You don’t hear striking statements from the restrained British BBC too often. However, not too long ago, BBC called Armenians the smartest nation on the planet. One of the reasons for this statement was the fact that two of the three latest chess Olympiads were won by Armenians. One of the greatest chess players of all times Garry Kasparov is partially of Armenian descent as well.
Notably, in Armenia, more people are engaged in chess than in football, the most popular sport in the world.
A living symbol of Armenia is the apricot. This fruit was derived by Armenian farmers thousands of years ago and then brought to Rome by traders, after which it would be spread throughout Europe.
The apricot tree is used in the making of the most favorite and famous Armenian musical instrument, the duduk, which in recent years has become one of the trendy eastern instruments used by renowned western musicians.
Remarkably, the orange color in the Armenian flag symbolizes the apricot fruit.
Mount Ararat, a symbol of Armenia depicted on its coat of arms, is located outside Armenia. The territory of the mount, among other regions, passed to Turkey in 1921.
Armenia was the first country to adopt Christianity as an official religion as well. This happened in 301 AD.
Among Byzantine Emperors, twenty-one were of Armenian descent.
Linguists consider the Armenian alphabet one of the three most perfect alphabets in the world along with Georgian and Korean alphabets. The author of the Georgian alphabet, as well as the Albanian alphabet, is Mesrop Mashtots, an Armenian monk and scientist who created the Armenian alphabet as well.
The Armenian language is the only language in the world in which the name of the Bible has a literal reference to God. In Armenian, the Bible is named Astvatsashunch, which is translated literally as “God’s Breath.”
The Armenian cognac is the only brandy in the world which was allowed by the French to be branded “cognac” thanks to its quality. However, in Armenia, vodka is much more popular than cognac. Cognac more frequently serves as a gift. As for statistics, Armenia is among the lowest-ranked countries in Europe by the number of alcoholics per capita.
It is also believed that Kiev was founded by Smbat Bagratuni in 585 AD under the name Smbatos.
Today, two times fewer Armenians live in Armenia than abroad. The population of Armenia is 3 million, whereas the Armenian Diaspora totals 7 million throughout the world.
The capital of Armenia, the city of Yerevan, is one of the oldest cities in the world. Founded in 782 BC by Van King Argishti I, Yerevan is 29 years older than Rome.
In the end, Armenia might not be the most culture-rich country in the world, but it is undoubtable that its investment in neighboring cultures was significant at the very least since distant antiquity.