Maggie (Margarit) Boshnagian-Georgian: “The greatest wealth for me is giving a Homeland to my child”

Hayern Aysor’s correspondent sat down for an interview with Margarit (Maggie) Boshnagian-Georgian, founding director of Melting Dance School located in the marvelous French city of Nice.

Karine Avagyan: Margarit, please allow me to address you with the full and beautiful Armenian name. How did you find yourself in the Mediterranean city of Nice?

Margarit Boshnagian-Georgian: I was born in Istanbul and moved to France with my family when I was five years old.

Karine Avagyan: You speak Western Armenian wonderfully. You have preserved your native language. Please, tell me who you owe that to.

Margarit Boshnagian-Georgian: I owe it to my mother! She is the one who protected and preserved the Armenian language in our family. Armenian mothers are mainly the ones who preserve the native language in the household, and I am grateful to my mother. I attended a French school and learned French very quickly.

Karine Avagyan: Do you miss your hometown?

Margarit Boshnagian-Georgian: Frankly, I must say that I don’t miss it. I just remember it from time to time. One of the reasons why I don’t miss it is because I was very little when we moved to France, and I remember almost nothing about my hometown. The other reason is that the Turks will always be Turks. Unfortunately, my grandmother died in Turkey. We obviously went to Istanbul, but I realized that I was sort of under pressure there. There has been no other occasion for me to visit Istanbul.

Karine Avagyan: Did French children discriminate against you when you were attending school in France? Have you felt estranged?

Margarit Boshnagian-Georgian: First of all, my father passed away 10 months after we had moved to France, and this caused a great blow to our family. My mother, who was only 34 years old at the time, overcame all the hardships with courage and raised me and my elder brother, who is 10 years older than me. I had a great childhood. I never felt strange at school or among my circle.

Karine Avagyan: Maggie, where did you continue your studies after graduating from school? What is your specialization?

Margarit Boshnagian-Georgian: After graduating from school, I studied accounting and stylistics. I was a skillful accountant and stylist. However, since dance is my world, I opened a dance school. I attended ballet lessons in Nice. I was a member of Nairi Armenian Dance Group when I was very young. When I came to Armenia, I was one of the students of Sofi Devoyan and Suren Chanchuryan and received my diploma in Armenia. In 2007, I opened my dance school where the students learn all kinds of dances. I teach Armenian dances. I have danced in the Nairi Armenian Dance Group, which used to be called a Cultural Dance Group. Besides my dance school, I also teach the members of Nairi Armenian Dance Group choreography. I want our dance group to visit Armenia. We hope we manage to prepare for and participate in the Nairi Pan-Armenian Festival.

Karine Avagyan: How do you select the costumes for the dance group? Who is your consultant when you design costumes and make the right selection of all the details that characterize all the provinces of Historic Armenia?

Margarit Boshnagian-Georgian: We refer to the books at our disposal and examine them in detail. I have drawn all those details. Whenever it is possible, we purchase costumes from Armenia. My mother, Hripsime Boshnagian, who is a merited pedagogue, helps me a lot with sewing the clothes. She has been awarded with a gold medal for her active and longstanding teaching career. We try to do our best to make sure the costumes look like the historic costumes. The parents of the dancers also provide funding to obtain the costumes.

Karine Avagyan: Are you in Armenia on a business trip?

Margarit Boshnagian-Georgian: I came because I had missed Armenia. I am here with my husband and our 3-year-old child. This is my third time in Armenia and my husband’s first time in the country. I want our child to become connected to Armenia and build a future in our Homeland. The greatest wealth that you can give your child is a Homeland. We have visited many sites in the country. We visited Victory Park and viewed the beautiful panorama of Yerevan from the peak referred to as “Monument”. We also visited Lake Sevan, Oshakan, the temple in Garni, Geghard Monastery, Etchmiadzin and Jermuk…We saw the Homeland wherever we went.

Karine Avagyan: Are you familiar with the “What are YOU doing for Artsakh?” pan-Armenian movement launched by the Ministry of Diaspora of the Republic of Armenia?

Margarit Boshnagian-Georgian: Yes! What’s more, we are actively participating in that movement. The Armenian cultural center of Nice has also provided its assistance to Karabakh. We have provided funding to the families of 6 soldiers killed in the Four-Day Artsakh War and medical accessories (bandages) to soldiers. I still haven’t visited Artsakh, but I hope to visit Artsakh during my next visit. Now we are thinking about what kind of assistance we can send next time.

Karine Avagyan: What does the Homeland mean to you?

Margarit Boshnagian-Georgian: Everything-safety, love, light, future.

Interview by Karine Avagyan

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