Famous for its hospitality, Armenia is a unique nation at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. Some even speculate the Garden of Eden was located here. Come take a closer look at Armenia.
A closer look 說古論今
Armenia is a land-locked country located in Eurasia's Southern Caucasus mountain range. The terrain is mountainous, summers are hot and dry (reaching 36oC) and winters are snowy and as cold as -10oC. The long autumns are marked by colorful foliage.
Armenia has been a center of civilization since antiquity, and people have been living there and trading tools and metals since at least 6,000BC. The Armenian Empire was one of the strongest in the region during it's heyday around 50BC, but the country has also been invaded and conquered by Greeks, Romans, the Ottoman Turks, Russia and others.
Christianity is central to the country's identity (over 93 percent are church members). Armenia was the first nation to make Christianity the state religion in 301, and legend holds that an early Armenian leader, Hayk, was a great great grandson of Noah.
Ottoman Turkey ruled Armenia until the end of World War One, when the victors drew new borders. Turkey rejected Armenian borders and fought the Turkish-Armenian War in 1920, taking half of the territory. The Soviet Union invaded what was left and Armenia did not regain independence until 1991.
Since independence, Armenia has switched to a market economy and seeks parliamentary style democracy, but elections are not yet considered fair by international observers.
Favorite Armenian sports include soccer, chess, boxing and hockey. The cuisine, influenced heavily by Russia and the Middle East, features stews, breads, fish, grilled meat and pastries.
A LOOK AT CONTEXT
1. The foliage on the trees in autumn is bright orange, yellow, brown and green though simply green in the summer.
Foliage means . . .
a. tree branches.
b. tree roots
c. plant or tree leaves.
d. tree trunks.
2. Since antiquity, Daoism has been a strong influence in China.
Antiquity means . . .
a. the modern era.
b. ancient times.
c. any time period.
d. a future era.
3. You cannot bring plants, wild animals or soil across the border into another country.
A border is ...
a. the line that divides two countries.
b. a line that cuts through a capital city.
c. something illegal to carry.
d. a kind of wild animal.
4. The government used to own all companies, but now we have a market economy and the companies are privately owned.
A market economy is . . .
a. an economy where the government runs industry.
b. an industry which the government
takes taxes from.
c. a company with close a relationship
to the government.
d. an economy where private individuals
ANSWERS: 1. c 2. b 3. a 4 . d
WHO KNEW 你知道嗎
Armenian weddings have some unique practices. The process starts when the man and his family visit the woman's house to ask her father's permission to wed. If the father agrees, the man gives his future bride a promise ring and her family begins planning for the engagement party, which her family must organize and pay for. The two families will then celebrate with a bottle of Armenian cognac. At the engagement party, a priest prays with the couple and blesses them, and the couple exchanges wedding rings that are worn on the right hand. After about one year, the formal wedding takes place, where the rings are switched to the left hand. Planning and paying for the wedding is the groom's responsibility, unlike traditions in most European countries.
WHAT TIME 現在那裡幾點
The time in Armenia is currently three hours behind Taiwan. If it is 3:15pm in Taipei, it is 12:15pm in Yerevan.
Size: 29,800 km2; or about 80 percent of Taiwan's size
Border countries: Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Iran
Population: Around 3.2 million
Government: Unitary republic
Currency: Armenian Drams; NT$1 = about 11 Armenian Drams
The Armenian constitution says that the red sybolizes the Armenian Highland, the peoples' struggle for survival, maintaining the Christian faith and Armenia's independence and freedom. The blue represents the will to live under peaceful skies. The orange represents the talent and hard-working nature of the people.
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