Armenian Children’s Songs – Armenian Culture for kids

Music is a big part of Armenian culture: children are the pride for any Armenian family. This means that there are a lot of songs for children and dedicated to them.

 

A famous musician, Rouben Hakhverdyan composed a song ” Im poqrik Navak” (My little boat). It is common for the children to make paper boats and sing the song along with the song.

Prepared the little boy, a tiny paper boat. He slides the boat to the waves of the river…

Chorus: My tiny little boat, My tiny little boat, Will you reach the blue nice sea? My tiny little boat, My tiny little boat, Will you reach the blue nice sea? Or the wind blew you away, and you are now asleep in the bottom of the sea.

You can hear this song by following this link : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ziWeMfcLC3E

Another nice children’s song is Yerazanq (the Dream) by a famous Armenian children ensemble Arevik (Sun).

Stars, shining above in a big sky Please take me up with you For I need to look at the Earth And burn the lights of love with my glow. My dear beautiful and small Moon, I ask you to carry my on your shoulder. Let us shine and glow Like there are two moons in the sky. Dear Fairy of our dreams We ask you to make our bright dreams come true and Please favor with innumerable songs and joyful days All light-hearted and kind children, And favor all kids with joyful days Let us with us today All the stars that seen so far, but they are close We will shine and glow then Like everyone, like the Sun Hey-hey! Beautiful Moon and bright shining Sun! Please bring us a sunny Spring New songs and love.

You can watch the video for this song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IenLd-Eg73g .

 

Armenian Words and Phrases – Armenian Culture for kids

The Armenian language is very hard to learn. However there are some phrases and words that must be learned if you come to Armenia or happen to have an Armenian friend. Armenian people are known for their warmth and hospitality, they have huge respect towards elderly people and women. So you can expect to hear the word Djan, which is equivalent to the english word dear and Tsavd Tanem, which indicates caring attitude. You can say djan even to strangers and this is common in Armenia.

 

When greeting, Armenians hug and kiss if they are close with people like friends relatives ,etc. When greeting a stranger or when getting acquainted a handshake is considered a polite gesture. You will say Barev or Barev Dzez when you want to say Hello to someone. The next question to follow is Vonts es? In English that’s translated as How are you. The answer to this would be Lavem, meaning I am fine.

The hardest part is there are words that are extremely hard to pronounce in Armenian. An example would be if you want to thank someone you should say Shnorhakalutyun, which is sometimes hard to say even for Armenians, that’s why a more common way to say thank you is Merci, such as the well know French word.

In the same manner you may find it hard to pronounce the word for good bye, which will sound like Tstesutyun. If you are in an official environment, you can skip this word simply by saying Hadjogh or with very close friends poka (from the Russian word). However in an official environment and when speaking to people who you barely know, tstesutyun is acceptable.
In Armenia it’s very easy to find good friends who will take care of you and make sure that you are feeling happy with them in their country. Armenian hospitality sometimes has no limits, and this is the greatest advantage of the people in the tiny land called Armenia, or Hayastan!

Armenian Names – Armenian Culture for kids

How are the names given to Armenian babies? The people of Armenia have very strong traditions. Usually a baby that is born in the family would have the name of his/her grandmother or grandfather from the father’s side. So if you are the first child on your fathert’s side, and you are a boy, very likely you will have the same first name as your grandfather.

 

Armenians prefer giving Armenian names to their children. Most of the names, of course, are associated with famous and courageous historical figures. Not surprisingly, one of the most wide-spread Armenian names for boys is Hayk , Tigran, Armen, Aram, Ashot, etc. These are mainly the names of Armenian kings who had their say in Armenian history. For girls you can expect to see names such as: Anahit, an Armenian goddess of the pagan times, the goddess of beauty and maternity.If you go to Britan, you can see the bronze statue of this goddess in the British Museum. Nane and Mane are other common names that Armenian people give to their daughters. Ani, the name of an ancient Armenian city, which is now in the territory of turkey is also very widespread, Anna is also a very popular choice.However, Anna is not an Armenian name, and it is very hard to tell the origins of this name. Anna is one of the most common names in the world and many people prefer to give this name to their daughters. Byblical figures such as Eva and Marian are also very common among Armenians. Mariam is the Armenian name of the Virgin Mary, and hasd become very popular as well. When choosing the name, people are wary about the meaning and how the name itself sounds. Most important of all, in all corners of the world, Armenian people prefer to give aunthentic Armenian names to their children. This is a tradition which goes from father to son, and which Armenian people take pride in. Of course international names are also widespread in Armenia such as: Mark, Erik, Alexander, for guys, Maria and Lilly for girls and at the same time pulling out the very old fashioned and complicated names. Armenians have a belief that it does not matter what name you child has, and it does not matter whether the baby is he or she, all that matters is that the child becomes a healthy and happy person when they grow up. The rest is just not important.

