Armine Sarkavagyan. A Letter To The Aurora Prize Hero


I refrain from starting my letter with “Dear”, because as I wrote, rewrote and deleted the heading several times and pronounced it out loud, I came to the decision that your name alone as a heading sounds complete and dear. Contemplating on one word from the very beginning of my letter, made me very conscious of what I am writing. As you do not know mine, you will be reading this letter in your own voice, making it even a bigger responsibility for me to write it. I would hope these words to be not only beautiful but true, and advocate wide-awakeness.

Pronouncing your name several times I notice it is very kindly familiar. As I look it up in a dictionary, I also realize my culture has a similar name - “Marqarit”. However the way your name is spelled, the dictionary prompts me, means “any of various single-flowered chrysanthemums”. Marguerite, a variation of the name Margaret, Margarit, originating from the french word margrite - meaning pearl, also when given to a newborn, means “a child of light”. I keep reading about Marguerites and Margarets and Margrites and there seem to be many worthy of admiration, Margaret Thatcher being one of them (how did I not notice this before). It is not instantly obvious that one’s name defines them.There is undeniably some mysterious correlation in one’s name and their path of life.

I open a photograph of the flower chrysanthemums and look at it. Here you are, just as your name, so is your life (member of a family of thousands) - the beauty of chrysanthemums depends on the united power of multiple petals, each beautiful and magical on its own, but a whole only together.

Several weeks ago, while telling about the day I have just lived and left in the past, I was unexpectedly given a question, “Have you also saved the world today?” As the unique question brought a smile to my face, with an inner painful frown I answered “no”. “Maybe a little?” I was asked  (being lovingly teased I hope) and I thought that perhaps maybe a little I have saved the world that day. I loved that day, I prayed that day,I was kind that day, I was productive that day, I created some kind of beauty around me that day, I was humane that day, coincidently I also donated that day, I did what I do best that day - I was me that day and all of me lived through the day and lived vastly optimistic and with an inner smile.

My grandfather (a writer, Karpis Surenyan) advocated the importance of an INNER smile, and I lived to proudly be the ambassador of the inner smile. Yet many things that I did in life were consciously done, hoping to be subconsciously felt.Mainly I still fail. But I believe you do subconsciously feel that inner smile within you, and by it you make a difference in the world on such a big scale.

Aurora - means dawn. Aurora “Awakening Humanity”. Not at all coincidently.

My name is Armine, a feminine version of the name Armen, derived from our country name Armenia. A heavy portion of my path is dominated by my name. If I am ever to change the world, save the world, give it beauty,I can only do it by being a true  “Armine” wherever that will bring me and to as much greatness as I am meant to generate.

We need to live by our name.

You certainly have.

I bow my head … Marguerite
Anunovt abris

Dearly yours,



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