The Armenian flag has three equal long horizontal bands of Red, Blue and Orange. The official definition of these colors according to the constitution of Armenia are that the red signifies the Armenian Highland the continued struggle for survival and the maintenance of the Christian faith independence and freedom the blue means the will of the people of the Armenians to live beneath peaceful skies and the orange means the creative talent and hardworking nature of the people of Armenia. Some people will tell you that the red also represents the blood of the 1.5 million Armenians that were killed during the Armenian Genocide in the early 20th century and the orange is also the color of apricots the National Fruit.
Armenia is a landlocked nation located in the Caucasus region of Eurasia bordered by four other countries with only two of them having open borders. The capital of Armenia is Yerevan located in the south-central region of the country close to Mount Ararat in Turkey which is the area that is disputably claimed to be the historical site that Noah’s Ark landed on. Interestingly, Armenia actually has one enclave and one disputed nation locked within Azerbaijan. As Russian although considered an Armenian enclave was actually taken over and controlled by Azerbaijan since 1992 as they expelled the Armenians living there and on that note Azerbaijan actually has four enclaves inside of Armenia; Yukhari Askipara, Yaradulu, Barxudarli and Karki.
The Nagorno-Karabakh Republic region is the center of so much controversy between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The population of this area is almost completely Armenian and they have expressed their desire to either secede and become a part of Armenia or gain complete recognized statehood even though Azerbaijan claims that they are still in their land. In the early 90s, Azerbaijan relinquished official governmental control over this region however it is still a huge breeding for fighting and conflict. To this day Nagorno-Karabakh is kind of an independent nation that runs without Azeri legislation.
Armenia actually has a very unique and strategic location in a very dark and complex Armenian landscapes are actually pretty distinct and quite lovely. The land is almost completely mountainous with fast flowing rivers and green forests a lot of the farms being mountain terraced farms on the hillsides. Armenia enjoys nice warm summers and long autumns and cold snowy winters. Environmentally in agriculture wise, Armenia has been taking their land very seriously. Laws have just been passed that heavily taxed people and companies for any kind of air land or water pollution and all tax revenue goes towards reinvesting in environmental protection activities. With fertile volcanic soil the land allows them to grow all sorts of fruits vegetables and grains and a huge percentage about 72% of the land is used for agriculture which employs about 46 percent of the workforce.
Armenia went through a huge shift in their agriculture after disbanding from the former Soviet Union and becoming independent in 1991. Land privatization was established and people could freely grow and administer their own crops without fear of the state control and demand. There’s actually a little bit of controversy though because although Armenia has a huge potential for renewable energy sources like hydroelectric power and water power they actually are more dependent on nuclear power with plants that were built during the Soviet rule. The problem is that these plants are built in earthquake prone zones which put them in a precarious position but even with all this acknowledge the government seems to favor investing in these sources of power more than alternative brands. However, if you ask any Armenian they’ll tell you that Mount Ararat although technically in Turkey, totally belongs to Armenia and historically did belong to the Armenian Empire at one point. Mount Ararat actually plays a huge role in Armenian symbolism and nationalistic pride. To this day Armenian can see the majestic mountain often a distance from their borders.
Armenia has about 3.3 million people and is very racially homogeneous. About 97% of the population is Armenian with very few minorities like Greeks, Russians, Georgians and the intriguingly enigmatic Yazidi people. The interesting thing though is that more Armenian people over twice as much as the entire population of Armenia lives outside of Armenia. It is estimated that about 8 million Armenians live in diaspora around the world and the reason for this was primarily because of the Armenian Genocide.
During the time of World War one the ottomans tried to ethnically cleanse the region during their last stretches of their falling Empire and ended up killing over 1.5 million Armenians. This caused an influx of Armenians to leave Armenia out of fear and to this day there are numerous Armenian communities spread throughout the world most heavily in places like Russia, Iran, France and the US with the largest Armenian community in the US being in Los Angeles.
One of the most distinguishable aspects about Armenia though would have to be the language and the alphabet. Along with Georgia and Greece, Armenia is one of the only three European languages that use an alphabet that is not derived from a Latin or Cyrillic based writing system. The Armenian alphabet has 38 letters technically 39 or 40 if you include those extra letters that were added during the 1920s. They even made a monument to the alphabet in 2005 in Byurakan. There are also two distinct dialects the Eastern and Western Armenian, the Western being spoken mostly by the Armenians in diaspora around the world sometimes it can also be hard for Western Armenian dialect speakers to understand Eastern dialect speakers without consistent practice or hearing it.
Armenia also has a long history of Christianity as historical accounts claim that two of Jesus’s disciples Thaddeus and Bartholomew preached to the Armenians in the 1st century AD and eventually Armenia became the first Christian state in the world at around 300 AD just at the end of the persecution period during the Roman Empire. Armenian has a huge love of wrestling and chess, in fact when Armenia was under Soviet rule the Soviets would specifically want to choose Armenian wrestlers because they always came back at a rate of 90% of the time with medals also with some of the most worldwide renowned chess players such as the famous Tigran Petrosian and numerous World Championship winners Armenia is considered one the strongest chess nations to this day. They love chess!
Armenia is located right next to Azerbaijan and Turkey the two countries they get along with the least. Azerbaijan because of the whole Nagorno-Karabakh conflict issue and Turkey because of the former oppression that the Ottoman Empire had put on them. To this day the land borders are closed between the two countries and Azerbaijan even prosecutes anyone that tries to enter with an Armenian passport. One of the biggest reasons why things don’t get insane though is because of the little friend Armenia has named Russia. As a former Soviet state Armenia has a lot of ties to Russia however after the breakup of the Soviet Union they actually decided to maintain friendly relations with Russia and Russia has been very dedicated to the protection of Armenia. They even have a Russian military base located in Gyumri this gives Armenia significant backup should anything cataclysmic arises.
They also have close and strategic ties to Iran in the south as they are Armenians only open land border to Asia. Despite the religious differences the two get along just fine and share a long cultural history that goes back thousands of years. Georgians and Armenians have been sisters since day one and share a heavy history and culture with each other as well. They love each other however there’s a little bit of drama because Armenia is still friends with Russia who recently went to war with Georgia over the South Ossetia region this puts a huge economic strain on Armenia because Georgia was the only land access route that Armenia had to Europe and after the war Russia put a blockade on Georgia.
However on a side note when it comes to Greece, Armenia and Greece kind of really like each other. Greece and Armenia just get along really well. Armenians are welcome in Greece with open arms and likewise Greeks in Armenia. To this day it’s not very uncommon to find lots of couples and families that have one Armenian parent and one Greek parent. It’s like a match made in southeastern European heaven. Finally, Armenia is kind of like a reality show, there’s a lot of drama, there’s some relationship problems, there’s cute people pairing up but in the end they’re honest with who they are and they trudge on through life one step at a time.