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Caucasus and Armenia

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Armenia, officially the Republic of Armenia, is a landlocked, mountainous country in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe. It is bordered by Turkey to the west, Georgia to the north, the de facto independent Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and Azerbaijan to the east, and Iran and the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhchivan to the south. The largest Armenian populations are in Russia, the United States, France, Georgia, Iran, Lebanon, and Syria.

The culture of Armenia is composed of elements that are based on the geography, literature, architecture, dance, and music of the people. The culture resembles but at the same time is different from many of the bordering countries like Russia, Georgia, and Iran, and even Mediterranean nations such as Greece and Cyprus. Armenian culture has many influences from its Eastern neighbors and an underlying influence from Europe to the West.

The Armenian language dates to the period of Indo-European dispersion and differentiation. 7,800 years ago According to some recent research. Conquest and trade obligate the language to make some changes by adding new words into the vocabulary of the people. Literature and books written in Armenia were created in the 4th century. The frequent written language of that time called classical Armenian remained the Armenian literary language with some changes until the 19th century. A lot of dialects came along when Armenian communities separate by geography or politics reasons. Not all of these dialects are mutually understandable. In the business world English is a popular language.

Literature began in Armenia around 401 A.D. Most of the literary arts were made by Moses of Khorene in the 5th century. As the years passed by the elements of literature have changed but the stories and myths were passed on through generations. Alexander Tertzakian was an Armenian writer who is considered to be among Armenia´s classics. During the 19th century Mikael Nalbandian created a new Armenian literary identity, his poem may have been the inspiration for the Armenian national anthem.

The heritage of the Armenian dance has been one of the richest, oldest and more varied in the near east. In the higher regions of Armenia there are paintings in rocks of scenes of country dancing, obviously this dances were accompanied by specific kinds of songs and instruments.

Music is one of the most important parts of Armenian culture. In this years it brought new kinds of music but still maintaining the traditional styles. Armenian Rock made his input in the rock culture. One type if music that is very popular in Armenia is Jazz, especially during summer when live performances occur in many coffee shops and parks. The most known Armenian instrument is the Duduk.

Architecture of Armenia
Armenian classical architecture is divided into 4 periods. The first Armenian churches were built between the 4th and the 7th century, starting when Armenia converted to Christianity and ending with the Arab invasion of Armenia. The first churches were basically simple basilicas with some side apses. During the 5th century the cupola cone in the center had become widely used. By the 7th century centrally-planned churches were built. By the time of the Arab invasion, almost everything that we know as classical Armenian architecture had already formed.

The cuisine of Armenia is very ancient as its history, a mixture of different tastes and aromas. Often the food has a noticeable smell. Closely related to the eastern and Mediterranean cuisine, spices, vegetables, fish and fruits mix to present unique dishes. Armenian cuisine has had cultural exchanges with neighboring countries cuisines for example Persian, Greek, Russian, Turkish, and Arab. Armenian cognac is known worldwide and also Armenia is famous for its wine and brandy. Armenian national fruit is the pomegranate that has a symbolic association with fertility.

Many sports are played in Armenia like wrestling, weightlifting, judo, chess and boxing but the most popular is football. Armenia’s mountainous terrain makes possible the practice of skiing and rock climbing. Armenia is a landlocked country so watersports can only be practiced on lakes. Armenia has been successful in chess, weightlifting and wrestling at the international level, also is an active member of the international sports community with full membership in the UEFA, FIB and IIHF. It is also the host of Pan-Armenian Games.

The score of the economic freedom of Armenia is 68.8, making its economy the 39th freest in the 2012 Index. Its overall score has decreased by 0.9 point from last year, reflecting worsened scores in freedom from corruption, government spending, and monetary freedom. Armenia is ranked 19th freest among the 43 countries in the Europe region, and its score puts it above the world and regional averages.

Armenia became independent from the Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic on 28 May 1918 as the Democratic Republic of Armenia (DRA). After the DRA collapsed on 2 December 1920, it was absorbed into the Soviet Union and became part of the Transcaucasian SFSR. The TSFSR dissolved in 1936 and Armenia became a constituent republic of the Soviet Union known as the Armenian SSR. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, beginning on 23 September 1991 the official name of the nation has been the Republic of Armenia. Armenia is a unitary, multiparty, democratic nation-state with an ancient and historic cultural heritage. The capital and largest city is Yerevan. In addition to the Yerevan administrative region, Armenia is split into ten administrative divisions, known as marzer ,these are Ararat, Aragatsotn, Armavir, Gegharkunik, Kotayk, Lori, Shirak, Syunik, Tavush, and Vayots Dzor. The flag of Armenia consists of three equal horizontal bands of red (top), blue, and orange.The Prime minister of Armenia is Tigran Sargsyan and the actual president is Serzh Sargsyan



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