“My mother is Armenian-French, and my father is French. I have always heard my mother speak Armenian with my grandparents, and she has tried to make me learn Armenian for a long time.”
Arthur Prieur, a 15-year-old French Armenian is passionate about rock music and expanding his knowledge of his Armenian roots. He has been studying at AGBU AVC for almost two years.
After visiting Armenia twice in 2017 and 2018, Armenian culture has become even more important to Arthur. “I love Armenian food and even know how to cook some of the dishes,” he says proudly. “In 2017, we even went to Artsakh. I loved these trips. Armenia is so beautiful: the mountains are gorgeous, the churches and monasteries show Armenia's millennial history, and the people are lovely.”
After these trips, Arthur decided it was time to learn the Armenian language. With the help of his mother, Arthur registered for the Western Armenian courses for beginners at AGBU AVC. He is now in the Elementary level of the course.
“Since I have been taking the Western Armenian lessons at AGBU AVC, I can speak a little Armenian with my grandparents or some of my mother's cousins, and they are really impressed! I was afraid the lessons were going to be too much work but they are not. You can really learn at your own speed, and my teachers Zepur and Ovsanna are always so nice and helpful.”
AGBU AVC Western Armenian Instructor Zepur Kheblikian describes Arthur as a very intelligent, lively, dutiful and gifted young man. “He puts a lot of effort into learning Western Armenian and tries to apply newly learned words and grammar knowledge into his sentences. Our online meetings and discussions are very enjoyable,” she says.
Ovsanna Tshorokhyan, AGBU AVC Armenian Instructor in French, is also impressed by Arthur’s and his mother’s efforts. “Arthur’s inner world is so fascinating. He learns quickly, and his mother’s role is great in his interest in Armenian. She spares no effort to ensure that Arthur and his brother have good command of Western Armenian.”
Having learned Armenian with AGBU AVC, Arthur was inspired to write lyrics in Armenian for his original song in English about the Armenian Genocide that he dedicated to his grandparents, Genocide survivors.
“Once again, I want to share my thousands thanks to Ovsanna and Zepur, and to the AGBU AVC for these lessons. They are helping me learn Armenian, which is so important to keep our culture alive in the diaspora. If you're wondering whether you should be taking these lessons or not, you should try, you'll see that they are made for anyone motivated to learn!”
Currently, Arthur’s little brother is also enrolled in the AGBU AVC Armenian Language course. Even his father is trying to learn to speak to them in Armenian. With the help of their mother, Arthur and his family are determined to preserve the language in the Diaspora.