Is Armenia in Europe or in Asia? This is a question that very often rises to the people who have heard about Armenia, but don’t know much about it. Is it in Europe? Asia? or even Middle East? Find what continent Armenia is in here.
The reason for this question, “Is Armenia in Europe or Asia?”, can be the complicated geographical position of Armenia.
There are people who consider Armenia as part of middle east, some think it’s more in European continent.
We can relevantly confirm both Europe and Asia are true, but not the middle east. However, giving one single answer is not so simple.
Is Armenia in Europe? by Geographical Position
From the geographical point of view, Armenia is situated in South Caucasus region between Europe and Asia. This beautiful mountainous territory is located between Black sea and Caspian Sea. Armenia is bordered by Georgia on the north, Azerbaijan on the east, Iran on the south and Turkey on the west.
Thanks to its favorable geographical location, Armenia was considered to be a trade center between two continents for many centuries. During Armenia’s long historical way, not once was Armenia invaded and controlled by different empires, such as Roman, Persian Byzantine, Arab and Ottoman empires.
Sometimes, this historical collapses made Armenia lose and gain its borders for several times. Armenia has lost a huge part of its territory during these invasions. Now Armenia is a rather small country, which is located exactly in the crossroads of Europe and Asia.
The population of the country is about 3.2 million, the vast majority of which are Christians and belong to the Armenian Apostolic Church. For a long time, it was accepted to ascribe Armenia closer to Asia and The Middle East.
Now, this is considered to be an arguable statement. More and more often people started inquiring of Armenia’s present status. “Is Armenia in Europe or is it in Asia?”: this is one of the most frequently asked questions concerning Armenia.
However, the first thing, which gives reasons for such discussions, is that there is no defined border of Europe and Asia. It is really difficult to state where exactly ends Europe and starts Asia. This peculiar geographical puzzle may leave confused even the best geographer.
Studying this question from only geographical point of view will not be complete. We must also take into consideration other different factors which had their special influence on Armenia.
Is Armenia in Europe or Asia by its culture?
One of the main factors of determining “is Armenia in Europe or in Asia?” is the cultural one. Armenia passed a very long cultural path. Historically being situated on the most beneficial part of The Great Silk Road, Armenia was a target for many empires.
The Great Silk Road was an ancient caravan trade system. The routes of The Great Silk Road started from China and reached to The Middle East and Europe. This was a unique trade system, which connected eastern continent to western continent.
So, this peculiar geographical position of Armenia affected a lot on its cultural development. During that period, Armenia fall under the influence of different cultures and civilizations. Watching the period of development of Armenian culture, we can define a unique picture.
If we look back into the past, we can see, during that period Armenia was associated more with Asia and The Middle East. However, if we look into it more profoundly, we will notice that the picture somehow changes during the time.
Despite the wide discussions, the question remains one of the most controversial topics about Armenians. Armenians themselves also find lot of similarities both in Asian and European cultures and traditions.
As it was already mentioned Armenia had been invaded by lots of countries, which played an immense role in the cultural development of Armenia. Some typical Armenian traditions were faded some of them survived till our days and some of them have been replaced by others.
It’s beyond any suspect that in past, during the latest invasions, Armenia culturally got closer to Middle East and Asia. There were many traditions in Armenia which were typical to this continent. One of the most deeply rooted traditions typical to Asian culture was the idea of extended family.
Armenian Family Model: Is Armenia in Europe or Asia?
Historically, it was widely accepted among Armenians that families should be very large and all the members should live together in one house. For many decades, Armenians could not imagine any other construction of family, however the situation differs greatly in our days.
The changes are obvious in Armenian culture now. Young Armenian families tend to be more independent and build their own nuclear families. The statistical age of marriage has also changed.
In comparison with the past years, Armenians are not inclined to get married very soon like in Middle East Muslim countries. They want to build their career, have success and only then think about marriage.
This way of thinking is definitely much closer to European continent. They are more interested in studying languages belonging to European continent. Sometimes this kind of diversity of inclinations brings a generation gap.
Parents may not understand newest values and tendencies among youngsters and vice versa, youngsters may consider some Asian elements not practical and old fashioned.
Armenian Language and Literature: Eastern or Western?
One of the peculiarities of Armenian culture is its language. Armenian language is one of the oldest languages formulated at the cradle of development of the civilizations. Armenian language belongs to Indo-European language family.
By mistake, for many years Armenian was considered as a dialect of Iranian. This theory was fully rejected when a famous German philologist Heinrich Hubschmann proved in his article, that Armenian belongs to the Indo-European language family.
Moreover, Armenian is a separate branch in that language family.
The fact that Armenian literature existed long time before the invention of Armenian alphabet is undeniable. There is a huge literature heritage surviving till our days from pagan times. Different legends are a perfect example of old Armenian literature.
Legends have passed through generations orally. However, the creation of alphabet brought a completely new cultural wave and opened a new era of literature in Armenian culture. From the 5th century (Golden age) Armenian literature started blossoming.
As the official religion in Armenia was Christianity, the inclination towards Christian literature is obvious there. The first book translated into Armenian was Holy Bible. This religious inclination included also medieval period.
The modern age of literature for Armenia started from 18th century. This period was cultural and intellectual renaissance for Armenia. During this era, Armenian writers were mostly enthusiastic about newest tendencies reigning in Europe. They derived various styles from European literature, which are actual and widely used till our days.
Is Armenia in Europe or Asia by Politics and Economy?
Due to Armenia’s geographical location, this country is closely collaborating with European continent Middle East and Asia.
Politically Armenia is intensively collaborating with different organizations in Europe, such as the Council of Europe, European Bank association, United Nations etc. Armenia has also good relations with NATO.
Armenia is a member of Asian political and economic organizations as well, however the influence of West continent is greater in this case.
It is also more likely to complete in European events in the sphere of sport. Armenia is a member of European Olympic committee and UEFA.
The trade relations between Armenia and Europe are regulated by Partnership and cooperation agreement. The main trading partner of Armenia is Europe. The imports from Armenia mostly consist of manufactured goods, beverages, tobacco etc.
The trade relations are an inseparable part of Armenia’s economic and political relations with European Union.
As a whole, culturally, politically and economically Armenians consider themselves more a part of Europe than Asia. The inclination towards European continent has been a long-lasting process and has strong roots now.
With the development of the newest technologies, such as internet, younger generation is more inclined to European civilization. They easily take the western cultural elements and consider it closer to their hearts.
They are also enthusiastic to take part in various exchange programs in some European countries and study in European universities. Nowadays it’s inevitable to be in Armenia and not to feel the soul of European values and culture.
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