Grandmother Victoria


klik hier voor de nederlandse versie

A short while ago I started using my second name Victoria for my Flamenco related work. Not without a reason.

My grandmothers’ name is Victoria. I never got to know my grandmother because she died before I was even born due to breast cancer at the very young age of 62. She has a Bulgarian background but married a Dutch man; my grandfather. For the biggest part of her life she did not necessarily live a happy life. From the stories my family told me I understand that my grandmother loved having people around her, craziness and fun times. But her marriage did not allow her to live this happy and outgoing life. One-way she could temporarily escape was the Russian Orthodox religion. She regularly attended mass in a small-improvised church in an old school building in a backstreet in Den Haag. There she could be herself and do her own thing. My grandmother has been sick a lot, because she got breast cancer at a very young age. My father told me that once she was so sick that she was lying in bed all day. The only moment when she got out was to go to church and even getting out of the car was a problem. But because of the strength her religion and the church gave her she managed to attend a 2 hour mass standing. My parents decided to baptise my sister and me when we were born. They saw the support my grandmother received from her faith, and wanted to honour this by baptising us. The name they gave me at the baptism was the name of my grandmother: Victoria. I am not religious at all. But the fact that her religion meant so much to her and gave her relieve in her often hard life connects me with her through that name. My aunt supports me in this feeling. She says that my grandmother would have been proud of that I am going my own way following my passion, knowing that she was never able to do that herself. By carrying her name, my baptism name with me in my flamenco journey, I carry her with me as well. Besides that I have to thank her for giving me the Bulgarian genes, which make me look a bit more Spanish on stage when I perform. Thank you grandmother Victoria.