S: Armenian ABC Culture Book
BC: The Armenian ABC Culture Book | By Michelle Mayes
FC: The Armenian ABC Culture Book
1: A is for Art | Armenian Art is layered with purpose, honor, and tales from a sorrowful past. Armenian art has a complexity that gives a look into the people and their struggles through song and cinema. With Armenia’s dark history of genocides, massacres, and controlling governments songs were the one thing that couldn’t be taken away from the people. (Dr. Kouymjian) The songs reflected their cry to God for help and salvation. The Armenian Art guides the culture with feelings of peace for the thoughts and lives of other cultures. Through Armenian cinema and film production the people are able to tell the story of their country to the world while being open to the ideas of others. (ARMENIAN CINEMA) Armenian cinema’s goal is to let the world remember the past, and keep what is dear close to the heart. The Armenians share a beauty with the world that is hard to detect because they are proud and unique people. Of all the boundaries and walls they have broken down, the art creates a connection that touches the world in ways the will continue to develop through out the years.
2: B is for Building | Armenian architecture was one of the first art mediums to be studied. The architecture receives more scholarly attention than all of Armenia’s other arts combined. It is not just size that makes this medium fascinating, but the fact that other works are nothing in comparison. The labor and time set into the creation of the buildings requires a creative and active mind. (Dr. Kouymjian)
3: C is for Communication | During the times of Soviet Union rule the USSR blocked all new world technology from Armenia’s people. The Soviet Union wanted complete dominant control over what the people felt, saw, and heard. The Soviet grip left a tight mark that cut off the Armenian people from developing their communication with the rest of the world. (CIA) After the fall of the Soviet Union and the declaration of Armenia’s Independence on September 21, 1991, new ways of communicating came flooding in from all angles. (Library of Congress) By 2004 the country had become monopolized by the cellular phone, television broadcasting, and radio broadcasting. (CIA) With new modern technology the Armenians were able to control what they felt, saw, and heard. This new power gave them the opportunity to become less dependent on their government for information. | Armenian Television Logo
4: D is for Dress | Armenian women had three goals in life, getting married, having babies, and raising and taking care of a happy family. From generation to generation young women have been in “training” for their wifely/motherhood duties. One form of Training that started three thousand years ago is the forum of dressmaking. Dressmaking is one of many symbols that characterize the women of Armenia. Armenian women have very few opportunities with the outside world, and still create their clothing similar to how the generations before them made their dresses. The Armenians utilized wool and fur and later cotton that was grown in the fertile valleys to make dresses. Royalty used silk imported from China, during the Urartian period. Later the Armenians cultivated silkworms and produced their own silk. (Armenian Heritage Organization) Dressmaking created a way to view women from all walks of life, and created yet another way for women to see the arts of the outside world. (Advantour) Armenian dressmaking creates another colorful branch on a culture proud of its heritage.
5: E if for Economy | Ever since the collapse of the USSR in 1991 there has been an on going decline in Armenia’s percentage growth rate. Under what use to be the Soviet Union, Armenia developed an industrial sector supplying machine tools, textiles, and other manufactured goods in exchange for raw materials and energy. Armenia’s farms are in need of updated technology, and many of their factories have been sold to the Greek. Today though many actions have been put into place to help economy growth. Recently the Armenians have been able to stabilize a currency system called the Dram. (Armenian Tour)
6: F is for Family | Tradition holds deep meaning in everyday live for the Armenian people. Generations after generation lessons and skills have been passed down to create a wholesome family life. An average Armenian family consists of a man a women and at least 2-3 children. The male’s task is to fulfill the material needs of the family. Making economic decisions, banking, household repairs, and taking out the garbage. (Markarian) The women’s task is to cook, clean, taking care of the children, and get groceries for the home. A female child is taught how to sew at a young age starting with making their dolls clothes. Also they are taught how to play house; which will later become their full time “job”. Also the oldest females are expected to take care of the younger children. A males job is to eat and grow strong, but also to get a good education. (Markarian)
7: G is for Government | The citizens of the Armenian Republic elect the President of Armenia for a 5-year term of office. The President makes sure the constitution is being followed, provides for regular functioning of legislative, executive, and judicial authorities. The Executive power is composed of the Prime Minister and Ministers. The president will elect the Prime Minister, or the person nominated by the largest number of National Assembly membership. (Armenian Government) The President appoints and discharges members of government on Prime Minister’s proposal. The National Assembly (Legislative Power) consists of 131 deputies /75 of which are elected on the basis of proportional representation and 56 - majority representation/. The National Assembly is elected through general elections for a term of five years. Parliamentary elections were last held in 2007. (Armenian Government) The Judicial power consists of courts operating in the Republic of Armenia are the first instance court of general jurisdiction, the courts of appeal, the Court of Cassation, as well as specialized courts in cases prescribed by the law. (Armenian Government) | Yerevan: Armenian Capitol
