Friday, 28 November 2008

VIP Armenia: Weddings etc.

Based on Armenian media reports

Last Saturday (22 November) saw a wedding of Viktor Soghomonyan, spokesperson of Armenia’s former president Robert Kocharyan. According to the Haykakan Zhamanak daily, Karen Karapetyan, head of the presidential administration, was the godfather. Wedding was attended by many former and current officials, including Armenia’s former and incumbent presidents Robert Kocharyan and Serj Sargsyan.

Another Armenian daily, Hraparak, provides more details. According to the reports, Viktor Soghomonyan’s beautiful wife Anna, recent graduate of the Slavonic University, is from ordinary middle-class family. But there is even more intriguing part to this story. Anna is a relative of Ara Sahakyan, former deputy speaker of Armenian parliament, prominent (in past) political figure from Armenia’s first president, currently opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrosyan’s camp. Therefore, as Hraparak notes, the wedding became the place of pretty interesting and unplanned “political meetings” of current and present political figures.

By the way, the very same day son of the speaker of Armenian parliament Hovik Abrahamyan and daughter of the head of pro-governmental Prosperous Armenia party, Armenian oligarch Gagik Tsarukyan, got engaged.

Another headlining, long-awaited engagement happened a week earlier, on 15 November: Armenia’s Eurovision 2008 representative Sirusho and Levon Kocharyan, son of Armenia’s former president Robert Kocharyan, got engaged (Haykakan Zhamanak daily). Kocharyan’s older son, Sedrak married a daughter of Armenian MP Volodya Badalyan. Kocharyan’s daughter Gayane married a son of the head of real estate agency “Bars”. Kocharyan has two grandchildren. (source)


Onnik Krikorian said...

Jesus, it's like centuries ago when the children of Kings and feudal lords would marry to bring peace between competing countries and clans.

Like they say, it's all in the family, but politically and economically, it all seems somehow "incestuous" to me.

Ani said...

Well, at least the wedding planners won't be having a recession in Armenia, if Dodi Gago's last wedding reception is any indicator!

A couple of thoughts I take away from this news: Hovik had a pretty daughter to give and Tigran Torosyan--maybe not??

And I can't get past the thought that Kocharian has a son named Levon...

Time to get the "Godfather" movies out again.

Onnik Krikorian said...

Ani, no need for the movies. I'm living among it... ;-)

Onnik Krikorian said...

BTW: Somewhat alarmingly from the RA Constitution:

Article 35

The family is the natural and fundamental cell of the society.

As one alternative local Armenian pointed out to me in 2006, where is the individual?

Anyway, seems like a clan-based society is even recognized by the Constitution ;-)

artmika said...

See Onnik, there is at least one article in our Constitution which is strictly followed by :)

That article is coming from Soviet times. I remember in schools we were studying a special subject on laws and Constitution, and we all knew that family related article by heart. Until we start respecting individual’s place and rights the same way we do for families we will get what we have now in Armenia.

Based on my personal experience, family is invaluable in case of happiness and (especially) crisis situation, be that emotional, financial or other. For example, family relationships helped substantially to pass through those difficult as they say ‘cold and dark’ years of early 90s.

On the other hand, families are also tools of conformity and suppressing individuality. Many in Armenian families ‘become’ the ones or behave the ways expecting from them by parents or relatives, or even neighbours, not the way they really want to or who they are.

That’s a reason that even though I love my family and pretty much was able to do whatever I wanted to do, still prefer living alone, independently.

Ani said...

I just checked--the word "family" is not in the U.S. Constitution or the Declaration of Independence; probably not in any British document either, or any Enlightenment-based document.

It's really a fundamental sociological difference--a family (may) give warmth and comfort, but heroes who go on "quests" strike out as individuals, and make nonfamilial bonds based on competence, not loyalty. They're the ones that bring change and progress; clan-based societies always trail.

Ani said...

Had to follow up on where this clause came from--it's in the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights", and is one of many controversial clauses relating to family in the document, according to Wikipedia.

Article 16.3: The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

"According to Globalizing Family Values, the Declaration's pro-family phrases were the result of the Christian Democratic movement's influence..." (This is a conservative religious right paper, but it does outline some of the issues)

Interestingly, when this document was passed by the U.N. in 1948, the Soviet bloc abstained.

The U.S. does have some clan-based parts of society--mostly, of course, in the Red states. And the Bushes are definitely a clan, while Obama represents the opposite--a man on a quest, without parents or a familial womb to either comfort or suffocate him.

Onnik Krikorian said...

The basic cell of any society should be the individual. Families can be protected and supported under law, but ultimately, it is the individual citizen and their rights that matter most.

Even Azerbaijan's Constitution is not so blatant in terms of recognizing the importance of the family (i.e "as a" rather than "as the," and Georgia's is even less so.

Article 17. Family and state

I. Family as a basic element of society is under special protection of the state.

Article 36


2. The state shall promote the prosperity of the family.

Anyway, it's the Caucasus, I guess, and traditions are similar, but I do consider the Armenian article too much. For now, I can't see this clause being invoked in any legal situation, but one day?

Onnik Krikorian said...

Ani, wow. Great find. Never knew that and am very surprised re. universal declaration. Like I said, I have no problem with the family being protected, but I still believe that the individual is what matters the most. Interestingly, you would have thought in human rights terms that would have been the basic element, but obviously not. Interesting.

artmika said...

Thanks, Ani. That was truly an eye-opener...

Ani said...

I was surprised, too. It's interesting that when you take things away from their context, how much more controversial they can become. I'm sure we all would just have figured that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was nearly parallel to the Thomas Paine document, but they're very different.

As Onnik said, I'm certainly not against family, but I too would put the individual first--and when an individual is subsumed within the family or asked to make a "sacrifice" for it, that individual is much likelier to be a woman.

artmika said...

Wedding: Sirusho will marry Levon Kocharyan on 6 June, Armenian media reports.

artmika said...

Wedding of the weekend: Emma + Argam (daugher of Armenian tycoon Tsarukyan + son of speaker of Armenian parliament Abrahamyan) Վաղը կկայանա Գագիկ Ծառուկյանի դստեր և Հովիկ Աբրահամյանի որդու ամուսնությունը

artmika said...

VIP wedding of the day: Armenia president daughter marries relative of Constitutional Court chairman here & here