Armenian History – Armenian Culture for kids

One of the oldest nations in the world has a very rich history. Armenians call themselves Hay, the country- Hayastan. This comes from the ancient times, where Armenia was considered to be the land of Hayk, an Armenian historical figure.

Later, the more common name, which we know presently, was given to the country. This again is a name of Armenian historical figure– Aram, after whom other nations started calling the country as ”Armenia”.

Now a Republic, Armenia remained a kingdom for a long time, having a number of very mighty kings. One of the most powerful kings was Tigran ll the Great (ruled 95-55 B.C.). During his rule, Armenia’s territory spanned from its traditional boundaries, which was due to the fact that the king fought and won many wars against Syria, Parthia, and Rome. He then left a great legacy to Armenia, founding new cities and increasing the territory of Armenia.

 

Armenia has a very long and rich history-full of controversies. The country was not able keep its territorial integrity, and in the early modern period appeared in the rues of Persian Empire, Russian Empire and the Ottoman Empire. All this was due to the fact that Armenia was right in the middle of different civilizations, different religion, and the small country could not sustain itself without its close allies, which very often were not loyal, and betrayed the country and its people.

One of the most notable events in the Armenian history is the adoption of Christianity as state religion and the creation of Armenian alphabet. Armenia was the first country in the world to adopt Christianity as state religion in 301 AD, and following that, Mesrop Mashtoc – created the Armenian Alphabet.

In 782 B.C. Armenian king Argishti established the city which now is the capital of Armenia. Erebuni it was called then, later Yerevan. This city is 29 years older than one of the most famous cities of the word- Rome. Yerevan is now the capital and the largest city of Armenia, with a population of about 1 million people. Armenia has had 12 capital cities. Each king decided, on their own, which country should be the capital. Thus the 12 capitals were formed.

 

Today’s Armenia is not what the mighty Kingdom once was. Again, in the middle of the region it is a very small country, which is not rich in natural resources, and has no access to the sea. The treasure of the country is its human resources and very knowledgeable and education population.

In early 20th century Armenia became independent, and declared the first Republic of Armenia. However, in 1920s the country went under the Soviet rule. The Second republic of Armenia, which is over 20 years old, was declared in 1991.

Historically , Armenia has had some very harsh conflicts with Turkey and Azerbaijan. In 1915 Turkey organized a mass genocide of Armenians, in 1991 Armenia was engaged in a war with Azerbaijan, over the Nagorno Karabakh territory- with Armenian population. The war with Azerbaijan is now held as a cease fire with the de facto Armenian victory. However, there is said to be a threat that the war can be resumed at any moment. Serj Sarkissyan is now Armenia’s president, who is the head of the Republican party.

Apart from the wars, kings and presidents, Armenia has a lot of notable people. The chess team of Armenia won a myriad of world and Olympic championships. Armenian sports teams continue to spread Armenia’s history in the world, keeping the name, the flag, and all the its citizen’s proud.

 

Armenian Alphabet – Armenian Culture for kids

Ayb Ben Gim… every child knows and sings this song. The Armenian alphabet is a proud subject for any Armenian. The alphabet is unique and unlike any other. Armenian alphabet is unique: Mesrop Mashtoc has created it in 405 A.D. It is unlike any alphabet in the word.

In 405 AD, a century after Armenia officially adopted Christianity, the bible needed to be translated into Armenian. For over 1600 years Armenians had used various symbols of writing, which were not appropriate for religious use. For this purpose, the then kin of Armenia Vramshapuh, asked high ranked officials to try to adjust the old system of writing or create a new one. Mesrop Mashtots, an Armenian leader of those times, together with Sahak Partev, the bishop of Armenia, set off to create the alphabet. They travelled to Alexandria, studied various alphabets, and concluded that the Greek alphabet was the most advance. This is the main reason why the Armenian alphabet is close to the Greek alphabet, both visually and in terms of pronunciation. It is also said that a Greek professional helped Mashtots and Partev create it.

 

The creation of the alphabet opened a new page in Armenian history. It played a crucial role in preserving the cultural heritage for Armenians. The people of Armenia faced harsh times, and even in the toughest of those times, they never forgot the bible and the alphabet. They taught the letters to their childre. Now, most of the world-spread Armenians are fluent in their native language: Armenian.

