In the 60-70s of the last century, most of the Artsakh families were multi-children. There were at least 5 children in each. Families with two or three children were rarely found. Over the years, the presence of three children in the family was considered luxury; the majority preferred two, guided by the principle ‘few, but good’.
Births became scarce because of the Artsakh war. The rise in child birth was just after the ‘Big Wedding’ ... In recent times, as the government began to promote large families, the result quickly became tangible. Today, in many villages (and not only), we have numerous multi-members, large and solid families living like in old and good times... When every member of the house feels responsible for everyone and everything, when they are still wearing shortened clothes and shoes pressing the feet, when they are helping the little children with the lessons, and when there are still children helping their mother to carry the full bucket… There is love, care, responsibility and, most importantly, mutual understanding. Every time we go on a business trip, we try to visit one or two such families, this time it happened accidentally... We just got off the highway and got to the village of Lusadzor in the Askeran region, the beautiful house on the right attracted our attention right away… We knocked on the door, it was open, and we went in without invitation. The hostess got confused, while we were watching and admiring the beautiful, luminous rooms, the hostess was correcting the house furniture… Evelyn Balasanyan, the mother of five children, was recently settled in Lusadzor with her family. She is not connected with the village with her roots; she is born in Spitakashen village of Martuni region, her husband Garik is from Berdadzor. Evelyn's second child has a serious health problem, diagnosed with childhood DPS (cerebral palsy). They have said that the family should live in a forested village. First, they settled in the village of Dahrav, and then, as my interlocutor told, because of the uncomfortable place of the village and the lack of job, they asked for a new house in Lusadzor. They adapted to the new residence, learned to deal with the new environment, and most importantly, they have a house and a household plot with all the comforts. Her husband is a seasonal worker, he does any job to feed his large family, and the wife hardly manages with the housework. Evelyn has got two daughters and three sons: Hrayr, Milena, Mane, Gor and Noah. Evelyn receives 54000 drams benefit, and her husband does what he manages: the children are growing and there is a need to dress and feed them, and he is trying to do his best to get by. They are sowing, but they have problems with water, they bring water by car, or collect rainwater, so that the vegetable garden doesn’t dry up; buying from the market, relying on the wages one cannot afford a large family. In the new school year the fourth child is going to school, another concern is adding, a pleasant concern, as the hostess says, the children do not learn badly, they are smart. But there is a big problem with the treatment of the child: the child has to be treated abroad, they have no means, and Evelyn does not know who to call for help. She has no education, she is inactive with the outside world, and she is looking for a way out, and doesn’t find it. Sometimes some people help with a small amount of money, but much money is needed for the treatment of the child. She is not aware of state-healthcare programs; she lives struggling with their hardships and hopes for God. Sometimes they allow themselves to take the children to carousel in Stepanakert and eat ice-cream. Evelyn's refrigerator was full, the day before her husband slaughtered a pig, that would be enough for a month, and then God is great. They have chickens and rabbits, and if there appears someone who could present them a cow, they will keep it with pleasure.” My children are the meaning of my life”, -says Evelyn,” and if my health allowed I would have more, they are my treasure; hopefully they will become well-bred, educated people, and the years that I live for them will be back with their success”. When we were going to say goodbye to the large family, the eldest son, Hrayr, came close and sheepishly showed us his medal and apricot belt awarded in karate competitions. “I won three competitors”, -he said with shining eyes and we left, wishing him many great victories.