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2.10.14

Another Memorial in Romania and Another Memo to Our Enlightened People

Vartan Matiossian
 
"Asbarez" (October 1, 2014) reports that an Armenian genocide memorial "khachkar" has been unveiled in Pitesti, Romania.  The unveiling of the genocide memorial was timed with the opening of the international symposium “World War I and its influence on the formation of the Armenian Diaspora,” held in Bucharest from September 26 to 28.


The newspaper has also published this beautiful picture of the bilingual inscription of the memorial. It is worth to quote the Armenian text:
«Կանգնեցաւ խաչքարս այս յիշատակութեան բիւրաւոր նահատակացն ազգիս հայոց, որք կատարեցան յընթացս Մեծի Եղեռնի յամի Տեառն 1915 յԱրեւմտեան Հայաստան։ Աղօթք եւ օրհնութիւն նահատակացն մերոց».
Although the Classical Armenian is transparent, I will also provide the Modern Armenian version and an English translation:
«Այս խաչքարը կանգնեցաւ որպէս յիշատակ մեր հայոց ազգի բիւրաւոր նահատակներուն, որոնք մահացան Մեծ Եղեռնի ընթացքին, Տիրոջ տարի 1915ին, Արեւմտեան Հայաստանի մէջ։ Աղօթք եւ օրհնութիւն մեր նահատակներուն» (This khachkar has been erected as memorial of the many victims of our Armenian nation, who died during the Medz Yeghern in the year of the Lord 1915, in Western Armenia. Prayer and blessings for our martyrs).
Here is an English approximate translation of the Romanian text:
"This cross has been erected in memory of the 1,500,000 sons and daughters of the Armenian people killed in Western Armenia during the genocide of the year of the Lord 1915. Prayers and blessings for our martyrs."
It is not useless to insist, one more time, on the inscription. The Armenian inscription uses Medz Yeghern where the Romanian uses genocide. Is there any doubt that both terms are synonyms?
Despite that, every time that U.S. President Barack Obama has used Medz Yeghern between 2009-2014, there was not a single soul among our enlightened leaders and columnists who had the elementary knowledge to tell him that he was using the Armenian word for genocide. (Obama would have not used the expression in his next message, rest assured of that.) Even worse, some went around repeating that either Medz Yeghern was a contemporary invention or an old word used before the creation of "genocide" by Raphael Lemkin, because now the only word is tseghasbanutiun. (Let's not even talk once again about their inane translation as "Great Calamity.")
Some of these self-appointed geniuses were surely present at the inauguration of this monument. Did they ask the Armenian community of Romania how they dare not to use the word tseghasbanutiun?
People are used to speak without cold, hard facts. This is why we always take one step ahead and two steps back.

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