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Armenia 2022



Even remote and partially ruined Armenian churches seem always to have candles illuminating their otherwise dark and austere sanctuaries. Upon entering any Armenian church, it is customary to light a candle, asking for protection and blessings for loved ones. Children and adults alike willingly pay a few dram to the church attendant or drop a coin into a collection box in exchange for a small candle.

Havard Bauer © 2012
PCV Kiribati 1990–1992 ESL Teacher
PST Director Solomon Is., Marshall Is., Namibia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Mongolia, Armenia, Georgia 1998–2001


Republic of Armenia
Hayastani Hanrapetut’yun

Southwestern Asia

Area 11kK mi2; 30 km2

Arable 16%

Population 3M (273/mi²; 100/km²)

Gov’t Parliamentary democracy

Capital Yerevan (1M)

GCP/Capita $13,654

Unemployment 19%

In Poverty 32%

Infant Mortality 12/1K live births (116th)

Life expectancy 76 yrs

Children Aged <15 Yrs 19% of pop

Median Age 37 yrs

Literacy 100%

Languages Armenian (official), Kurdish (spoken by Yezidi minority), Russian, other

Religions Armenian Apostolic 93%, Evangelical 1%, other/none 6%

Health 10% of GDP

Education 3% of GDP (142nd)

Military 4% of GDP (8th)

Labor Force Agriculture 36%, industry 17%, services 47%

PCVs 1992–present/2020 CURRENT: 0 TTD: 1,106

Adult Books

Three Apples Fell from the Sky
By Narine Abgaryan, translated by Lisa C. Hayden

Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Oneworld (2020; Russian original: 2015)
ISBN-10: 1786077302
ISBN-13: 978-1786077301

Tucked away in their mountain village and connected only precariously to the modern world, the aging villagers of tiny Maran go about their daily lives following the routines and traditions observed in remote Armenian villages for centuries. Against this timeless background of practices and beliefs rooted in age-old legends and proverbs, one character’s sudden premonition of death, an unlikely marriage proposal, and the arrival of children and grandchildren visiting from a city in the distant “North” bring a sudden jolt to Maran’s unchanging rhythms, enlivening the villagers’ gossip and perhaps even giving them unexpected reasons to believe in their future.

“Highly-engaging… The loose-lipped characters […] offer a snapshot of the region’s unfaltering fondness for storytelling.” (The Calvert Journal)

“Abgaryan impresses with finely phrased descriptions of daily activities and homes with ‘chimneys that clung to the hem of the sky,’ and indelible details of complex, humble characters. This magical tale transcends familiar mystical tropes with its fresh reimagining of Armenian folklore.” (Publishers Weekly)

Yasnaya Polyana Award (2016)

Kids' Books

Wise Anait and the Woven Words: A Tale from Armenia
By Lucretia Samson, illus Maria Cristina Lo Cascio

Format: 32 pp; color illustrations, map
ISBN: 978-0-399-25499-4
Age Range: 5-8 years
Publisher: Aukland, New Zealand: Clean Slate Press Ltd, 2017

Relates the tale of a prince and a wise shepherd's daughter.


Film: I Am Not Alone
Genre: Documentary
Director: Garin Hovannisian
Country: Armenia, USA
Release Date: 4 March 2020 (UK)
Filming Locations: Yerevan, Armenia
Language: English, Armenian
Run Time: 90 minutes
Color: Color

I Am Not Alone is an Armenian-American documentary film that profiles Armenian politician Nikol Pashinyan and his role in the 2018 Armenian revolution. Music for the film was composed by Armenian-American Serj Tankian, who also participated as an executive producer.

In 2018, Armenia experienced a peaceful revolution that’s inspiring to anyone challenging power. Nikol Pashinyan—a former journalist and political prisoner turned Member of Parliament—begins a march by himself to protest Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan trying to extend the reach of his power. The film observes how Pashinyan’s campaign slowly grows from one person into a mass movement. Briskly paced and offering a balance of perspectives, I Am Not Alone is a feat of nonfiction storytelling.



Armenian Folk Music

The music of Armenia has its origins in the Armenian Highlands, where people traditionally sang popular folk songs. Armenians have had a long tradition of folk music from the antiquity. Under Soviet leadership, Armenian folk music was taught in state-sponsored conservatoires. Instruments played include qamancha (similar to violin), kanun (dulcimer), dhol (double-headed hand drum), oud (lute), duduk, zurna, blul (ney), shvi and to a lesser degree saz. Other instruments are often used such as violin and clarinet. The duduk is Armenia's national instrument.

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