Sat, Apr 14, 2007 - Page 14 News List

Globe trotting ─ Armenia 世界走透透:亞美尼亞

The Akdamar church, a precious remnant of Armenian culture from 1,000 years ago on Lake Van, eastern Turkey. 土耳其東部凡湖的千年亞美尼亞文化珍貴遺跡「亞克達曼教堂」。


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.






亞美尼亞人最愛的體育項目為足球、下棋、拳擊與曲棍球。深受俄國與中東影響的飲食特色為燉菜、麵包、魚類、烤肉與酥皮點心。 (翻譯:賴美君)


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

run industry.

ANSWERS: 1. c 2. b 3. a 4 . d


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.

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