SUTE KOCHARYAN: 100 YEARS OF EXPECTING REPENTANCE (PHOTOS)
Region:World News, Armenia
Theme: Analytics, Society
By Ani Afyan
Armenian News-NEWS.am continues publishing stories within “Survivors”
project launched ahead of the centennial of the Armenian Genocide
perpetrated in the Ottoman Turkey in 1915-23.
“Survivors” is the stories of common people who lost their childhood
“Survivors” is a hundred years of memories and pain, hundred years
of expecting retribution.
“Survivors” are a diminishing group of people who won’t lose their
hope for acknowledgement of their pain.
“Survivors” is 106-year-old Sute Kocharyan
“Ine, ine… you have guests.”
A grandma sitting in the corner of the sofa uddenly roused, as if
waking up from a nap, and looked at me in surprise (PHOTOS).
Looking into her eyes resembles looking into an old deep well full
of dark grief.
Translated from Yezidi “ine” means “grandma.” It is how 106-year-old
Sute Kocharyan is called by her grandchildren.
“Grandma, how did you appear in Etchmiadzin?”
“Do not disturb my soul, dear,” she whispers and takes the hand of
Vanik, her eldest grandson, as if asking him for help.
“Grandma buried many relatives. It is difficult for her to remember.
Let me tell you,” he said, protecting her from painful memories.
Sute Kocharyan was born in 1909 in Igdir. She was around six years
old when her family along with Armenians living nearby left their
home and fled to Eastern Armenia escaping from sudden attacks by the
Her father Alo and elder brother Archil were brutally killed during
one of these attacks. Since then, Sute canot hear about the Turks. Any
mention about them awakens her mixed feelings of loss, pain and anger.
“They wandered in search of a new home. They reached Talin region on
foot and settled there,” Vanik says.
However, their final destination was Etchmiadzin.
“How many brothers and sisters did Sute have?”
“Except for Archil, another three brothers and two sisters – Cholo,
Fayzo, Surik and Sinam, Gule.”
None of them is alive.
Sute grandma is still sitting quietly, deep in her thoughts. Her gaze
froze on the surface of the table, it seems that the time has stopped.
Her relatives say she has a very active lifestyle: making jam, tolma
and preparing dower for her granddaughters.
“When did grandma get married?”
“It is an interesting story. She was ten when she got engaged. In a
year she moved to the house of her father-in-law.”
“Three years I slept with my mother-in-law,” Sute got into
conversation, “they treated me as if I was their daughter.”
When Sute was 15, she got married and moved to a separate room. Young
family had five children. Their first son was named after Sute’s
father – Alo.
Then Gyavaz, Kubar, Atar and Hamik were born.
Sute told all her children about her home left in Igdir.
In 1954 Sute’s husband passed away, and she shouldered all the
difficulties. For many years she worked as a milkmaid at a local farm,
while the children one by one could live on their own.
“Grandma does not like when someone is idle. ‘You must work till you
are alive’ she always says.”
Sute brought the old photos at her granddaughter’s request. She
silently took a few pictures, went over them in her hands and raised
one of them to her lips. She kissed and took it to arms.
Out of the corner of my eye I noticed that it depicts a man in a
“This is her brother Fayzo,” Vanik said, “grandma was always proud
of him and still can not accept the fact that he is gone.”
Today grandma Sute is surrounded by care and attention of her
relatives and those close to her. But sometimes, says Vanik, during
morning prayer, she bitterly recalls her happy childhood, suddenly
interrupted by the tragic events that struck her family and the entire
Photo by Arsen Sargsyan/NEWS.am
The previous articles in “Survivors” project are:
Khosrov Frangyan: 100 years of expecting repentance
Arevaluys Amalyan: 100 years of expecting repentance
Margarita Mkhitaryan: 100 years of expecting repentance
Aharon Manukyan: 100 years of expecting repentance
From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress