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Mothers and Daughters: three Generations, three Points of Views


The Haroutyunyans’ family consists of three women: the eldest is grandmother Sonya, her daughter Hasmik and the youngest one is the 18-year-old Ani. Ani’s grandfather died years ago, and her father left their family when Ani was only 10 years old. “I could say I have never been too troubled about the fact that there are no men in our family as I have learnt to live in their absence. My mother and grandmother love and help me so much that I feel strong”, – says Ani.



They are a united family and mostly spend their days in a peaceful atmosphere, yet being representatives of different generations, they have divergence of opinions about many issues.



Sonya, 64 years old: “I often argue with my granddaughter about coming home late. It is not good; she is still so young, still a student… When she grows up and gets married she may go wherever she wants with her husband and stay out as late as she wants.”



Ani, 18 years old: “I want to get so many things done during the day, that I run out of time. When I get home it’s almost 10 p.m. My grandmother always says: “What will our neighbors think about you?” Why must the neighbors think anything about me? Don’t they have something else to do? Let everyone live his/her own life.”



Hasmik, 42 years old: “When my mother and daughter argue with each other, I always end up being the victim. I try to pacify them because I understand both of them, and there is something true in what they both say. However as a result they both feel hurt because each of them wants me to take their side.”



Grandmother Sonya says that during her youth women had but only one worry: do everything to get married. “In my time the most important thing was to have a successful marriage. By a successful marriage I mean marrying a man who was a hard-worker, didn’t drink, didn’t beat his wife, and having a kind mother-in-low who wouldn’t beat her daughter-in-law”, says grandmother Sonya.



Her daughter Hasmik points out other problems: “Women of my generation have to work both at home and outside to be able to help their family to survive. After long day at work men never do laundry, cook or do any other housework, but women do. My mother and daughter help me at home, so I don’t do much housework, but I know a lot of women who are so active in both fields.”



Meanwhile, Ani has realized that she can rely only on herself: “I know that I have to work hard, study well in order to achieve any kind of success. It is easier for boys to have a successful career, whereas a girl has to be the best to get a good job offer.”




Grandmother Sonya complains that her granddaughter spends too much time in social networking websites: “Sometimes I nag at her trying to explain that she will fall behind in her studies. Every day she is on “Odnoklassniki” ( “Classmates” – a social networking website, similar to “Facebook”- ca. Ed.). She has signed up her mother too, so now they both spend their time in front of the computer.”



“A childhood friend of mine lives in Belgium. I only talk to her. I don’t have any other reason to use the internet”, – says Hasmik to her ‘defense’.



While in Ani’s opinion it’s almost impossible to live without computers: “I talk to my friends from the university, we share information about the lessons and help each other to study. We live in the computer era; it is impossible to live without these communication channels.”




Opinions on happiness also differ among these representatives of three generations. “A woman‘s happiness is to have a good family, healthy children, nice husband, and to live in a peaceful home. I consider myself a happy woman from this point of view, even though my husband died when he was 55.” – this is a 64-year-old woman’s “key to happiness”.



Love and respect – this is what happiness looks like in Hasmik’s eyes: “I divorced my husband because he didn’t respect me. He did love me, but he didn’t have a slightest idea of what respect is.”



18 years old Ani doesn’t like the expression “a woman’s happiness”: “Happiness is for human beings, it doesn’t depend on gender. As for me, happiness has several components – career, good friends, a good husband and financial stability. I’m only 18 years old, but my grandmother has already started warning me that I need to find a good husband. I am not in a hurry. There are so many things I need to do.” – thinks Ani.




By Arman Gharibyan

P.S. Actual names of women have been changed.

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