I am used to my bedroom, sometimes I like  talking to my  deceased husband by myself and tell about the successes of our children and grandchildren.”

 

Olya Martirosyan is 80 years old, lives in Litchq community of Syunik region, was born in this village, married at the age of 17, worked in collective househilds until 1965. She tells about those years with love, she believes that working with the collective is good, you do not feel the burden of the matter, then you understand who is capable of it, you know get to know people and yourself … It has happened she replaced the friend for days during the harvest because the latter was heavy sick. Thus, she  helped many, and  shared fruits and good things with many. While she was young, she used to feed the elderly and especially the lonely people out of her baked bread, canned food, teach young brides and daughters how to work with the land, the secrets of the kitchen. How many made wedding dresses, wished them good luck, and rejoiced at the birth of their firstborns.

 

Olya Martirosyan also recounts the years she worked as a schoolteacher in kindergarten from 1965 to 1994. From the room next to her, she brings family photos and an album collected in a large cellophane bag. After a long search, she snaps a group photo of kindergarten pupils, telling that many of those children have left the village after starting a family live. ”

 

She tells us that after she finishes her work, she often opens photos that are silent and enduring witnesses to her life. That day I was her only interlocutor. She praised her husband, who, although not educated, but kind and attentive, engaged in voluntary veterinary medicine, “understood the pain of cattle.” Then she told me that in the past the life of the village was lively, they had spent days with a slice of bread, but they were always satisfied, early in the morning the smell of freshly baked lavash was catching up with the village, and the bread-baker was definitely sending out a portion to old, lonely ones. “Now I can hardly carry myself” says Olya’s grandmother in the Syunik dialect and continues that what she wants is not to hurt anyone, to stay with her foot …

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