"Armenian culture" implies not just the culture of Armenia but that of the Armenian people, the majority of whom live outside the current boundaries of the republic of Armenia.
Armenians call themselves hay and identify their homeland not by the term "Armenia" but as Hayastan or Hayasdan. The origins of these words can be traced to the Hittites, among whose historical documents is a reference to the Hayasa. In the Bible, the area designated as Armenia is referred to as Ararat, which the Assyrians referred to as Urartu. Armenians also identify themselves as the people of Ararat/Urartu and of Nairi, and their habitat as nairian ashkharh or yergir nairian . Armenians have called themselves Torkomian or Torgomian . They also call themselves Haigi serount or Haiki seround , descendants of Haig/Haik.
Food in Daily Life. Staple foods are bread and salt. Harissa a traditional meal, consists of wheat grain and lamb cooked over low heat. Armenians everywhere love barbecued meats and vegetables. The pomegranate, with its symbolic association with fertility, is the national fruit. Armenia is also vine and grape country. When speaking of friendship, Armenians say "we have bread and salt among us." In the state protocol, when dignitaries are welcomed, bread and salt are presented.
Breakfasts on nonworking days are sometimes major get-together events. In huge pots khash is prepared, cattle legs are boiled and served with spices and garlic and consumed with Armenian brandy.
Basic Economy. Since its independence from the Soviet Union, Armenia has been focusing on small-scale agriculture. In 1992, the state-run industries, including agriculture, were immediately privatized as Armenia adopted a Western-style economic system.
Death and the Afterlife. Most Armenians believe in the Christian vision of death and afterlife. The Apostolic Church, unlike some Christian institutions, does not put emphasis on sin and redemption. Likewise the notion of purgatory is absent. Armenians pay special attention to remembering the dead. After every mass, or badarak , there is a memorial service for the dead. The seventh day after death, the fortieth day, and annual remembrance are the accepted way of respecting the dead. Cemeteries are well kept. The communion between the living and the dead is seen in the frequent visits to the graves of loved ones. Food and brandy are served to the dead. The birthdays of dead loved ones are also celebrated.
Performance Arts. Armenia has a long tradition of musical art, dating back to prehistoric times, and Armenian musicians played a fundamental role in the modernization of oriental music during the nineteenth century. Armenian traditional music differs from its oriental counterparts by its sobriety.
The republic of Armenia has thus far continued the trend set in Soviet years. The opera house, the theaters, and the concert halls are the pride of Armenians and have remained highly accessible to the general public. Armenian folk, classic, and religious music, as well as its composers, such as Komitas and A. Khatchadourian, have been known throughout the world. The folk-dance ensembles have also been participating in various international festivals.
Armenian music on brief The native Armenian
Armenian music: has been presented internationally by composers Aram Khachaturian, Arno Babadjanian, duduk player Djivan Gasparyan, composer Ara Gevorgyan, producer DerHova, singers Sirusho, Eva Rivas and many others.
Earlier in Armenian history, instruments like the kamancha were played by popular, travelling musicians called ashoughs. Sayat Nova, an 18th-century Ashough, is revered in Armenia. Performers such as Armenak Shahmuradian, Vagharshak Sahakian, Norayr Mnatsakanyan, Hovhannes Badalyan, Hayrik Muradyan, Raffi Hovhannisyan, Papin Poghosian, and Hamlet Gevorgyan have been famous in Armenia and are still acclaimed. The most notable female vocalists in the Armenian folk genre have been Araksia Gyulzadyan, Ophelia Hambardzumyan, Varduhi Khachatrian, Valya Samvelyan, Rima Saribekyan, Susanna Safarian, Manik Grigoryan, and Flora Martirosian.
The history of musical development in [Persia] dates back to the prehistoric era. King Jamshid, is credited with the "invention" of music. Fragmentary documents from various periods of the country's history establish that the ancient Persians possessed an elaborate musical culture.
Archeological evidence reveals musical instruments that were used in Persia during the Elamit era around 800 BC. Alexander the Great is said to have witnessed many melodies and instruments upon his invasion, and music use to play an important role in religious affairs.
Music played an important role in the courts of the kings of the much later Sassanid Empire.
Of this period, the names of various court musicians like Barbad and the types of various instruments that were used like harps, lutes, flutes, bagpipes and others. Under Sassanid rule, modal music was developed by a highly significant court musician, Barbad, called the khosravani. While today's classical music tradition in Persia bears the same names of some of the modes of that era it is impossible to know if they sound the same because there is no evidence of musical notation from the Sassanid period.