ARMENIAN_CULTURE

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Published on December 1, 2008

Author: aSGuest4587

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Slide 1: ARMENIAN CULTURE Armenians are the fourth largest minority in Bulgaria, numbering 10,832. They have been inhabiting the Balkans (including the territory of modern Bulgaria) since no later than the 5th century, when they moved there as part of the Byzantine cavalry. The main centres of the Armenian community in the country are the major cities Plovdiv, Varna, Sofia and Burgas. The traditional language of the community is Western Armenian, though due to education during the Communist period in Bulgaria being in Eastern Armenian, many are also fluent in the latter dialect. Bulgarian, being the official language, is spoken by almost all Armenians in the country. Slide 2: Over the years Armenia has developed a modern, unique and successful culture. Many aspects of the culture are based on the geography, literature, dance, and music of the people. The culture is similar and yet distinct from many of the bordering countries like Russia, Georgia, and Iran as well as Mediterranean nations such as Greece, and Italy. Armenian culture has strong influences from both its Eastern neighbours, as well as an underlying influence from Europe to the West. :  The Armenian dance heritage has been one of the oldest, richest and most varied in the Near East. From the fifth to the third millenium B.C., in the higher regions of Armenia there are rock paintings of scenes of country dancing. These dances were probably accompanied by certain kinds of songs or musical instruments. DANCE Slide 4: FOOD Armenian cuisine is as ancient as the history of Armenia, a combination of different tastes and aromas. Closely related to eastern and Mediterranean cuisine, various spices, vegetables, fish, and fruits combine to present unique dishes. Throughout history, Armenian cuisine has had cultural exchange with the cuisines of neighboring countries, i.e. Greek, Russian, Turkish, and Arab. Armenia is also famous for its wine, brandy , vodka and very strong coffee. In particular, Armenian cognac is renowned worldwide (winner of several awards), and was considered by the late British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, as his favorite Slide 5: FAMILY Armenians are known for having large and close family bonds. It is very common in Armenian marriages for both the bride and groom to be from the same family and already share the same last name. In Armenia there are no laws concerning marriage of first cousins, half-sisters, half-brothers, etc. It has been long standing tradition in Armenia to tighten family bonds through interfamily marriage. Slide 6: Yerevan Opera House MUSIC One of the most important parts of Armenian culture is the music, which has in recent years brought new forms of music, while maintaining traditional styles too. This is evidenced by the world-class Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra that performs at the beautifully refurbished Yerevan Opera House, where one can also attend a full season of opera. In addition, several chamber ensembles are highly regarded for their musicianship, including the National Chamber Orchestra of Armenia and the Serenade Orchestra. Classical music can also be heard at one of several smaller venues, including the State Music Conservatory and the Chamber Orchestra Hall. Jazz is popular, especially in the summer when live performances are a regular occurrence at one of the city’s many outdoor cafés and parks. :  The ritual of Holy Matrimony of the Armenian Church is one of the most inspiring and uplifting rituals in the Eastern Orthodox Christian Churches. Marriage is one of the seven sacraments of the Armenian Church in which the couple are called to make a vow before the Lord to be true to each other for life. Their matrimonial union is blessed by the Lord through the Church. The marriage ceremony of the Armenian Church is rich in ritual and symbolism. THE ARMENIAN WEDDING CEREMONY Slide 8: In the Armenian Church this vivid ceremony is a portrayal, step by step, of the new life of husband and wife. The symbolism is striking and points to the love that is yet to be experienced in this holy union. Each of the acts performed during the service has a special meaning and significance. After being blessed by the priest, rings are exchanged between the bride and groom, giving expression to the fact that spouses in marriage will constantly be complementing each other. Each will be enriched by the union. During the exhortation to the bride and groom and later on in the service, the right hands of the bride and groom are joined to symbolize the oneness of the couple. THE ARMENIAN RITE Slide 9: The crowning is the climax of the wedding service. The crowns are the sign of the glory and honor with which God crowns them during the Sacrament. The groom and the bride are crowned as the king and the queen of their own little kingdom, the home, which they will rule with wisdom, justice, and integrity. At the end of the wedding ceremony the priest blesses the couple, asking Christ to "protect them under the shadow of thy holy and honorable cross in peace". Thus God’s grace is imparted to them to live together in His love, mutually fulfilling and perfecting each other. THE CROWNING Slide 10: It is the offering of oneself to God or the presentation of the child by the godparent and accepting his message of salvation. It is the duty of Christian parents to see to it that their children are baptized when infants. Church canons strongly advise Baptism of the child by the 8th day after birth and up until the 40th day after birth. ARMENIAN BAPTISM CEREMONY Slide 11: At the door of the church, the order of the service conducted by the priest is: Penitential Psalms, Blessing of Narod, Renunciation of Satan, and Confessions of Faith. At the door of the church, the child is presented to the church as an offering and gift to God. The priest prepares a special cord called Narod, which is made up of two colored cords braided into one. The colors of the Narod are red and white, which symbolize sacrifice and purity, and also recall the blood and water which poured out the side of Christ. DOOR OF THE CHURCH Slide 12: With the placing of the Narod and Cross on the neck of the child, we see the action of Christ taking over the person. As the child is brought into the church the hymn Zoghormootiun ko uztoorn patz mez Der (The gate of thy mercy open unto us O Lord) is sung. Next the Godfather takes the child in his arms and he and all present shall turn facing the west (the doors of the church) and shall say together with the priest the Renunciation of Satan three times (the west is the symbol of darkness and the "side of Satan"). Following the renunciation (hrajaroom), the Godfather, the child, and all present "turn to the light of the knowledge of God." At this point the sponsor on behalf of the child professes the child’s unity to Christ, by reciting the Baptismal Creed. The conclusion of the rite at the door of the church ends with the reading of the Holy Gospel declaring the "Commission of the Apostles" followed by the recitation of the Nicene Creed. Slide 13: Over the centuries, Armenian woman have excelled in fine needlework. At a very young age, girls worked diligently preparing their trousseau (an important part of a bride’s dowry), making lace, embroidering towels and preparing all the clothing they would wear for the rest of their lives. ARMENIAN NEEDLELACE Slide 14: According to folklore, when you visited friends and relatives, it was the custom to be served Surj (Armenian Coffee). In all the Near Eastern countries where Surj was served, it was the duty of the young girl in the house to prepare the coffee for all occasions. Traditionally, the girl who could not make a pot of coffee (surj) with a good foaming head on it was not worthy of a good husband! ARMENIAN COFFEE - "SURJ" THE EVIL EYE - FACT OR FICTION? : THE EVIL EYE - FACT OR FICTION? One of the more colorful folk beliefs in Armenian tradition is the very real belief and fear of the "Evil Eye", a form of projected envy that can harm one. Belief in the evil eye was widespread amongst Mediterranean cultures and any individual’s misfortune was the obvious result of an ill-wisher. Slide 16: Armenians never start a new project on Tuesday because it will never turn out or be completed. If someone enters through a front door, they must leave from the same door. Never cross a path a snake has made. One must walk around it or else bad luck will befall them. ARMENIAN SUPERSTITIONS Slide 17: Saint Gregor church in Summer time Slide 18: The train station and the statue of David Slide 19: The Yerevan main train station. Slide 20: YerevanRepublic Square Slide 21: THE END G.A.

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