where are you from?

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where are you from?

Postby princemishkin » 24 Aug 2007, 19:35

In Hemshin if somebody asks you where you are from, he means which village are you from actually. And most of us have our "official" surnames and the original ones. Do the Hemshinians in Russia and Abhazia know which villages they are from? And I wonder if we have common names...
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Postby hagop » 24 Aug 2007, 21:00

Princemishkin,

My ancestors didn't come from Hamshen but I know the following. The Armenians in Russia and Abkhazia who trace their origins to Hamshen know in general where they came from. For example they mostly know whether they are Jeniktsi (from Canik=Samsun Carsamba ilce), Orduetsi (from Ordu province), Trabzontsi (from Trabzon province) or a mixture of these. There are also smaller numbers of them fom Unye, Fatsa, Bafra etc. but hardly anyone from Rize itself. The reason being that all of these people arrived in the Russian Empire after living in the above mentioned places for 100-200 (i.e. 100-200 years after they left Rize). Those who remained in Rize had almost all converted to Islam by the 20th century. For the same period, only a few of the Ordu and Carsamba ones had converted to islam and along with maybe 60% of those in Trabzon.

Many among these people who left for the Russian Empire know which villages in those provinces they came from (especially the old people). But only in rare cases that people can trace themselves as far back as to their original villages in Hamshen (Rize province). But all of them aware that they somehow originated from Hamshen far in the past, even if they can't provide you with more details.

As for the surnames, as you know, many Rize Hemsinli preserve their clan names which is often based on an Armenian first name. Some of the the Hamshen people in Russia likewise preserve those and from the little that I know, there is some overlapping.
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Postby avetik » 24 Aug 2007, 22:58

I just wanted to add to what Hagop described so well. My great-grandmother was from a town of Ladik (Iladik? Laodicea?) near Samsun. People from that place who escaped into Abkhazia are calling themselves Ladeghtsi. Her husband, my great-grandfather came from a small village in that area called Konukklugh. We had some Yozgatsi in our village as well, and they were also Hamshentsi Armenians. Both of them were Christian Armenians. My grandmother tells me that they spoke perfectly in Turkish and Armenian together, and had to learn Russian later on. My great-grandmother apparently enjoyed listening to shortwave radio from Turkey when it became available in 1960's. Even my grandfather's generation knew some Turkish. There was definitely affinity with the lands of ancestors. Nowdays, however, Hamshetsi's in Abkhazia are generally much less nostalgic.

astegh badmutine hin
xarnevadza nerin hed,
kidista miy baberun azbarininq himi menq,
azbarininq menq... (c) Hamsheni Azbar
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Postby princemishkin » 25 Aug 2007, 17:12

thank you for the information. By the way Hagop, you are not from hemshin but you know us better than ourselves, that's amazing. howcome?
And do you pronounce the "H"? Armenians in Turkey say Agop.
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Postby hagop » 26 Aug 2007, 19:09

Princemiskin,

No one individual knows much about Hemshin, its history or language. The existing information is scattered and we need to bring together all available information. That's the only way we can hope to understand a bit of Hemshin's past. When I was growing up in Turkey nobody had heard of Hemshin. Now there is interest and some information about it.

As for my name, Turkish and some other languages have difficulty to say the initial "h". Other Armenian names face the same problem like Ovakim (Hovakim), Osep (Hovsep - Turkish equivalent Yusuf), Apet (Hapet - Turkish equivalent Yafez) etc. Plus, even if you tell the registery officer (nufus memuru) the original, he'll write it the way he wants it anyway. So people don't bother. :-)
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