There are a few things you may not know about Armenian culture. First of all, they are Christian, and their language is a form of Armenian. They also have a long history of paganism, but Christianity has become a major force in Armenian society. In addition, Armenian culture has been heavily influenced by the Byzantine and Cappadocian cultures.
An open-air museum of Christianity
The Mahendaran is one of the best places in Armenia to experience the Armenian culture and religion. It is home to more than 17000 manuscripts and miniatures. The collection includes the oldest copies of the work of famous Armenian historians, as well as manuscripts of theology, geography, poetry, astrology, and art.
Armenia was the first country in the world to officially adopt Christianity as its state religion, and today, 94 percent of its population is Christian. Christianity has shaped Armenian culture and landscape in a profound way. In the first century, Saint Vardan Mamikonyan, the commander of Armenian forces, spoke about his faith to his soldiers during the country’s struggle against Sasanian Iran.
An emphasis on division of labor
The Armenian family system is highly patriarchal. The elder woman was traditionally the main decision-maker in domestic matters. In addition to this, family clans were often protective of one another and banded together to protect themselves. Women are also less active in politics and social life.
The Armenian community in Burj Hammoud is composed mainly of Christian, Shi’a, and Palestinian migrant workers. The Armenian population declined after the Second World War when many departed for Soviet Armenia. Migrant Shi’i and Palestinian families filled the void. During the civil war in Lebanon (1975-1990), right-wing Christian militias drove Shi’i and Palestinian residents from Naba’a. However, some returned later.
An emphasis on remembering the dead
One of the most profound aspects of Armenian culture is its emphasis on remembering the dead. The genocide that took place in 1915 is a tragic reminder of the destruction and annihilation of an entire ethnic group. Thousands of Armenians were killed, and entire families were dispersed. In many cases, all that remains of these families are old photographs and fragments of family histories.
While Armenians have long been known for their ancient oral and written culture, their tragic history is evident in their writing. The first record of Armenian literature dates back to the fourth century, when M. Khorenatsi recorded a variety of Armenian tales and poems. In the nineteenth century, this legacy was revived by the increasing interest of Europeans in folklore. This led to a renewed interest in Armenian literature, and the collection of several myths and oral epic poems.
Byzantine and Cappadocian influences
Armenians made significant contributions to Byzantine society. Their military forces were small, never exceeding 150,000 men, but they were a vital part of the Byzantine army. They were stationed in various parts of the empire. Armenians served in Justinian’s and Maurice’s armies, and their contributions were significant to the Byzantine government.
In the eleventh century, Armenians’ laws were changed to allow women to inherit their family property. While this was welcomed by many Armenians, some clans resisted. During a revolt in 538 CE, the governor of Armenia was killed, and the revolting clans were deported to the Balkans.
Byzantine influence on Armenian culture
The Byzantine influence on Armenian culture dates back to the early 9th century. The Byzantine Empire sought to expand its control over eastern Anatolia by seizing control over the strategic towns surrounding Lake Van, as well as in northern Mesopotamia. During this period, Armenian communities flourished, and a series of important monuments were built. Some of these structures still stand today, despite the wars.
The Armenians were one of the strongest ethnic groups within the Byzantine empire. The Byzantines ruled over the country from the end of the sixth century until the seventh century, when the empire fell to the Arabs. The Byzantines regained control of some Armenian-speaking lands in the ninth century, but lost Armenia permanently to the Seljuk Turks in the eleventh century.
Diaspora influences on Armenian culture
The Armenian diaspora predates the establishment of the Armenian state by several centuries. The Armenian Genocide of 1915 is widely considered to be the genesis of the contemporary diaspora, but it began to grow significantly during the 19th century with dispersal from the Ottoman Empire and the partial exodus of Armenians from Eastern Armenia following the Soviet takeover of the country in 1920.
Armenians in the diaspora are a diverse population. While the majority of diaspora members are Armenian, some do not have Armenian nationality. Those who have dual citizenship have the right to vote in local elections in Armenia, and are able to invest in land. In addition, dual-citizens have access to markets in Russia and the other Eurasian Economic Union signatory nations. While the Armenian government has yet to provide exact numbers, anecdotal evidence suggests that dual citizenship has become increasingly popular among Armenians.