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Marmar, or Hovhannes Tumanyan’s secret love

“Marmar Markovna … has made new plans, Lord God. I think we’ll see new things this winter. She will do, I believe. An amazing woman. It is a pity that they do not know her well. Well, at the end they will recognize, as always at the end. ” These lines of the Armenian poet are about his best friend, Mariam Tumanyan, writes Mediamax, presenting Sossi Khanikyan’s article on a woman who but has today played  great, but an unknown role in the development of Armenian cultural life.


Beauty, intelligence, and kindness were perfectly combined in this unique woman. Being a public and cultural figure, she has contributed to the publication of numerous books, organizing numerous charity events, presentations, transferring the money from them to the needy, providing free tea houses, dining rooms, workshops for migrants, and her orphan’s teens have called her mother. In 1902 together with Gabriel Sundukyan, she founded the Armenian drama company, which has been chairing for four years. She had great contribution to the creation of Havlabar’s  folk theater. Indeed, the number is great for all the noble works that the princess has done for her nation. Alongside all these things, there is another thing worth mentioning: Mariam Tumanyan’s love, affection and careful attitude to Hovhannes Tumanyan.


This friendship was primarily based on spiritual harmony. Princess Tumanyan was not only a spiritual friend, but he did much to help to ease the poet’s material situation. She had compiled and published several collections of Tumanyan, not forgetting to constantly reproach the poet for organizing senseless meetings and wasting money.


Many years in the spring Tumanyan finally confessed his love to Marmar. The princess does not answer anything, just lowering her head, and her eyes filled with tears. Both of them understood that they were married, parents (Hovhannes Tumanyan had 10 children, Mary 6), and their love is impossible. On this occasion Mariam Tumanyan writes: “We could not be together, because two families would be destroyed, and someone else’s misfortune would never make a person happy.”


Full text in Armenian

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