- Do you want to get acquainted with older civilizations in the modern society?
- Do you want to witness pagan features surviving up to our days?
- And finally enjoy the warm and hospitable nature of the Armenian sole?
Then you are welcome to the world of unique culture and attractive nature.
The Armenian culture comes from the depth of the history, just like the country itself. Many invasions and many wars in the course of time have tried to change our culture, the way of thinking, our language and anything else. However, despite the interference of different cultures, Armenians have preserved all the flavor of beautiful traditions and culture. The culture of Armenia is obviously different and at the same time strikingly similar to the neighboring culture of Georgia and in some features that of Iran. The mentality of Armenians is very much like that of Spanish, Italian and Greek nationalities with their hot character.
The talented people of the Armenian land likewise Armenians that are spread over the whole world have left a great deal of cultural heritage to our generation and masterpieces are still being created.
The great Armenian composers and musicians Sayat-Nova, Komitas, Aram Khachatryan, Arno Babajanyan have created wonderful pieces of music. All of them are popular not only among Armenians but also among other nations, especially in the countries of the former Soviet Union. Nowadays, all the music genres have found their fans among the public.
Armenian dances and songs are an inseparable part of the national culture. No party can ever pass without the sweet and cheerful melodies of such national musical instruments as zurna, dhol (drum) and the wonderful duduk, sometimes called apricot pipe. The latter is a traditional Armenian instrument well-known throughout the world. Even foreigners will never confuse both the cheerful and sad melodies of duduk. Its soft sound penetrates into the depth of the heart.
Armenian dances are as soft and gentle as Armenian melodies. Their features differ from all other nations, similarities can be found only with Georgian dances.
Another similarity with Georgians is the tradition of having a tamada during weddings and family parties. The tamada is the leader of the party, who takes the responsibility to entertain the honorable guests by his cute toasts during the breaks from loud music.
Literature has always been of crucial importance for Armenians. There is a view that yet in III-I centuries BC the ancient Armenians had special "priestly scripts" that has been used to create temple books and chronicles. Before the invention of the alphabet by Mesrop Mashtots, Armenian folk tales were passed from generation to generation verbally and they were written down in foreign languages. And Just after the alphabet was invented the Armenian literature began to blossom. And now we have a rich manuscript repository, unique in its type in the whole world, called Matenadaran. It is one of the most valuable treasures of Armenia.
Armenians have always treated the pieces of art and especially of literature with special care, have always honored the outstanding representatives of art and literature. And now we have quite a large list of honored poets, with famous William Saroyan being among them, and many others.
The art of Armenian painters are internationally respected. The masterpieces of Ayvazovski have their unique place in the international art. His seascapes make all the admirers astonished. “The Ninth Wave” was the peak of the marine painter’s fame. The picture is so much full of life and motion that the painting seems natural. Likewise the famous portrait painter Hakob Hovnatanyan continues to enjoy the international recognition up to our days. In the 20th century Martiros Saryan gave a new shade to painting with his numerous colors and interpretations of nature. American painter of Armenian origin Arshil Gorky had its influence over a whole generation of American young artists in New York. Garzou and Jansem reached the top of their fame in France. Today, you can enjoy the contemporary Armenian painting in Saryan Park during the weekends.
Rug and carpet making is an inseparable part of the Armenian culture, as Armenia is considered to be the homeland of rug and carpet making. Despite the diversity of colors and designs of rugs and carpets, almost all of them bear traditional ornaments.
Khachkars or cross-stones belong to the part of typical Armenian culture. Wonderful khachkars have been created since ancient times. The khachkars reflect the wonderful architecture and carving art of Armenians. Every single detail of those stones is well designed and made in a way that no khachkar is similar to the other. Woodcarvers also make small replicas of khachkars that can be bought in any souvenir shop.
Sports are highly respected here. Chess has been among the most respected types of sport for many years. Our chessmen have always come with the greatest prizes from any tournament, and they still do. Even our spa town Jermuk is made a traditional place to host international chess tournaments in its cool, but strikingly beautiful nature. Our people are doing well not only in “mental” competition, but in strength as well. Weightlifting is also a successful type of sport for us. Armenian athletes are famous and welcomed in all international competitions. Wrestling and boxing are also widely spread in Armenia.