World Factbook #1: Armenia

  • Country: Armenia
  • Flag: Yes
  • Population: Five guys, burgers, and fries
  • Language: Armenian/Խուզդուլ
  • Founder (of modern state): Ziljian the Great
  • Anthem: Սուսերով պար / Suserov Par “Sabre Dance”
  • Capital: Mount Ararat
  • Currency: Rocks

The Overview

Armenia is a nation south of the Caucasus mountains. Being close to the Caucasus mountains means you’re guaranteed to be killed by roving marauders at some point or another. Despite this, the Armenian people have lived there for millennia, and have cultivated a beautiful culture. If you want to visit this ancient land, you will first need to find the South Gate at Agarak and speak “friend” to enter. Upon entry, it is customary to add “-ian” to your surname, even if your surname is already Armenian. Congrats! You are now in Armenia.

detailed-physical-map-of-armenia-small

The History

Armenia was founded a really long time ago by Hayk Armenian, son of Armen. Armenia would go on to have an on-again, off-again relationship with Persia, with whom it could never decide if he was the one. Armenia was usually a vassal of Persia, except for the reign of Tigranes the Great. Tigranes realised there were more mountains to the west, and that his people like mountains, so they decided to expand there. Soon the Armenians realised that while mountains are cool, those western mountains just weren’t their mountains, so they went home.

Eventually, the Armenians adopted Christianity, thus becoming the first nation to do so. This angered the Sassanian Persians, because they thought it would be cool if they were the first Christians. Up until then, both nations were Zoroastrian – this meant they prayed to Freddie Mercury. Armenia and Persia had a big fight at the Battle of Avarayr, where the Armenians lost, and their commander, Vardan Durinian, perished heroically. However, the Persians decided that Armenia became Christian first fair and square, so they let them retain their new faith.

Armenia would soon become part of the Caliphate(s), and then the Byzantine Empire, until the Byzantines were defeated at the Battle of Manzikert by the Seljuk Turks, who henceforth founded the mighty Big Turk Empire, controlling the Turkish delight trade with an iron fist. Ruben I, realising the danger of his people living so close to the Turks, fled to the west, taking his world famous sandwiches with him. There he founded the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia – tragically, what he did not realise at the time was that Cilicia was on the southern coast of Asia Minor, and thus still in Turkey.

The territory of Armenia would change hands several times, until eventually the Ottoman Turks would prevail in the struggle, thanks to their elevated and comfortable feet. Tragically, up to a million Armenians suddenly vanished within the Ottoman Empire and to this day no one knows why or how. Russia, seeking the Armenians’ talent for smithing, would go on to annex much of Ottoman Armenia. Modern Armenia was thus born.

Things were going pretty well for by then Soviet Armenia. Soon, however, the king of the Soviet Union, Sergei Gorbachevski, grew weak in his rule, and the duke of Armenia discovered the long lost treasure of Aram Gimlian beneath Mt. Ararat, and decided to declare independence. Azerbaijan, or the Little Turks, not wanting to be outperformed by their big brother, tried to make the Armenians disappear mysteriously as well, but failed because the Armenians had discovered guns. Armenia thus gained control of Nagorno-Karabakh, but let Azerbaijan keep Nakhichevan, thus ensuring Azerbaijan will always look stupid on maps.

The Culture

Armenians speak a strange and mysterious language scholars have termed “Armenian”. Armenian belongs to the Indo-European language family, which means one or two words might sound kind of like their English counterparts, but years of isolation among the misty mountains have resulted in Armenian sounding kind of weird. Armenian is written using the Armenian alphabet, which is based on the Greek alphabet, if the Greek alphabet was written using pipes as letters. Armenian is written right to left, unless it’s being written backwards. Here are a few excerpts of the Armenian language:

  • Mother – մայրը, mayri
  • Father – հայրը, hayri
  • Brother – եղբայր, yeghbayr
  • Sister – քույրը, k’uyri
  • Armenia – Հայաստան, Hayastan
  • Armenian (demonym) – Խազադ, Khazad

As previously mentioned, Armenia is Christian. Most Armenians pass the time by carving rocks and building churches out of those rocks. These churches and rockcrafts are world-renowned for their beauty and quality, being strong enough for a dwarf Armenian, but yet appealing to the sensibilities of the rest of the world. Traditionally, Armenians eat lambs or bread, or if they’re rich, both. Recently, environmentally conscious Armenians have taken to eating rocks instead.

Armenia has produced many notable composers, such as Aram Khachaturian, Khachatur Avetisian, and Avetis Aramian, and its musical history is rich as well. Notable Armenian folk songs include Khrovadz Er, Zepyur Barev Tar, and Chop Suey. Armenia is also the birthplace of the duduk, also known as the sad flute.

The Summary

If someone were to force you to go to Armenia, you should go, because you have no choice. If you do have a choice though, you may as well go anyways if it’s cheap enough.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s