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Armenian People

Discover the rich heritage and physical characteristics of the Armenian people in this insightful article. Uncover the historical evidence tracing their origins, the scientific classification under the Armenoid or Aryan race, and detailed descriptions by notable figures like Renato Biasuti. Explore the unique traits of Armenians, including their distinctive nose, often expressed in statues of cultural icons. Delve into the cultural significance of the nose, its impact on beauty standards, and the prevalence of nose surgery in Armenia. Learn about the dominant Christian faith, historical milestones, and the athletic prowess of Armenians in various sports, from wrestling to chess. Explore what makes the Armenian identity truly fascinating.

Armenians (Armenian: հայեր) are an ethnic group and nation native to the Armenian highlands of West Asia.

Regarding the origin of Armenians, there are five historical pieces of evidence written not only by Armenians but also by foreign authors. These include Armenian, Georgian, Greek, Arabic, and ancient Hebrew sources. While foreigners refer to us as Armenians, we use the name (Hay, հայ), traditionally derived from Hayk (Armenian: Հայկ), the legendary patriarch of the Armenians and a great-great-grandson of Noah. According to Movses Khorenatsi (Moses of Khorene), Hayk defeated the Babylonian king Bel in 2492 BC, establishing his nation in the Ararat region.

The presence of Armenia on the Babylonian clay slab-map, dating to no earlier than the 9th century BC, further confirms Armenia as one of the oldest countries on earth.

In the context of scientific racism, Armenians are classified as belonging to the Armenoid or Aryan race, a now-outdated model developed originally by Europeans in support of colonialism.

The term was used by Austrian anthropologist Felix von Luschan and Eugen Petersen in the 1889 book Reisen in Lykien, Milyas und Kibyratis ("Travel in Lycia, Milyas and Kibyratis"). Carleton Coon (1904–81) described the regions of West Asia such as Anatolia, the Caucasus, Iraq, Iran, and the Levant as the center of distribution of the Armenoid race.

Renato Biasuti, a notable Italian geographer who published many works on physical anthropology, described the Armenoid type as follows: "Opaque-white to brown skin, dark hair, and dark eyes, abundant hair, medium height (166), solid body, broad head, rounded nape, very long face, straight and narrow nose with a high bridge of the nose, thin lips, narrow opening of the eyes."

Armenian writer Zabel Yesayan (1878 – 1943)

Armenian people are typically characterized as being relatively tall (170 cm), with medium to dark brown or black hair, and fair to medium skin tone. They commonly possess large, round eyes that are usually dark brown, a round, brachycephalic head shape with a straight nape (planokiput), high cheekbones, and a not particularly large jaw. Lips are thin, and only a minority of Armenians have blond hair and blue, green, or hazel eyes.

Prominent Soviet-Armenian composer and pianist Arno Babajanian

A major distinctive feature of Armenian people is their nose. Anthropologists have calculated that the average length of the nose of Armenians is 58 mm, making it the second-largest in the world after the Kurds. In Armenia, it is even possible to buy a souvenir in the shape of a nose, such as a glasses stand or a magnet. At every step, you can see not only a "living" nose but also a stone one. The noses of prominent Armenian cultural figures, such as Arno Babajanyan, Mher Mkrtchyan, and Yeghishe Charents, are clearly expressed in their statues. However, the subject of Armenian pride is not always desirable.

For many girls, a big nose is not a gift but a tragedy. It is no coincidence that the most popular medical intervention in Armenia is nose surgery. Such a nose is not the best option for girls, and many Armenian women prefer to get rid of a big nose through surgery.

Me sitting on a nearby wall of Yereruyk monastery

The majority of Armenians, around 97%, are Christians belonging to the Armenian Apostolic Church. In 301 AD, Armenia adopted Christianity as a state religion, becoming the first state to do so.

Maksim Manukyan - Greco-Roman wrestling champion (80 kg)

When it comes to physical performance, Armenians may not excel in team sports (football, basketball) and sports requiring endurance (like long-distance running, skiing, etc.). Our bodies are more adapted to wrestling, weightlifting, boxing, and gymnastics. The fact that many Armenian athletes achieve high results to this day supports this statement. Armenians are also proficient in chess, a mental sport that is highly developed in Armenia and has thousands of active players across all age categories.


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