Happy childhood in spirit of hate
Tomorrow the hatred will concern you


Chapter 3 from the book Caucasian Days
By Banine1
This chapter was not included in the adapted edition translated into Azerbaijani in 1989

…You might think that I am one of the naïve and exemplary girls brought up by my maid Anna and that I am so young that I do not know about these events and do not understand such things. Not at all. If so, I would not be from the East. On the other hand, I was brought up by my cousins who knew well all the fine details of bedroom life. From what my friend told me once I also learned about the details of their animal deeds. Tamara, a crossbreed of two hostile peoples, was the only daughter of a Turkish father and an Islamized Armenian mother. Brought up by a German nanny, Tamara was to have a serene childhood, but Allah had different plans regarding her and she met us. Tamara’s father bought a villa near our estate, her nanny made friends with my maid Anna and as we were the same age, she became our close friend. She was beautiful, maybe because she was a métisse. The good fruit of the two peoples could become a factor contributing to the rapprochement of the Turks and the Armenians, but it did not become such and the hatred remained. Tamara paid a very high price for her Armenian mother.

Ali used to tweak her, repeating, “You are a dirty and mean Armenian, Tamara” (it was very insulting – author).

Tamar cried with pain, swallowed the insult abjectly and dropped her beautiful head.

“Wait, Tamara, I will now correct your hooked Armenian nose,” he said and caught hold of Tamara’s ideal nose.

Tamara’s eyes gave her away, but she did not utter a single sound. She endured it with honor and courageously.

On holidays, we played our favorite game – Armenian slaughter. Stirred up by racism, we lost our heads and sacrificed Tamara to our enmity and hatred that passed on to us from our ancestors. At first, we groundlessly accused her of killing the Tatars and happily shot her several times. We feasted our eyes upon the sight of her blood and then, to kill her by conventional method, we resurrected her, tied up her hands and legs, threw her down on the ground and first cut off her tongue and head and to show our hatred towards her Armenian body, we cut out her heart and internals and threw them to the dogs. When our wild rage settled down and no piece of the poor girl remained, we started dancing around her body like barbarians, waving our wooden swords. When we saw someone passing by, we immediately put Tamara on her feet and with our tongue withered with fright, we seized her by the hand and strolled through the garden, singing children’s songs. She did not even think of complaining against us because we would then call her an informer, a traitor and a dirty Armenian and she would lose us. No matter how much we insulted, humiliated and permanently killed her, she could no longer live without our friendship.

Several years later, Tamara told me that Asad and Ali forced other secret games upon her.

  • What game is that?

- A game of violence, rape of an Armenian woman. It happened on hot days when everyone was resting or sleeping. On such days, Ali and Asad came for me and forced me to the Devil’s House in the grape grove. They told me that I should not be afraid of Satan with them. I was taken to a fig tree near that house. They beat me and stripped me off my clothes. I stood naked. They approached me from the back and, in turn, tried to take me. They repeated it for several times. They told me that they treated me that way because my mother was Armenian and they were punishing me…


1Banine – she was born in 1905 in the family of Baku-based millionaire Shamsi Asadullayev. Her grandfather on the maternal side was another famous Baku-based millionaire, Musa Nagiyev. After 1920, Banine lived and created in France as an emigrant. It is noteworthy that Banine did not use the word “Azerbaijani” in her novel and called the present-day Azerbaijanis either Tatars or Turks




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