8: H is for History | What proud people come from a world filled with unresolved troubles. From 2100B.C. to present day horror and grace have swept through the Armenian people. The first records appeared when the Armenian land was claimed to be the spot were Noah's Ark settled back down from the great flood. With the knowledge of their roots tracing back to Noah and his ancestors, the Armenians knew they were an important cultural group. (Babayan) Around 66A.D. the first apostles of the Armenian culture, Thaddeus and Bartholomew, came to Armenia to preach the word of God. The apostles Thaddeus and Bartholomew were soon captured and murdered for their spread of Gods word. (Babayan) However the apostles were said to be respected men in Armenia, and a couple centuries later Armenia became the first Christian Nation. From 1915 through 1991 Armenia has had problems dealing with genocide and the Soviet Union rule. Many of the problems started from the root cause of Armenia not having a strong government system. Armenians were easily overturned and taken into capture. For years they suffered the stronghold of a communist government, and the massacre of almost all of the Armenian Christian population. In 1991 though after the fall of the Soviet Union, Armenia quickly seceded and became the Armenian Republic. Not even a month later the first presidential elections took place, and Levon Ter-Petrossian became the first elected president. (Bournoutian)
9: I is for Icons | Coat of Arms | Mount Ararat were Noah's Ark was stopped | Armenian Flag | Cinema Icon is Cher | Christianity
10: J is for Jobs | "The Centre for Gender Studies reports that men are routinely the preferred candidates in hiring, which is conducted by predominantly male bosses. An overwhelming number of women in Armenia occupy low-skilled positions. According to Barbara Merguerian of the Armenian International Women's Association, almost as a rule, even the most educated women are left out of the highest-paid and executive positions. Women predominate in non-managerial positions in manufacturing, primary and secondary education, and in health centres -- jobs which typically pay the lowest salaries. Women with higher education are often forced to work as restaurant cooks, provide cleaning services or do handicrafts.28 Moreover, there are no mechanisms to enforce the anti-discrimination labour laws -- labour rights violations are commonly not reported and no measures are being taken to improve the situation." (IWRAW)
11: K is for Knowledge | "According to the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia the secondary Education is compulsory and free of charge. Secondary Education in the republic contains 3 levels. Duration of study in secondary schools is 10 years. The first level is Elementary School (1-3 grades). The basic goal of this level is to provide literacy for pupils. The second level is Basic School (4-8 grades). The goal of secondary schools is implementation of general education. Students, who accomplish 8 grade, obtain the certificate of 8-year education (incomplete secondary education) and they can continue their study in the high school as well as in specialized secondary and technical secondary educational institutions. The third level is High school (9-10 grades). The high school offers complete secondary education, which is realized in the following forms: general education study; colleges (deepened study of some subjects); Graduate students of the high school obtain certificate of complete secondary education, which is called Attestat/Certificate of maturity "Hasunutian Vkaiakan" and can continue their study in the Higher educational institutions. There are 1418 secondary schools, 1 gymnasium, 1 lyceum, 25 state colleges, 4 academic schools, 11 private high schools, 15 private schools. There are deepened study forms in 197 high schools-colleges (74 -humanitarian, 68 - physics-mathematics, 53 - natural sciences, 22 economics) in the Republic of Armenia." (Ministry of Education and Science of Armenia)
12: L is for Language | Nearly 9 million Armenians in the Republic of Armenia and around the world speak Armenian. Because the language is based off the etymological characteristics, Armenian is considered to be a branch off of the Indo-Hittite language group. It is also said to be an independent branch within the family of Indo-European language. The Armenian alphabet contains 38 letters, and is one of the world’s richest languages. It is made up of 7 vowels and 31 consonants. With additional digraphs the sounds of the language totals up to 40. (Nenejian)
13: M is for Movement & Migration | Many Armenians migrated to the United States because of the horrors going on in their own country. During the first Turkish invasion in 1915 many Armenians fled the country to save their families lives and their own. Many men fled Armenia during this time because they did not want to be forced into the Turkish army. (Takooshian) Also a big migration period took place with the rise of the Soviet Union. The first record of immigration occurred when Noah’s Ark settled on Mount Ararat, and his decedents started the Armenian population. Through out the period of the Turkish invasion and the Soviet Union, immigration was almost unheard of, but in recent years the immigration numbers have increases. (Yeghiazaryan)
14: N is for National Pride | Throughout history Armenians have stood by the culture, and those who left never forgot where they came from. Armenians are proud and unique people. They have their own way of life, language, and art. From the beginning of time they have captured an essence that many Americans and other countries have missed. They are united by their common culture and background.
