The Armenians are the heirs of a branch of the Indo-Europeans. They appeared in world history at the end of the 7th century BC. The Armenians belong to the nations having an ancient and prolific history. It has transferred from the generation to the generation and is being flourished day by day. There are 11 million Armenian people spread all over the world. And only 3 million people live inside Armenia, who continue to defend and upgrade their prosperous country.
Armenian people have unique aspects which are different from other nationalities. It is expressed in their appearance, the way of thinking, character, traditions, traditional views and so on.
Armenian people are the first in the history who declared Christianity as the state religion. That is why the dominant majority of the population of Armenia are Christians. Since 301 A.D. the national church of Christian Armenians has been Armenian Apostolic church. It affiliates 95 per cent of the community. And considered to be a member of the World Council of Churches. The first preachers of Christianity in Armenia were Bartholomew and Thaddeus. The two apostles spread the religion at every corner of Armenia.
The adoption of Christianity has played an important and essential role in the Armenians cultural solidarity. It has maintained their survival and has shaped the national identity. The Christian faith has developed the Armenian culture so firm that it demonstrates at every corner of the country. The symbol of Christianity is the “khachkar” (cross stone carving). You can observe the symbol at every part of Armenia.
The minority of the population is Yazidism and Islam leaders, which constitute 5 per cent of the Armenian people. The Constitution of Armenia is for the freedom of religion, and Armenian people are allowed to lead the religion they worship.
One of the distinguishing characteristics of the Armenian identity is its language. The Armenian language is among the family of Indo-European languages. It has some similarities with the Slavic and Indo-Iranian languages. Armenia itself is considered to be one of the world’s ancient countries. And its idiom also has an ancient history belonging to the Eastern group of Indo-European rank.
The Armenian alphabet has been created thank to great Armenian teacher Mesrop Mashtots. He created the Armenian treasure with the 36 letters. Later have been added more three letters. The mission of building the Armenian alphabet Mesrop Mashtots released with the help of Sahak Partev and their 12 pupils. By creating Armenian alphabet, Mesrop Mashtots retained the survival of the Armenians and saved their national identity. There are some particular reasons why the Armenian language created.
One of the essential aims was to translate the Bible into Armenian for the local people to read the holy book. The very first Armenian sentence written by Saint Mesrop Mashtots is “Ճանաչել զիմաստութիւն եւ զխրատ, իմանալ զբանս հանճարո”. It translates as "To know wisdom and instruction, to perceive the words of understanding.". And is pronounced in the way of “Tsanatsel zimastutun ew zxrat, imanal zbans hantsaroy”.
The Armenian language is pleasing to the ear and has a pleasant utterance. But it has a hard pronunciation and grammar.
Although some words have similarities with other languages of the Caucasus region, the Armenian language itself is considered to be one of the unique and inimitable languages in the whole world.
The uniquenesses of Armenian people are indeed many and curious. And their beautiful look is no exception. When we speak about the appearance of the Armenians the first typical feature we notice is their striking and beautiful eyes. The foreigners see that there is mysterious beauty in the eyes of Armenian people.
Neglecting the sweet Armenian eyes expressing indescribable sadness is impossible. Maybe the cause of that strange sadness is their endured struggle for their country? The dominant colour of the Armenian eyes is dark brown, which emphasises their national uniqueness.
It is not in vain that many Armenian songs are devoted to the unique and beautiful eyes of Armenian girls. The most famous one is “Հայի աչքեր, սիրու՛ն աչքեր” - The eyes of the Armenians, the lovely eyes. The broad forehead is another beautiful feature of the Armenian appearance. They consider that the unique feature is the sign of their obstinate resistance for centuries. And it is also a sign of intelligence.
Another a little funny but meaningful feature is the nose. There are many prominent proverbs and jokes about typical Armenian big nose. Armenian people especially the men have a notable and prominent nose. They sometimes compare it with the enormous Armenian mountains. The skin colour of Armenian people is different. And they do not have a typical skin colour.
It depends on the region where a person lives or where come from their forefathers. And what concerns to the height: The average height of Armenian men is 175cm. And Armenian women's is 155cm. Armenian women are one of the gorgeous and beautiful in the world. They have got a harmonious and eye-pleasing appearance.
The women have striking features that emphasise their unique Armenian beauty. Their beautiful and luxurious body is the most prominent feature about their appearance. The lips of Armenian women are like the rose petals. And there are many typical examples in Armenian Poesia about the delicate lips and eyes of Armenian women.
If you are planning a trip to Armenia the friendly and warm atmosphere is waiting for you. In general, the Caucasian people are famous for their hospitable character. But the Armenians are the brightest and the most prominent people when it concerns the hospitality.
Armenian people like to accept especially foreign guests. If you are a guest in Armenian home, you will not regret as they will embrace you with the warmest welcome.
The Armenians will do their best for you to feel in your own home. If Armenian people catch a foreign guest, they tell funny stories about the Armenians and their exciting life. It is impossible to leave the Armenian house without tasting Armenian famous black coffee or some traditional desserts.
Armenian people differ from other nationalities with the way of thinking. The old generation has a very traditional and a little bit annoying way of thinking. For example, if a girl is not get married till 25 years old, their old relatives start asking her “why aren’t you married yet”? And the quarrel is ready. The way of thinking of the new generation is rather modern. In recent times many Armenian girls prefer to establish their career and then start thinking about the marriage.
Armenian people are always characterised as kind people who respect each other, have a mild attitude towards children, and have strong national values. The people from regions are the sweetest and the most hospitable among the Armenians who are ready to welcome everyone and vouchsafe to the warmest welcome.
Armenia is among the countries having rich traditional customs. Some of them are regional; others are joyful. But there are some must-knowing national customs that every traveller should know when appearing in Armenia.
It is wildly extended custom when other relatives are not allowed to see the newborns for the first 40 days. It is a historical tradition comes from very ancient times though nearly all the Armenian family follow that custom. Nobody knows the real reason for that strange costume. As mentioned above, the national church of Christian Armenians is Armenian Apostolic church. And the church has adopted some local and traditional holidays and customs.
One of the very interesting and a little bit exciting customs is when newlyweds jump over a fire. The tradition is called Trndez. They say during the holiday, the couple gets relieved from the evil and the misery. As we see Armenian people are prominent for the superstitions, they believe and follow. Armenian people have a romantic custom too. They celebrate a holiday coming from very ancient times.
The holiday is called St. Sarkis day. In Europe, it is similar to Valentine's day. During that day they have a strange but funny custom - the mother or grandmother of the family cook very salty cookie. The unmarried Armenian girl eats the cookie before sleeping. It’s believed during the night they dream of their future husbands. It could be a stranger or someone they know, but if he brings them a cup of water in the dream, they foresee the identity of their future husband.
Published Dec. 15, 2018
Article by Elen Sargsyan