Monday, March 8, 2021

2021 Travel the World - Week 10

I started a 50-week series in 2019 that I called Travel the World. Each week of the series I visited a randomly-selected country, sharing bits of information about that country. I then chose one tidbit of information about that week's country as inspiration for a card. As I explored those 50 countries in 2019, I knew I would continue on until I've visited every one of the 195 countries in the world, so I continued the series in 2020 and here I am in 2021, the third year of traveling the world. 

This week's country is...


Armenia is a nation, and former Soviet republic, in the mountainous Caucasus region straddling Asia and Europe.

Located between the Black and Caspian Seas, Armenia is bordered on the north and east by Georgia and Azerbaijan, and on the south and west by Iran and Turkey.

Armenia is a mountainous country characterized by a great variety of scenery and geologic instability. The average elevation is 5,900 feet above sea level. There are no lowlands in the country.

Armenian is the official language, while Russian is the main foreign language due to Armenia being a former Soviet republic.

The Armenian capital, Yerevan, is one of the world’s oldest inhabited cities, constructed as it was 29 years before Rome. Overlooked by the snow-capped Mount Ararat, the capital has a bewildering number of historic buildings, not to mention a clutch of excellent museums.

Yerevan is known as the "Pink City". It gets its pretty pink hue (and moniker) from the rosy volcanic rock that was used to construct many of the city’s buildings.

Armenia is one of only a few mono ethnic countries in the world. Ninety-seven percent of the people living in Armenia are Armenians and the remaining small percentage is made up of different ethnic minorities such as the Yazidis, Russians, Ukranians, Kurds, and more.

More Armenians live abroad than in Armenia.

Wings of Tatev, a cable car from Tatev to Halidzor village was opened in October 2010. Traveling 18,871 feet, it's included in the Guinness World Records as the world's longest non-stop double track cable car.

Armenia is the homeland of the apricot. The apricot tree is the most important and widespread fruit tree in the country.

One of the most fun holidays in Armenia is Vardavar, which has Pagan roots and celebrates the goddess of purity and water. On this day, everyone gets splashed with water in the streets of every Armenian city and town. It’s a way to get out of the normal routine and to purify the body—and have the time of your life.

The country’s national symbol is Mt. Ararat. But Mt. Ararat is actually located in Turkey. And while it may actually be inside of Turkey, Armenians get a phenomenal view of it.

The world's oldest leather shoe, dated at 5500 years old, was recently discovered in southern Armenia.

Most cars in Armenia run on methane gas, making them energy efficient and environmentally friendly. However, pumping that gas is extremely dangerous and all passengers are required to exit the vehicle when while the methane tanks are filled.

Lake Sevan is the largest body of water in Armenia and the Caucasus region. It is one of the largest freshwater high-altitude lakes in Eurasia. The lake is situated in the central part of Armenia. The lake covers one-sixth of Armenia's territory and is overlooked by the stunning Sevanavank monastic complex, which is one of the country’s top attractions.

The northern side of the lake is known as “blue lake” because its rocky bottom causes it appear bluer than the southern side, which has a muddy base.

Armenia was the first nation to adopt Christianity. Christianity spread to the now-defunct Kingdom of Armenia soon after the death of Jesus, though it took until the early 4th century for it to be adopted as the state religion. Still, that was earlier than any other country in the world.

From millennia-old monasteries to crumbling cathedrals, Armenia is scattered with Christian places of worship. They don’t call Armenia the “land of churches” for nothing. 

staple of Armenian cuisine is lavash, a thin, slightly chewy, flat bread eaten with every meal. 

Armenia is home to what is believed to be the world's oldest winery. Archeologists found this winery in 2011, of all places, in a cave near the village of Areni.

The country boasts a State Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet, several drama theatres, theatres for children, orchestras, a national dance company, and the Yerevan film studios, which produce feature, documentary, and science films. The traditional folk arts, especially singing, dancing, and artistic crafts, are popular.

The favorite sports played in Armenia are wrestling, weightlifting, judo, association football, chess, and boxing.

Chess is part of the educational curriculum in Armenia. All students have to take chess as a compulsory subject in school and there are even exams for it! 

The Armenian alphabet is one of the most advanced alphabets in the world.

The world's first textbook of Arithmetic problems was created by an Armenia mathemetician.

Armenian mines produce copper, zinc, gold, and lead.

Armenians use the French word for Thank YouTechnically, the Armenian word for “thank you” is shnorakalutsyun. Instead of using this long word, many Armenian-speakers will use the French merci, along with the term of endearment, jan. The latter can’t be translated, but it expresses a tender attitude.

Armenia is a bird-watchers delight, home as it is to 345 of Europe's estimated 530 bird species. Highlights include falcons, swans and eagles.

From late March to August, around 650 pairs of breeding white storks descend onto wetland-adjacent villages in Armenia, settling into numbered nests where they will hatch nestlings and teach the babies to feed. 

Armenians are open-hearted and keep communication simple. Sometimes, this might mean they don’t leave a lot of personal space. Locals like to speak face-to-face and look straight into someone’s eye while making some kind of physical contact. It’s also customary to ask personal and detailed questions. It’s a perfectly normal thing to do in the country and isn’t considered rude.

Armenians are hospitable and love having guests at their homes—especially foreigners who are likely to be greeted with warmth and a table piled with as much food as it can hold. Moreover, guests will be “forced” to try all the dishes. To not try everything would be considered insulting to the host.

Armenians will express the importance of food among friends by saying "We have bread and salt among us," meaning we have sustenance of life among us - friendship, bread, and salt.

The family social structure is very important in Armenia. Children are highly regarded and are the center of attention in households until they reach adulthood. Traditionally, women have the important duty of passing on the culture, customs, and traditions to the children.

Armenian parents are known to be protective, and it’s very common for adult children to live at home until they get married or possibly even for the rest of their lives. 

On St. Sarkis Day, the Armenian version of Valentine’s Day, elderly women in the family bake an extremely salty cookie according to a special recipe. The single girls in the family eat it, and it’s believed that they will later dream of their future husbands. It could be a complete stranger or someone they know, but if he brings them a cup of water in the dream, they know it’s him.

In Western Armenia, a bride will break a pomegranate into pieces and scatter the seeds to ensure the bride will be able to bear children.

Armenian newlyweds jump over an open fire to defend themselves against misfortune and evil.

Newborns are only introduced to close family members for the first 40 days. The custom is rooted in safety and medical precautions, as newborns are quite vulnerable and might easily pick up bacteria.

My inspiration for this week's card is based on this fact about Armenia... Research suggests that about one-fourth of the animal species in Armenia are endangered, including the mouflon which is the ancestor to what we know as domesticated sheep.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Stamp Sets: CC Designs Tiny Wisemen and MFT Animal Farm stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black Ink and colored with Copic Markers

Paper: Cougar 110# White and SU Cinnamon Cider CS and DP from my scrap file

Dies: MFT Stitched Rectangle and SU Circles

Embellishments: American Crafts Grosgrain Ribbon and Paper Studio Mini Brads


kiwimeskreations said...

Another fabulous post Jeanette - I so enjoy these. That is one gorgeous card too. Such a sweet image
Stay safe

Lynn McAuley said...

Wonderful colors and patterns with this sweet shepherd boy and his lamb!