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Culture

The Armenians attach great importance to their cultural traditions - something that applies not least to the Armenians living abroad. The national cultural heritage began to take shape in 300-year-old Christian Armenia, where an ancient Christian art flourished under Byzantine influence. Armenian churches are preserved from the 400s, and during the 900s and 1000s Armenians were the forerunners of Western church architecture.

Several monasteries and churches in Armenia are listed on UNESCO's World Heritage List.

  • Countryaah: Latest population statistics of Armenia, including religious profiles and major languages spoken as well as population growth rates in next three decades.

The 38-letter Armenian alphabet was created by the patriarch Mesrop in the 400s, when the first texts in Armenian were written. The texts often had religious motives but were also about the history of the Armenians. Only in the 18th century did the literature gain a wider breadth when Armenian monks published a number of works without religious affiliation, including grammar. The first Armenian novel, Verk Hayastani ("The Wounds of Armenia"), was written in the 1840s by enlightenment philosopher Chatjatur Abovyan. The novel depicts the struggle of the Armenians during the war between Persia and Russia in the 19th century.

Even today, literature and drama often portray Armenians' resistance to religious and ethnic oppression. This is also reflected in Armenian holidays. Almost after Christmas and Easter, the most important weekends are the days of commemorating the Christian resistance to the Persians in the 400s and the 1915 massacres of Armenians in Turkey.

  • Songaah: List and lyrics of songs related to the country name of Armenia. Artists and albums are also included.

Culture of Armenia

Christian motifs dominated the visual arts until the 17th century. During the 19th century, when the artists began to gain greater freedoms, the Armenian visual arts experienced a flourishing period. Artists such as Hakob Hovnatanyan and Ivan Ajvazovsky broke internationally. Well-known names from the 20th century are Alexander Bazhbeuk-Melikyan and surrealist Arsjile Gorkij, born as Vostanik Adoyan in present-day Turkey and living most of his life in the United States.

Armenia has a rich music culture, where the song occupies a central position. Throughout the centuries, Armenian music has been influenced by Russian, Persian and Turkish traditions. In recent years, influences from Western music are also noticeable. Composer Aram Chatjaturian's (1903–1978) works are based on folk music, but also have western elements.

Among Armenian-esteemed artists in the western world are the Frenchman Charles Aznavour (Shahnour Aznavourian, 1924–2018) and the American Cher (Cherilyn Sarkisian).

Director Sergei Paradjanov (Sargis Paradjanyan, 1924-1990) was, with his surrealistic style, one of the most controversial dissidents in the Soviet film industry. The renowned Canadian film director Atom Egoyan belongs to the Armenian Diaspora.

In all three Caucasian countries, there are proud textile traditions. The more industrialized manufacturing that occurred during the Soviet era degraded the quality of both the material and the workmanship, but has made older rugs, saddlebags, saltbags and other utensils in very diverse techniques into internationally sought-after collectors and museum objects. The disputed Nagorno-Karabakh is the core area of ​​Armenian matting. Dragon motifs made in sumak (soumak), a technique known in Swedish as laces, are among the most famous. Even in today's production, you can recognize church symbols and motifs that are also found in carvings. The Armenians are also known for their intricate embroidery.

2016

September

Russian-friendly prime minister is appointed

September 13

As expected, Karen Karapetyan is appointed Prime Minister by President Sargsyan. He has a past as a senior manager at the Russian gas company Gazprom and is considered to have good relations with the Russian government.

The Prime Minister resigns

September 8

Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan announces his resignation. The message was expected, since the president promised just over a month ago to form a unifying government to address the country's difficult economic and social problems. Yerevan's former mayor Karen Karapetyan is nominated by the ruling party as new head of government.

August

The President promises changes

1 August

President Sargsyan says after the long hostage frame that Armenia needs radical change. He promises to form a unified government within a few months, "but without terrorists and their defenders". According to Sargsyan, the occupation of the police station must be thoroughly investigated, without preconceived opinions, and will result in an open trial. Human Rights Watch accuses police of resorting to disproportionate violence against peaceful protesters and attacking journalists who reported on the demonstrations.

July

Hostage frame at police station

July 17

A group of armed men storm a police station in Yerevan, shoot a policeman to death and take several hostages, among them Deputy Chief of Police and Yerevan Deputy Chief of Police. The men demand that opposition politician Zjirayr Sefilyan, leader of a small party, be released and President Sargsyan resign. Sefilyan was arrested in June on charges of unlawful possession of weapons. Via social media, the hostages encourage the public to rise up against the government. During the occupation, violence outside the building repeatedly erupted during clashes between police and protesters. After six days, the hostages are released, but the occupants remain for more than a week before giving up to the threat that the police will storm the building. The day before the drama ends, another policeman is killed, judging by a bullet fired inside the building.

June

Turkey condemns the Pope

June 25

Pope Francis once again describes the killing of Armenians during the First World War as a genocide. The Turkish government, as always, reacts very strongly, criticizing the Pope's "crusader mentality".

More observers to worry

June 20

Armenian and Azerbaijan Presidents agree that more observers of the ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh are needed. They meet in Saint Petersburg under the mediation of the Russian president. There are currently only six unarmed OSCE observers in the disputed area. How many more should be sent there, or when it should be done, nothing is said about.

May

Presidents promise ceasefire

May 16

The presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan promise to ensure that the ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh is respected. They also agree to hold new peace talks in June. Less than a day later, an Azerbaijani soldier and an Armenian from the breakaway republic are reported to have been killed in new fighting.

April

New battles

April 27

More clashes occur between Armenians and Azerbaijanis in Nagorno-Karabakh. At the end of the month, more than 100 people are reported to have lost their lives in the fighting.

Protests against Russia

April 13

Hundreds of Armenians demonstrate against Russia in Yerevan. They protest that Russia, Armenia's closest ally, sells weapons to the enemy Azerbaijan. According to the Armenian Ministry of Defense, 97 soldiers, volunteers and civilians have been killed in the fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh since April 2. Azerbaijan has reported that 31 soldiers and four civilians were killed during the first days of fighting, but has not provided any later information.

Continued clashes

April 8

Sporadic fighting continues despite the ceasefire agreement and more casualties are reported. The parties are said to agree on a new temporary interruption in the fighting to allow both sides to take care of their dead with the help of the OSCE and the Red Cross. In total, at least 90 people are said to have been killed, most soldiers.

Armistice after four days

April 5

After four days of fighting, which are said to have claimed at least 64 lives, the Ministry of Defense in Azerbaijan and the leaders of Nagorno-Karabach report that they agreed on a ceasefire. Azerbaijan claims during the course of the fighting that it has taken several strategic points in the Armenian-controlled area, which in this case is the first time the front line has changed since the war ended in 1994.

Hard fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh

2 April

The toughest fighting in at least 20 years is breaking out around the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh area. Azerbaijan and Armenia are mutually accusing each other of having attacked with heavy weapons. At least 18 Armenian and 12 Azerbaijani soldiers are killed, as are two civilians. Russia and the United States call for immediate ceasefire, while Turkey's President promises to support Azerbaijan "until the end." Azerbaijan announces unilateral ceasefire, but the fighting continues.

February

Anti-Turkish party into the government

February 25th

The anti-Turkish party Dasjnak (see Political system) joins the government at the invitation of President Sargsyan. The party receives three ministers responsible for finance, education and local administration.

Russian base is strengthened

February 20th

Russia sends reinforcements to its airbase outside Yerevan. A number of hunting and bombing stations are stationed at the base, located only four miles from the border with Turkey.

 

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