Published on Jun 14, 2012
VERJINÉ SVAZLIAN, ethnographer and folklorist, was born in 1934, in Alexandria (Egypt) in the family of the writer and public man, Karnik Svazlian, himself an eyewitness survivor of the Armenian Genocide. She had her elementary education at the local Poghossian Armenian National School, then her secondary education — at the Armenian Nuns’ Immaculate Conception School with a French language bias.
In 1947, she was repatriated with her parents to the Motherland, Armenia.
In 1956, she graduated with honors from the Historico-Linguistic Department of the Yerevan Khachatour Abovian Armenian State Pedagogical University.
Beginning from 1955, she started, on her own initiative, to write down and thereby saved from a total loss the various folklore relics communicated, in different dialects, by the Armenians forcibly exiled from Western Armenia, Cilicia and Anatolia to the various countries of the world and finally repatriated to Armenia, as well as the memoirs and the songs of historical character narrated by the eyewitness survivors of the Armenian Genocide.
From 1958, she started to work at the Manouk Abeghian Institute of Literature of the Academy of Sciences of Armenia. During her post-graduate studies, she has been a M. Abeghian grant-aided student (under the scientific leadership of the Academician Karapet Melik-Ohandjanian).
Beginning from 1961 up to the present time she is working at the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia and, from 1996 to 2004, also at the Museum-Institute of the Armenian Genocide of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia (NAS RA).
She has maintained her Candidate thesis in 1965 and her thesis for a Doctor’s degree in 1995.
In the years 1996-2004, she was a member of the Scientific Council of the Museum-Institute of the Armenian Genocide of NAS RA, and, from 1996 up to the present day, a member of the Professional Council of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of NAS RA.
She has participated in a number of republican and international conferences and has given reports in the various organizations of Diasporan Armenian communities (Russia, Greece, France, Austria, Germany, USA, Canada, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Turkey), discoursing upon folklore, ethnography, the Armenian Genocide and the Armenian Case.
She is also the author of more than 500 academic and public papers published in Armenia, Diaspora and abroad.
Doctor Professor Verjiné Svazlian, has written down (also tape-recorded and video-recorded), word by word, fragment by fragment, studied and published, starting from 1955, during a period of more than 55 years, the various relics of the oral tradition, as well as the documental testimonies and historical songs (in Armenian and Turkish languages) of the eyewitness survivors of the Armenian Genocide, who were deported from Historic Armenia, Cilicia and Anatolia, including more than 150 Armenian inhabited localities, and were settled in Armenia and in the Diaspora (Greece, France, Italy, Germany, USA, Canada, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt, the Balkan countries, Turkey), thus saving from a total loss the collective historical memory of the Armenian nation with a view to presenting it to the world and to the impartial judgement of mankind in various languages (in Armenian, Russian, English, French, German and Turkish).
A great number of reviews, encyclopedic and other articles have been published in Armenia and abroad about Verjiné Svazlian’s works, as well as a film entitled “The Creed of the Svazlian Extended Family” was recently shot (film-director and scriptwriter Laura Minassian, Yerevan, 2009).