“I reserve the right to tell my people on Tumanyan’s behalf: get up and walk” – Nikol Pashinyan visits Dsegh on Hovhannes Tumanyan’s 150th birth anniversary
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On the occasion of Hovhannes Tumanyan’s 150th anniversary, together with his spouse Anna Hakobyan and his daughter, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan traveled to Dsegh village, the great Armenian poet’s home town and birthplace.
Prime Minister Pashinyan laid flowers at the bust of the great Armenian poet and took a tour of the House-Museum with a view to getting acquainted with some 300 valuable exhibits, which represent the writer’s life and activities.
Nikol Pashinyan addressed the audience with a speech, in which he stated, in part: “There is Metsarents, there is Teryan and many other poets, but Tumanyan is the inaccessible Ararat of our modern poetic art. Yeghishe Charents is the author of these lines. A poet can hardly ever be seen praising another poet, but note that this is not a word of praise; this is a hymn and a testimony to the fact that we have two Ararats.
Many think that Ararat is on the other side of Arax, but as you can see and as Charents has put it, we have Ararat on this side of Arax, and Ararat is Hovhannes Tumanyan, and Ararat is in Lori Marz of Armenia, and Ararat is in Dsegh.
This is all about Tumanyan’s poetry and genius. I do not want to talk about Tumanyan the intellectual, Tumanyan the genius, and Tumanyan the statesman in the absence of statehood. I want to talk about Tumanyan the individual, not Tumanyan as a friend, as a breadwinner, as a father, but as a person who should lead today’s Armenia. Who was that man and how did he manage to become another Ararat? He was a child born to a poor rural family; he never saw well-being during his lifetime.
We see Tumanyan as another Ararat and as an inaccessible height, but he was a man who suffered from all human foes - poverty, hunger and impossibility of living. He did not even have the opportunity of schooling; he left school half-way and went to work. He earned his living through hard work.
He never asked for support; on the contrary, others used to ask him for assistance. And he was the man to shoulder this heavy burden, and he did not break, he did not give in because he believed in his power. Just as Jesus Christ said to the paralytic, rise and walk, Tumanyan told himself to rise and walk, and he did so.
He walked where there was no way, he lived where there was no bread, he won there where there was no opportunity to win, because he told his people: get up and walk, Do not kneel down, do not put up with humiliation and never tolerate injustice, do not be angry, believe in your strength, your homeland, your past and future, get up and walk!
This is Tumanyan’s message to the people and the state of Armenia, and today I reserve the right to say on behalf of Hovhannes Tumanyan, as the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia, as a prime minister elected by our people’s free will: rise and walk, you are not paralyzed at all, you are not losers; you are not beggars, go ahead, get up and walk.
Tumanyan said that he was looking forward to the dawn of life. Armenia enjoys the dawn of life today that you have brought to your homeland; you must be the leaders of your country, your victory, your homeland. Therefore, get up and walk. Stand up and walk, stand up and win. Do not worry, never be despondent because you are Tumanyan’s generation, you are the people of Tumanyan, you are Tumanyan’s homeland and you are Tumanyan’s vision off the future.
Therefore, long live freedom! Long live the Republic of Armenia! Long live our children and we as we are living and will live in a free and happy Armenia, that is, in the country that Tumanyan dreamed of.
And finally, I want to reassert Tumanyan’s quatrain that I like most of all. A short while ago during the excursion I wondered whether there was a scientific description of what he meant by that quatrain. I am convinced that there is a message here and it seems to me that this message is addressed to all of us, to humans, to those citizens who can read these lines.
As today’s symbol, I wrote this trimmer in the museum journal.
“My soul is settled at home,
The universe is wrapped around it.
I am the Master of the Universe,
Who has noticed?”
My dear people, you are the masters of the Universe. Please get hold of it! And in conclusion, let me wish Hovhannes Tumanyan many happy returns!”
Hovhannes Tumanyan’s house-museum in Dsegh village of Lori Marz is the great Armenian poet’s paternal home, which became a museum in 1939 on the occasion of Tumanyan’s 70th birth anniversary.
The writer’s bust is installed in the courtyard. A chapel was built in 1994, where the poet’s heart is summarized. The museum is a two-storey building, consisting of 6 rooms. On the ground floor there is a bakery, a big lounge and two showrooms.
The exhibits represent Tumanyan’s genealogy, his parents, the schooling years in Tiflis and Jalaloghli, his literary and social activities. The first floor features the poet’s bed, desk, clothes and personal belongings.