What Country?

March 7, 2007 at 10:32 am (Uncategorized)

What was the first nation to adopt Christianity as its official religion?

What Country lies in the highlands surrounding the Biblical mountains of Ararat, upon which, as tradition states, Noah’s Ark came to rest after the flood?

What Country has been populated since prehistoric times, and has been proposed as the site of the Biblical Garden of Eden?

What Country suffered a Holocaust in the early 1900’s?

ARMENIA!!!!

Say you have never heard of Armenia?  Well, I never had either…Until I met my husband. A few weeks ago when I blogged about the quilt I have that was made by my husbands Great Grandmother in Persia I got a couple of emails/comments asking "What were they doing in Persia?"  Soooooo…here is my answer.  They were from there!  LOL  Armenia originally was located where present day Iran (Which was Persia.), Turkey and Russia meet.  It is a very old culture.  However in the 1700’s the homeland was lost to the Ottoman Empire (Turks) and they literally became a people without a country,  Not until the 1990’s after the fall of comunisum in Russia were they able to obtain some land and  reclaim a small part of their  Country .  (Armenia is now located only in the portion that was located in Russia.  The part where my husbands ancestors lived in Persia is now part of Iran and is not part of modern day Armenia.)

I am no expert of Armenia.  But, I have found it very interesting over the years to learn a little here and there about the Country, the people and it’s culture. 

Here is some of what I have learned.

Early Population
Archaeologists have continued through the years to unearth evidence that Armenia and the Armenian Highlands were among the earliest sites of human civilization. From 6000 BC to 1000 BC  tools and trinkets of copper, bronze and iron were commonly produced in Armenia and traded in neighboring lands where those metals were less abundant.  Click HERE to read more about  "Armenia the Cradle of Civilization."

Christianity
Indeed the Armenias were the 1st country to have an organized Christian Church. We have visited the Armenia Orthodox in Los Angeles many times.  It is full of beautiful tradition and rules!  (From what I remember you cannot walk down the center aisle of the church, you cannot cross you legs in church and women must have there heads covered during prayer. ) The Armenian people are very devote about their belief in Christ.  The Armenian embraced Christianity in approx. 301 A.D. when the Apostles Thaddeus and Bratholomew went to Armenia preaching the Gospel.  They laid the foundation for the Church there and the Armenian church became the first national church established.

Holocaust
There was an Armenian holocaust between 1915-1922 which has basically been hidden and forgotten by history.  There is even a quote by Adolph Hitler while persuading his associates that a Jewish holocaust would be tolerated by the West he stated…

"Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?"

Here is a site with a collections of actual political cartoons published in America during the time of the Holocaust.  I can barely look at them. But, it is proof that the holocaust happened.  Somehow the Turks who were the purpetrators of the holocaust have managed to cover it up and very few nations including America are willing to admit the holocaust ever happened. 

Here is a very interesting article about the Armenia history and holocaust.  It is complete with pictures and is very hard to view emotionally for me.

Earthquake
In 1988 a terrible earthquake rocked Armenia leaving terrible devastation.  It killed nearly 25,000, injured 15,000, and left at least 400,000 homeless.   Click here for photos.

"ian"
Another interesting thing is that almost all Armenian last names end in "ian".  I had a Armenian boss once and she had married a man with a hispanic last name.  Her son went to a Armenia school and he was the only child in the school with a name that did not end in "ian"  The kids quickly fixed the problem by changing Navarette to Navarettian!  LOL  My mil had told me the "ian" was similar to names ending in "son" in American (Anderson, Jackson, etc.) and meant son basically.  Online I found this explanation:

…the "-ian" ending is a Ancient Persian suffix meaning "from the family of". So "Danielian" means from the family of Daniel. There are many Farsi names today that also end in "-ian". The original Armenian ending of family names is actually "ouni" as in "Bagratouni". But centuries of Persian influence over the Armenian language also influenced the way in which family names end.

The Armenian people are a wonderful, strong, proud culture.  I  enjoy learning about the Country and  teaching my kids about it since they are 1/4 Armenian.  I still have a lot to learn!  I hope someday we can travel to Armenia….

Click here to view pictures of Armenia.  (It is REALLY beautiful!)

Click here to view pictures of the Armenian people. (Also beautiful!)

Click here to view a picture of Mt. Ararat & read more about it.

Click here for the CIA fact book on Armenia.

Click here to read about the Armenian Bible.

Click here to view the Armenian Alphabet and learn a little about the language.

Click here to visit the Armenia Government Website.

Click here to visit the Armenian Research Center.



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