Armenia’s culture is unique in many ways. First, it is so much bigger than the nation itself that it overwhelms and dominates all other features of the Armenian ethnic identity.
Second, it is very diversified. During its more than 2,000 year-old history, Armenia has gone through so many radical changes in its size and political status, that our culture has been influenced by and has influenced many other cultures. The many wars and other disasters in ancient and recent time tore the country apart and left a deep imprint in its culture. That tragic division had some positive consequences too, for instance, post-mediaeval Armenian literature has two different traditions, Western Armenian and Eastern Armenian, which being a part of a original literary heritage, have their own distinct linguistic and stylistic properties.
Other important characteristics of Armenian culture are its permanence and longevity. Throughout its history, Armenia resisted invasion and absorption, relaying through its art one of the most beautiful manifestations of its identity.
And, finally, when we say, for example, Armenian art, we don’t usually mean art from Armenia, more often we refer to art of the Armenian people, who despite being scattered all over the world stubbornly stick to each other, to their traditions, their cultural heritage, their mother tongue.
Armenians love their culture, they understand its importance for the survival of a small nation. Not once in their long and tragic history, during another enemy invasion, Armenians would abandon their own property and sacrifice their lives trying to save their libraries and churches. We may have lost a few wars in the past, but we still speak the same language our forefathers spoke thousands of years ago, and we can trace our distinct heritage way back before many civilizations were born.
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