The story behind my name, lost daughter and Genocide

Forget-me-not, symbol of Armenian Genocide Centennial

Forget-me-not, symbol of Armenian Genocide Centennial

My ancestors as those of majority of Armenians’ faced the horrors of the 1915 Genocide. My grand grandfather from father’s side, Baghdasar, lost his family during the massacres in Mush. Sirvard was the favorite daughter of my grand grandpa and he mourned her loss most of all. However, he had to settle in Tbilisi and try to start a new life with a new wife and continue the heritage of his ancestors as many survived Armenians resolved to do during those tragic years.

In Tbilisi, my grandmother was born and named Qnarik as her Georgian-Armenian mother Ghadiff wished. But Baghdasar couldn’t forget his beloved daughter Sirvard and secretly named my grandmother “Sirvard” by passport without telling about it to his new wife, my grand grandma Ghadif.

Only 16 years later, when my grandmother moved to Yerevan to enter the State University, did she find out that her real name was Sirvard. She was puzzled, indeed. And the story of long lost daughter was revealed.

Dad says she couldn’t cope with her new name for a long time. I remember her being referred to as Silva- short for Sirvard- but honestly, I like Sirvard more. I love the etimology of the name (literally meaning “rose of love”) and the touching story behind it. For me, the story has a definite life-asserting message: it’s hard to forget the past, it’s tough to lose beloved ones, but it’s our duty to be brave and bold and fight for our happiness and prosperity. It’s our duty to Live and Let Live.

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