Vladimir Posner about Armenia of
Recently on counters of shops and on the Internet the autobiographical book of the famous journalist Vladimir Posner “Farewell to illusions“ appeared. In it the author tells about the life and a career, analyzes lessons of the past and the present, reflects on the future. One of chapters of the book is devoted to memories of Armenia.
“Once I appeared at dark night in the mountains of Armenia near Sevan which existence was threatened by construction plans of a tunnel. I just collected material about it in Yerevan. Day was long, hot of any conditioners nobody and had never heard. By the end of day me, izmochalenny, put to “Volga“ and carried somewhere. I fell asleep a dead dream. Having opened eyes, saw the black velvet sky covered with stars of the improbable sizes through a car window. They hung so low that, appear, it is possible to touch. And suddenly I noticed the moon rather its half: it as if the fantastic castle, lay on one side and floated on the sky. In the childhood, reading fairy tales “Thousands and One Night“, I liked to consider illustrations in which over towers of minarets the half moon lying on one side highly floated. I then considered that it - the fantastic flight of imagination which is quite corresponding to unreality of plots. I understood that the half moon cannot lie on one side. And here, on coast of Sevan, opened for itself that illustrations - that were absolutely realistic that fairy tales “Thousands and One Night“ - here they, directly over the head, only give a hand … But this Armenian night I was waited still by opening.
Went we went and at last appeared in some mountain small village. The driver braked around one from lodges. I took an interest why we stopped, and he answered that there live his friends that he got hungry and that they will be happy us to feed. Around complete darkness, a spark, time &ndash reigned anywhere; hour or two nights and it is clear that all sleep a dream of righteous persons. I imagined reaction of people who are awoken god knows in how many for the sake of a dinner for the passable guest from Moscow. But I understood that to argue is useless. The driver went out of the car, climbed to a lodge a narrow footpath and knocked at a door. The bulb was lit, the door was slightly slightly opened, and fragments of quiet conversation in language absolutely not clear to me reached me. Then the driver returned, having lit and explained:
- They waited for us slightly a bit earlier.
“Well and, - I thought, - so I also believed you“. The silence was such that our breath seemed loud. Then suddenly in all house light was switched on, the door was opened, and some man loudly told in Russian:
The lodge was small, with wooden walls and a floor, almost without furniture, everything spoke about life difficult and rather poor. For some reason recured photos of farmer houses in Oklahoma in days of the Great depression to the memory. But it was not Oklahoma and not the thirtieth years in crisis America. The table filled with different dishes &ndash was evident; the food would be enough people for ten. The owner strong shook hands with me and asked to excuse him - a pier, it has a certain urgent business and it should leave the house. Then it became clear that there was it to kill a lamb on a shish kebab for the “expected“ guest. While we waited, I considered the room. In one corner there was a bed on which the old woman lay. No, not old, but ancient. She looked at me huge unblinking eyes in which the unprecedented grief was expressed. It seemed, these eyes saw everything: both times of blossoming and glory to Armenia, and centuries of her sufferings, and its heroic fight against the waves of conquerors rolling on it - invincible legions of Rome, archers and Parfiya`s horsemen, tyrants of Byzantium, ruthless teams of Tatars, steel fist of Tamerlan, curved yataghans of the Ottoman empire … All this passed before her eyes, it bare feet proceeded bloodless sand of history, in her eyes wisdom of centuries was based, and, looking in them, I felt absolutely small and nude. I turned away and found seven boys standing behind me. Shoulder to shoulder, in absolutely identical and obviously output suits, they stood on growth - the highest on the right, the smallest at the left edge, however, and the highest was not too great. I would give it at most years eleven and only it had absolutely adult and therefore it at the same time looked person and is more senior, and is younger than sixteen years. But all this was remembered to me then … at that moment me shook
A that children`s eyes were just the same, as at the old woman. And I had strange and uncomfortable feeling because that I was considered by children who already at the birth were more senior, than there will be I in an hour of the death. During this instant I understood that my culture, my civilization nothing in comparison with what was preserved by them. These people managed to survive as the people, to keep the language, the culture, the earth (though not completely); they are lineal descendants of those who lived long before the birth of Rome and before created the magic Ancient Greece who was contemporaries of the Egyptians of times of the first Pharaohs fanned by secret.
When we sat down to a table, the wife of the owner did not join us. The old woman continued to lie in a bed, continuously looking at us, and mother of family sat down near it and observed how we eat. It both upset me, and angered what I told the driver in an hour about - another after we said goodbye to all family (in reply the old woman slightly nodded, mother of family smiled, but from the place did not rise, the amicable seven approached and on a seniority in turn ceremoniously shook hands with me, and the father strong, on - bear, embraced).
- What the hell! - I boiled. - Why it was not allowed to this unfortunate woman to sit with us at a table? As - we live in the last quarter of the twentieth century in allegedly advanced country in any way! the Driver rocked
the head and told:
- You do not understand, you see nothing. You did not notice? Every time when the owner got up to tell a toast, he looked at women to get permission. You do not think what the wife allowed it to kill a lamb on a shish kebab? If both women did not resolve, it would not let in us the house. It at you women sit with you at one table, but solve nothing, and at us not so. We obey the woman because she also is life, from it all. And you all a table yes a table …
Once again, blinded by the culture, the traditions, I haughtily treated other culture and came to a conclusion that these people consider women as second-class citizens. Partly I nevertheless was right as it is represented to me, but also the driver was right, sneering at especially external “equality“ of which we are proud, representatives of the western civilization. In a word, I received one more lesson: do not judge if you do not know a subject …“
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