Friday, August 22, 2008

Gegham Hopar

"Barev Gegham Hopar!" is the cheerful greeting I receive from dozens
of children everyday. It brings the biggest smile to my face every
time I hear those words, for several reasons. First the children are
respectful and greet their elders properly. Second, they have learned
and use the authentic Armenian version of my name Gegham. Third they
call me "Hopar" which is short for "Horut Aghper," which is "fathers
brother," literally "uncle." Fourth since Mr. & Mrs. are generally
not used and everyone becomes uncle and aunt I have been loved and
accepted with the greeting "Hello uncle Kalem."
Finally, my smile doubles with joy as my own children have even begun
to refer to me as Gegham Hopar. Not only is it funny, but I just love
the sound of it so much, and coming from my own children it is that
much sweeter, (as improper as it is to call your father Uncle and use
his first name). I love this name so much I changed "Simon Says" to
"Gegham Hopar Aseys," as I lead the 20 or so kids that come to our
house daily for "school." For those two hours, and when ever they are
around we are able to love them as our own family, as they call to us,
"Barev Gegham Hopar, Barev Joawna Tota."

1 comment:

Keidi said...

Gegham Hopar, you have to explain the school thing. Somehow I've missed it. Would the kids otherwise have no school? Are they on summer break? What are you teaching them? 20 of them? Are they in your house? Do you need supplies? Paste? Let me know. Keidi