Today, the ancient Armenian manuscripts are kept in Matenadaran, in Armenia. When you visit Armenia, it is likely your hosts will take you there. There you will see a lot of interesting manuscripts, become familar with Armenian history and the Alphabet.

Armenian Architecture – Armenian Culture for kids

Armenian architecture is one of the richest branches of the culture. Armenian churches and other buildings have always demonstrated extremely sophisticated architectural design; the signature of Armenian architects. Apart from churches, the cross – stones – Khachqars are also a unique piece from Armenian masters. Stones, on which crosses and other mainly religions themes are carved are unique examples from Armenian masters. No similar cross stones can be found: each is handmade and unique.

Armenian Geography – Armenian Culture for kids

A landlocked, small country in the Caucasus, Armenia is known for its history, heritage, stubbornness and hard working nature of the people native to that country. The geographical location, the diligence of the Armenians, as well as the myriad of wars and disasters that this country has faced has made its people even stronger. Being located right on the border of Europe and Asia, surrounded by both Muslim and Christian neighbors, Armenia was the first country in the world to adopt Christianity as the official state religion. This occurred a very long time ago, back in year 301 AD. Armenian people have encountered a lot of challenges: wars with neighbors resulted in the widespread Diaspora, which is considered to be a mighty force all over the world for Armenians.

Indeed, the culture of Armenia is very rich. There are a lot of world famous Armenians, both in the country and outside its borders. Cher, Charlez Aznavour, Serje Tankian…the list goes on and on. One thing is clear: no matter where Armenian people happened to appear, they always take their language and culture with them. This is the reason of the Diaspora being so close to its roots.

There are 10 million Armenians living all over the world, only 3 million of which live in Armenia. Wherever Armenians went, they always took their culture, language and religion with them. They made sure to instill the values of their ancestors in their children just like true Armenians.

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Armenian culture is very diverse. Starting from literature, music and alphabet, ending with khachkars (cross-stones) and cuisine have been a subject of interest for cultures around the world.

Childrens Fun and Folktales of Armenia- Armenian Culture for Kids

Long time ago there lived a man, whose name was Hovhannes Toumanyan. He wrote many fairy tales which remain kids’ favorite up till now.

“Anban Huri” (The lazy Huri) is about a girl Huri, who was very lazy to do any work, and all she did all day long was to sit on the chair, watch people pass by and sing. But she had an aunt, who praised all the time the hardworking Huri. She told everyone how brilliant Huri was, and one day the prince of the country heard about it and decided to marry her.

A very famous Armenian National epic is “Sasuntsi David” (David of Sasoun- a region of Armenia). It is about a wonder kid, an orphan, who drove away the Arab invaders out of the country. The songs and recitals in the epic are famous, and are sung by people up till now. David become a symbol of Courage and patriotism.

Fun Time- Armenian Outside Activity for Kids

Like all other kids, Armenian kids are very fond of playing and inventing various games. A very popular place to play games is to gather in the yards of the buildings, and play. Hide and Seek is one of the most played games in the country among kids. The boys adore playing football, where the girls watch the game and support their mates.

Armenian Fun Facts, Customs, and Famous Places- Armenian Culture for Kids

Customs and Etiquette

Armenian people are very famous for their hospitability and friendliness. When you meet an Armenian for the first time you will shake hands. Armenian people are also famous for their body language, which sometimes explains things when words can’t.

Armenian people are very proud of the fact that they have been the first nation to adopt Christianity as state religion. It was long time ago, yet in the 301 A.D. They also treasure their families and have huge respect to the elder members of their family and community.

Did You Know??

Did you know that Armenia is the home of many famous singers, such as Charles Aznavour, Cher, the Rock Band System of a Down and Michelle Legrand. You might not know many of them, but you have heard one or few of their songs for sure.

Armenian alphabet is not like any alphabet in the world. It has been invented by Mesrop Mashtots and has 38 letters.

Famous Armenian Places to See

The country is also very rich in nice places, most of them you will have chance to see when you are in Armenia. In the capital Yerevan you will manage to see nice old buildings just by new and trendy ones. The Republic Square, the main square of the city is one of the sights of Armenia. The singing fountains add a spice to its beauty. A lot of sightseeing is outside the country. Lake Sevan is one of them, located some 60 km from the capital it is a beautiful nice lake, a place where most Armenians visit in summer. Garni pagan temple reminds Armenian people of their history back in time when they were still pagans.

Matenadaran is the place where Armenian ancient manuscripts are kept.