Armenia Local Customs

  • Local Customs
    by kokoryko
  • Local Customs
    by kokoryko
  • Local Customs
    by kokoryko

Armenia Local Customs

  • High heels!

    I must admit that high heels somehow attract my eyes, or is it the persons walking with the shoes? I must say my eyes were happy to see all these women walking with high heeled shoes in the sunny summer days of Erevan. . . Not sure it is an old local custom, but it seems the local women, like many in former Soviet republics, want to look a bit like...

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  • Christianity

    Surrounded by “hostile” Muslims or whatever barbaric people who do not “like” them, the Armenian have a strong relationship to their religion, which, after all, is one of the oldest “established” religion. This strong relationship to a religion which dates back to the fifth century is expressed in many ways, and if there are classical examples with...

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  • Beer: you have choice!

    It’s impossible not to find beer in Armenia; there are more than ten brews (brands), and even in the remotest place you may have choice between at least two. I can ensure you will enjoy the local beer at the end of hot sunny days here; most are lager/pils type, with slight differences in bitterness (hops content). Armenians have their wines, their...

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  • Tips and the bill at restaurants and...

    There are a couple of things you should know about the check in Armenia. It often includes a "service charge" of 8-10%. This is *not* a tip, and the waiter will likely not see a penny of it. This is something that only some of Yerevan's restaurants have begun to charge, and is usually mentioned somewhere on the menu. If you want to leave a tip in...

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  • EXTREMELY GENEROUS AND RESPECTABLE...

    Everywhere we went in Armenia, people were simply kind,generous and helpful. At a hotel in Yerevan, the valets were very helpful and respectful , whereas in Baku, Azerbaijan, everyone was interested in my wife and daughter, young men following us on the streets in Baku and making rude sexual comments. Armenians are poor but have great respect for...

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  • Yerevan, market

    From our hotel in Yerevan we walked to the markethall. This hall was the place were people, mostly women, were allowed to sell their private vegetables. We saw that they were selling apples, carrots, beets, herbs and strawberries.Prices were higher at this market than in the official Soviet shops in those former days. We visited Yerevan in 1986.

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  • St Hripsime Church, service

    When we came back from the underground room with the tomb of St Hripsime and entered the interior of the church again, a service just has started.Many women were sitting on the carpets in the church, all with headscarfs. Also here the candles and the incense created an impressive atmosphere. Men in long robes started to sing. At the moment the...

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  • St Hripsime Church, interior

    We visited the St. Hripsime's Church in Echmiadzin to have a look at the tomb of St. Hripsime, the murdered Christian virgin. This tomb is placed in an underground room, which can be reached from the interior of the church.The tomb is dotted with flowers. The image of Hripsime looked a bit worn out, caused by the many kisses.The burning candles and...

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  • Armenian hospitality

    Armenians are well-known for their hospitality. Almost any Armenian that you meet; whether on a Marshutni, waiting in line, at markets or just about anywhere else, will invariably offer coffe, tea, vodka, or a bed for the night. Always take them up on their offer - they are genuinely curious about you and only want to know more about your way of...

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  • Toasting and Armenian vodka

    If you attend a party or any type of social gathering, don't be afraid to try the locally-made vodka. It is usally made from locally-grown fruits such as grapes or mullberries, and is fermented in 50-gallon drums. It usually packs a huge punch. Locals swear it is the cure-all to whatever ails you, and I am now a believer as I used it recently to...

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  • Life in Armenia Part I

    Many families except for those living in flats grow as much food as they can with all the family members, children included, working hard planting potatoes, corn and other vegetables by hand and subsequently harvesting them, again by hand. In late summer women can be encountered in the villages winnowing grain, preserving fruit for the winter by...

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  • Life in Armenian Part III

    Despite all the difficulties of life, Armenians are generous to a fault. Desperately poor people welcome you into their homes and provide refreshments, often unintentionally embarrassing western visitors who feel awkward about accepting from those who obviously have so much less. (Trust me on this, you will know after you've visited a few families...

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  • Life in Armenia Part II

    Many families through out Armenia keep their own livestock and even in towns cattle and sheep can often be seen being tended by a family member. In some areas free-range pigs wander freely through the village foraging for food. Armenians are very hard working, even more important now when so much work has to be done by hand because machinery,...

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  • Religion in Armenia Cont...

    Another frequent sight outside churches in Armenia is a tree or shrub to which numerous scraps of cloth are tied. Each scrap is attached by a person making a private prayer.We witnessed this phenomenone at nearly all the churches we visited in Armenia. The photograph is taken at Haghartsin Monastery by a khachkar where people have tied articles of...

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  • Religion in Armenia

    Armenians are overwhelmingly members of the Armenian Apostolic Church, whose head, the "Katholikos" has his seat at Ejmiatsin. Armenians are the first nation to adopt Christianity as the official religion of their state (301 A.D.). The Armenian church is sometimes called the Gregorian Church because it was founded in Armenian by St. Gregory the...

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  • Traditional Armenian Music in the...

    If you've ever been to the Geghard Monastery in Armenia, you may have come across musicians playing traditional Armenian instruments outside by the car park. The instruments consist of the Accordion, the "Zourna" which is a wind instrument with a very loud noise and the "Dhol" which is a form of percussion.... The picture is of the musicians...

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  • Sloppy kisses

    You can frequently see Armenian men kissing hello and walking around arm-in-arm. It's not a gay thing; it's pretty common amongst friends throughout this region. This can be pretty disconcerting if you are not expecting it. If a friend or coworker comes in for a kiss, just dodge left or right and hope he misses alltogether.

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  • Water in the mountain

    Also in the mountains you can find water for drinking. Here I am drinking from a fountain just by the road on the way from Haghpat to Alaverdi. The water was very cold and fresh.

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  • Water fountains

    All over Yerevan there are small fountains with drinkingwater. For me, as a tourist, there was no problem drinking the water.

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  • Watershortage

    It is not a matter of course that all Armenian homes have got running water in the taps. At Gayane's homestay in Yerevan there was just running water for 2,5 hours in the morning and for 1,5 hours in the evening. Therefor she always had water in the bath to use in between. At the hotel where I stayed in Alaverdi there was no running water at all.

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  • Light a candle

    When entering a church it is very common that people light two candels (or one, or more). The candels are for sale in the church and cost around 40 drams each.

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  • Khachkars

    Armenian churches are decorated with carved stone crosses - khachkars. The picture is from a wall of the Cathedral in Echmiadzin.

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  • A piece of cloth tied to a tree

    In the trees and bushes by the river passing Geghard Monastery there is a lot of stripes of cloths tied to the branches.It is a religious custom saying that prayers will be answerd if you tie a strip of cloth to a tree near the monastery.

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  • Pigeons at Khor Virap

    In front of Khor Virap visitors can buy pigeons. Someone told me they are sacrificed, someone told me they were let to fly at an outdoor altar.Anyway, at Khor Virap there is a place were animals (for ex sheep) are sacrificed.It is belived that these old pagan rites were accepted because Armenia became a christian country very early and by keeping...

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Armenia Local Customs

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