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The VILLAGE becoming a preserve
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The VILLAGE becoming a preserve

Nune HAYRAPETYAN

 Well-built and rich villages are the pillar of the state.  It is difficult to say, how many such villages we have today, while there are so many old villages. And this is a reality not only here. We are in the hard-to-name village of Tyaq in the Hadrut region. There has been much talk about this village lately, and even a year ago the government decided to create a "Tyaq" historical-cultural reserve. It is planned to include the community in the tourist south wing of the republic as a unique monument to urban development, where the streets and houses of the late medieval architecture were preserved almost unaltered.

It is, of course, a welcome initiative, but walking the hundreds of centuries-old paved streets with naturally smooth and white stones leaves you with an unbearable sadness that cannot be uttered with words, and in the ever-lasting emptiness of lofty walls looming over broken walls, an unrelenting pain accompanying you, which you cannot even dispel with the magnificent nature of autumn and with the laugh of   a blue-eyed little girl suddenly walking towards you.
The village is almost empty, and this was a growing reality still in the Soviet times.  The only eyewitnesses to modernity are the individual roof antennas. Tyaq is attached to Hadrut. Hadrut looks very nice from here. Years ago, when they decided to give a status of a city to the regional center, the neighboring Tyaq and Vanq villages were included in the community. At that time no one thought to ask the opinion of the population. There are 18 families living in the village, including some settlers. There is no school. Eight pupils cross the 2 km road to Hadrut Secondary School. Former village mayor Sasha Ghahramanyan disagrees with our observation that joining Hadrut has also caused a backlash. During the war the village was ruthlessly shelled: some of the inhabitants left the village, and the lack of work, also did its job. “One who has his own land should be ashamed to speak of poverty. Leaving the village is equal to leaving the front line, but how to convince today's teenager who strives for an easy life, got used to the city-life and has become a semi-citizen?’, -he says.

 Since old times, mostly girls have been born in this village, and almost every resident we met, this also considers to be the cause of the village's aging. The girls get married and leave their native village.  The first resident we met, Marine Adamyan, the mother of a 12-year-old girl named Malvina, on the contrary, got married and brought her husband to their village. Her father died in the Artsakh war, she lived in the village with her husband and three children. They built a house of their own, originally a single room, and then expanded over the years. She works in Hadrut with her husband and they return to the village in the evening. Her elder daughter has already married and left the village. S. Ghahramanyan's three daughters also got married and left the village. The most important is that they have not left our country, he says. The former mayor talks more about the village's past. Speaking from a more distant past, his voice gets excited. “Our village is famous for its old chapels, graves and sacred trees. Next to the village's noble fountain we have three gigantic trees that are guarded by the state, there is a special note,” he says. According to him, one of them is about two hundred years old and two of them are much older. In the 19th century, a huge chapel of one of the sleepers became a sacred chapel. The chapel blade from the burning candles has become thinner. Then the tree collapsed. In the same place the villagers planted a new tree. Now the area of the tree and the fountain is considered a sanctuary. There are daily visitors from different villages here. They say that Turks once tried to live in the village. At the beginning of the last century, during the Armenian-Tatar clashes, an armenian woman killed a Turk who stole a livestock with her husband's gun. This story has so frightened some Azeri families living in the village that they left terrified and have not even attempted to come after the corpse. Since that day, no Turks have dared to settle in the village. As for the name of the village, then, according to the former mayor, it is related to the word "dag" meaning "burning" in Persian.

The last construction works in the village were done in the church. One of the fellow villagers from Moscow provided material assistance to renovate the church roof, and former head of the district administration Valery Gevorgyan also assisted.

Valeri Gasparyan and Sergey Dadamyan, sitting on the hillsides marking the border of two districts of the village, are "gathering sunrays". ՙ We have 18 families, with two or three people in each house,” says V. Gasparyan, whose two children also left the village, besides the youngest son who works in Hadrut and still lives in the village.  S. Dadamyan recalls that before the war the village had about 100 inhabitants. "Today we live here, we are guarding the village not to be erased from the map so that in its place not to write a preserve’’, - he is joking sadly. -Have you seen the houses near the spring which they want to renovate and build cottages for tourists? Former administration head Valeri Gevorgyan is from our village, he has donated his father's house to the state, saying that it should serve as a gallery. 

 Edgar Asatryan is a settler, who settled in Araksavan with his family 5 years ago, then moved to Tyak with his wife and three children. They had been promised a home, as Edgar says, but they still have been renting a house for five months. Edgar works as a construction worker.  We are at Arshak Martirosyan’s. one of the two young families in the village. They have two children. Oksana Martirosyan is 36 years old, works in the regional social service, is an employee of the Elderly Home Service Center. Arshak served in the Defense Army, became a worker, understandably with a significant pay cut. Oksana is also a manicurist, has worked in Russia, then she moved to her birthplace, got married and has two children now. “Our children go to school on foot, especially during the winter. The village is not gasified; the new mayor has promised to resolve the issue. We have no shortage of water, but we have to pay for our source water by water meters. She speaks of the village with love. “My husband keeps cattle and brings wood from the forest. He has foot disease, needs surgery. We are thinking of moving to Krasnodar, his uncle has invited,”-she confesses suddenly. And what she says sounds like a long-discussed and confirmed decision in the family. 

This is how life in a settlement called Tyaq is, which is attached to the region center. And while those in charge of culture are concerned about the plan to make the village a unique monument, the village has come to terms with the fate of turning into a silent reserve. Of course, tourists and reporters will come, fill the village with noise for a couple of hours and leave, and Tyaq will remain with its silence and the high-rise houses with gates longing to be opened. Also a built-in pool of villagers under the centuries-old platen will be, whose water can satisfy a few prosperous villages.