15: O is for Organization | Charitable United Armenian Fund Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) Armenian Relief Society (ARS) Fund for Armenian Relief (FAR) Lincy Foundation Armenian EyeCare Project Fuller Center for Housing Armenia Habitat for Humanity (HfH) Cafesjian Family Foundation Fast For Armenia Armenian Educational Relief Foundation (AERF) | Religious Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA) Diocese of the Armenian Church of America Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America Congregation of Mekhitarist of San Lazzaro, Italy Armenian Bible Church | Other HENQ Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry Armenian Black Belt Academy of Nagorno Karabakh Ararat-Eskijian Museum (Granada Hills, California) Armenian Center for National and International Studies (ACNIS) Armenian Educational Foundation (AEF) Armenian International Policy Research Group (AIPRG) Armenian Library and Museum of America (ALMA) Knights of Vartan Naregatsi Art Institute National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR) Armenian General Athletic Union and Scouts (Homenetmen) Project SAVE BOYCOTT TURKEY Campaign
16: P is for Population | Today the population of Armenia is about 3.5 million people. However, Armenian Diaspora worldwide totals more than 10 million: in the days of the genocide many Armenians were forced to leave their native land. Over 95 % of the population of Armenia is ethnic Armenians; the rest of the population is represented by Azerbaijanis, Greeks, Assyrians, and Russians. During the ethnic conflicts of 1989–1993 almost all Azerbaijanis left the country.
17: Q is for Quality | Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write total population: 99.4% male: 99.7% female: 99.2% (2001 census) | Infant mortality rate: total: 19.5 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 102 male: 24.16 deaths/1,000 live births female: 14.23 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.) | Sex ratio: at birth: 1.133 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.15 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.88 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.62 male(s)/female total population: 0.89 male(s)/female (2010 est.) | Death rate: 8.42 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 88 | Birth rate: 12.74 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 159 | Population: 2,966,802 (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 137
18: R is for Religion | Public Holidays 2010 January 1–2 (New Year), January 6 (Christmas), January 28 (Army Day), March 8 (Women’s Day), April 2–4 (Easter), April 24 (Armenian Genocide Commemoration Day), May 1 (Labor Day), May 9 (Victory and Peace Day), May 28 (Declaration of the First Armenian Republic Day), July 5 (Constitution Day), September 21 (Independence Day), December 31 (New Year's Eve). | Armenia's Cultural Religion is Christianity | "Armenia: Food and Holidays." World Geography: Understanding a Changing World. ABC-CLIO, 2010. Web. 13 Dec. 2010. | Referendum Day Celebrated on September 21, this official national holiday—also known as Independence Day—marks the anniversary of the date in 1991 when Armenians voted in a national referendum to establish the country's independence from the crumbling Soviet Union.
