Tamara Avetisyan, 55 years old
“We have children”
Tamara Avetisyan is the mother of four children, two girls, two boys and grandmother of four. She lives together with one of her daughters, her daughter-in-law and two of her grandchildren in the village Getap. If you ask her she would tell you that they have children, she takes care of her grandchildren like a mother day and night. Her daughter-in-law works as a doctor in the hospital, both of her sons live in Russia, as well as her husband. Tamara used to live in Karelia, Russia as well, but she came back to live with her grandchildren and her younger daughter. She is a mother and grandmother with passion. She would do everything for them. She tried to earn as much money as possible to help her children study; she worked as dancing teacher in Getap from 1972 to 1975, worked in the kindergarten from 1981 to 1994 and lived in Russia from 2001 to 2006.
What is it like to live in a house with only women?
It is not easy for them to go shopping or to visit friends without a car. The two boys ask for their father every day, every day they call their men in Russia or the men call them. Everybody hopes that they could come soon to visit them, but the flights are expensive and they work hard and don’t have vacation time.
New Year’s 2009: I visited them on New Year’s Eve. They were preparing cakes, salads and other very delicious dishes. Every ten minutes the phone was ringing, the father of the kids and the grandfather were calling to ask what they were doing now. On one hand, it was a sad New Year’s, and a very relaxed one on the other. Without men in the home you can do what you want, eat when you want and dance us much as you want.
Some voices in the village put pressure on Tamara, “Your husband has worked enough, why is he still in Russia? It’s time that he comes back and enjoys his pension.” But the father is like his wife; why sit when I can work and help my family?” The daughter explains to me,
Without work my father gets sick. He couldn’t find work here and was getting nervous. That’s why he went to Russia…. If I wanted I could study again and my father would pay for it. But I don’t want to take money from him. I would rather like that he takes the money for a ticket to come visit us.
Family comes before your own interests. For me that is a very impressive fact about Armenia.
When the grandchildren grow up and the youngest daughter marries, Tamara will join her husband in Russia.