19: S is for Status | V.S. | Economy Downfall since 1991
20: T is for Taboos | Divorce & separation are new phenomenon and still a taboo | Many health topics remain taboo. Hypertension, diabetes or minor surgeries are talked about. Great efforts are deployed in order to hide any case of epilepsy, cancer, AIDS or psychiatric disorders (including depression) in the family. Such words are never pronounced out loud. | Sexual education is absolutely out of the question. Children are taught to behave, otherwise they will be taken to the doctor or the dentist and will get an injection! | A young woman cannot confide in her father for her personal problems. | It is still dangerous to hold public discussions on Armenian Genocide in Turkey | They never talk about child prostitution. It's a taboo subject
21: U is for Urban or Rural | The Armenian urban population consists of 64% of the population. Much of Armenia is urban consisting of many people, but many of the rural areas are poverty stricken. With Armenia being such a small country many urban and rural areas tend to overlap. (CIA)
22: V is for Vacation & Recreation | Athletics Basketball Fitness (Health) Football/Soccer Golf Martial Arts Motorsports Outdoors (Recreation) Racket Sports Scouting (Recreation) Sporting Goods (Shopping) Water Sports Winter Sports | Recreation | Geghard Monastery | Haghartsin Monastery | Haghpat Monastery | Tatev Monastery
23: W is for Ways of Life | Most city-dwellers live in apartment buildings that were built during the Soviet period; many of these are now dilapidated. Rural residents live mostly in single-family houses, and many members of an extended family often live together. Family and friends are the center of social life, and respect for elders links generations. (Countries Quest) | Most city-dwellers live in apartment buildings that were built during the Soviet period; many of these are now dilapidated. Rural residents live mostly in single-family houses, and many members of an extended family often live together. Family and friends are the center of social life, and respect for elders links generations. (Markarian)
24: X is for X-Marks the Spot | Natural hazards: occasionally severe earthquakes; droughts Environment - current issues: soil pollution from toxic chemicals such as DDT; the energy crisis of the 1990s led to deforestation when citizens scavenged for firewood; pollution of Hrazdan (Razdan) and Aras Rivers; the draining of Sevana Lich (Lake Sevan), a result of its use as a source for hydropower, threatens drinking water supplies; restart of Metsamor nuclear power plant in spite of its location in a seismically active zone Environment - international agreements: party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants Geography - note: landlocked in the Lesser Caucasus Mountains; Sevana Lich (Lake Sevan) is the largest lake in this mountain range | 40 00 N, 45 00 E
25: Y is for Yum | APPETIZERS | SOOJOUKH - An Armenian air dried sausage | TOORSHI-2 - Armenian pickled vegetables | STUFFED ZUCCHINI WITH YOGURT SAUCE | HARPOOT KEUFTA - Armenian stuffed meatballs from the village of Harpoot! | EGGPLANT DOLMA - A taste sensation! | LULU KEBAB - Middle Eastern burger on a stick! | MEATS | BREADS | BRAIDED BREAD STICKS - An Armenian favorite | KATAH - Armenian hard sweet rolls | SIMIT CHORAG - An orange flavored Armenian sweet roll.
26: Z is for Ztuff
27: Bibliography | "Introduction, Arts of Armenia (c) Dr. Dickran Kouymjian , Armenian Studies Program at Cal State University, Fresno." Armenian Studies Program, California State University, Fresno. Web. 13 Dec. 2010.
28: C | "Armenia - Independence." Country Studies. Web. 13 Dec. 2010.
29: Markarian, By Shogher. "HyeEtch - The Armenians - The Armenian Family." HyeEtch - Armenian History, Culture, Art, Religion & Genocide. Web. 14 Dec. 2010.
30: "Armenian Cultural Traditions & Icons." The Armenian Chronicles. Web. 14 Dec. 2010.
31: L | M | N | "ARMENIAN LANGUAGE RESOURCES - Timeline." ARMENIAN LANGUAGE RESOURCES - Home. Web. 15 Dec. 2010.
32: O | P | Q | "Armenian Organizations." Armeniapedia.org. Web. 15 Dec. 2010.
33: R | S | T | "Armenia: Food and Holidays." World Geography: Understanding a Changing World. ABC-CLIO, 2010. Web. 13 Dec. 2010. | "The Religion." Armenia Information. Web.
34: "CIA - The World Factbook." Welcome to the CIA Web Site — Central Intelligence Agency. Web. 16 Dec. 2010.
35: X | Y | Z | "Armenian Geography | Armenia's Geography | Armenias Geography." Travel Blogs, Photos, Videos and Maps. Web. 16 Dec. 2010.