The origin of the Armenian Alphabet

Originally posted on narinnamkn:

Armenian Erkatagir- Armenian letters woven together
Armenian Erkatagir- Armenian letters woven together

Did the Armenians have  an alphabet before Mashtots?  There is evidence which supports this assertion.

Philo of Alexandria (20 BCE – 50 CE) in his writings mentioned that the work of the Greek philosopher and historian Metrodorus of Scepsis ( ca. 145 BCE – 70 BCE)  was also translated into Armenian. 

Hyppolytus (170-235 CE), in his Chronicle mentioned that the Armenians were amongst those nations who had their own alphabet.

Philostratus the Athenian in his work wrote about the chain on which it was inscribed in Armenian (Philostratus, The Life of Apollonius of Tyana, Book II, Chapter II, pp. 120-121, tr. by F. C. Conybeare, 1912).

According to Movses of Khoren, Bardesanes (154-222 CE) of Edessa  had translated an Armenian book into Syriac, and later into Greek.

Although a lot of the ancient Armenian culture was swept aside with the dominance of the new religion, there is still…

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When Visiting Gyumri- Lodging and Food


  1. Berlin Art Hotel, Haghtanaki 25, 3104 Gyumri, Tel.: +374 312 57659, Fax: +374 312 50386, E-mail:
  2. Alhmas Hotel, Garegin Nzdeh 1, Gyumri, Tel.:+374 312 39444
  3. Nane Hotel, 1/5 Garegin Njdeh Avenue, Gyumri, Tel.: +374 312 33369, Fax: +374 312 39993
  4. Aleksandrapol Hotel Palace, 70 Mayakovskui Street, Gyumri, Tel.: +374 312 500 51, +374 312 500 52, E-mail:
  5. Araks Hotel, 31 Gorki Street, Gyumri, Tel.: +374 312 5 11 99, Fax: +374 312 5 11 99
  6. Villa Kars, Rustaveli and Abovyan Street, Gyumri, Tel: + 374 10 56 11 56, 26 34 60, Tel\Fax: + 374 10 58 45 74
  7. Vanatur Hotel, Gorki 70a, Gyumri, Tel.: +374 312 50714, +374 312 59153, +374 93 933735
  8. ArmHotels Online Booking System


  1. Vanatur Restaurant, Gorki 70a, Gyumri, Tel.: +374 312 50714, +374 312 59153, +374 93 933735
  2. Ponchik Monchik, 7/9 Sayat-Nova Street, 248/9 Abovyan Street, West Vardanants Square, Tel.: +374 312 56004, Working Hours: 10:30-23:30
  3. Voske Tslik, G. Nzhdeh 13, Gyumri, Tel.: +374 312 42222
  4. MSBurger, 1 A. Manukyan, Gyumri, Tel.: +374 312 46070, 098 706 070, Working Hours: 10:30-23:30
  5. Oasis, General Park, Gyumri, Tel.: 094 50 50 14, 095 50 50 14, 096 50 50 14
  6. Poloz Mukuch, Jivanu 75, Gyumri, Tel.: 094 90 90 38
  7. Dzki Dzor (Cherkezi Dzor), Red Fort 1, Gyumri, Tel: +374 312 65559
  8. Tashir Pizza, 2 Sayat-Novai Street, Tel.: +374 312 55005
  9. Shara, 1/5 Garegin Njdeh Avenue, Gyumri, Tel: +374 312 35563
  10. Le Café, 1/5 Garegin Njdeh Avenue, Gyumri, Tel: 374 312 30325
  11. Pizza DiNapoli Italian Restaurant, 1/5 Garegin Njdeh Avenue, Gyumri, Tel: +374 312 33074

Drugs Should be Banned From Parliament

It’s been a while since I wrote an opinion piece and even longer since I touched upon a political subject. Somehow, when one lives in Armenia and breathes her air, it no longer becomes so vital to follow religiously every turn of event and sound an outcry for every wrong identified in the system. Once here, you learn that news is most definitely rarely the full truth and nothing but the truth, and more often disregards majority opinion for the sake of sensationalism.

What I find especially interesting from the past couple of days is the level of propaganda and opposite poles Armenians and Azeris seem to be sitting at. In Yerevan, at least, things are quite calm. No one actually believes there is an impending war, but tensions are high and the air bristles when someone mentions Turkish products or Azeri invasions. For the most part, however, we are all proud of the show our boys on the front have put on and both men and women have been taking up arms and heading to the borders as volunteers should the opposing side decide to launch an offensive. It is interesting to see more and more women in the army, both as volunteers and chasing a military career. At the moment, 1 in 5 soldiers is female, amounting to about 20%.

The difference between the 2 sides (the first image shows eyewitness accounts of Armenians continuing with their honey harvest while those on the Azerbaijani side fleeing as shown on FB propaganda

According to certain online sources, the Kashatagh region has been a major source providing volunteers, both local and Syrian repatriate, as well as now working on supplying food and necessary items to those serving on the borders. Hundreds of volunteers have taken up arms at the moment to defend our country if need be. It is most definitely a bittersweet sight.

Armenia seems to ever be on the defensive. International media might paint Azerbaijan in a victim’s light, but the truth is that both sides have suffered casualties and it’s not news that Azerbaijan has violated the ceasefire time and again. Whether it was their side or ours this time, we might never know. After all, the wheels of propaganda are in constant motion and both side gain by appearing the wronged party. Considering the words the Azerbaijani president has been tweeting though, one would undoubtedly start pointing fingers towards the internationally acclaimed “victim” his country appears to be.


It appears the president of Azerbaijan has been smoking something other than the beloved cigarettes of the Caucasus, which has addled his mind once and for all. He’s a class A comedy act all right, but the scary thing is that he wields weapons of mass destruction which have the ability to hit Yerevan from what I’ve heard on the streets. I cannot prove this, but it is a bit of a cause for concern when there’s a fool seemingly on drugs controlling the situation. Furthermore, local media in the country is apparently claiming that Azerbaijani forces have taken Agdam and other regions within the Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) enclave, as mentioned on Radio Free Europe’s Azerbaijan portal. I wonder what lovely Mr. Putin has to say about all of this during his meetings with the presidents this weekend.

In the meantime, we can all have a laugh at Mr. Aliyev’s expense. After all, we don’t get to see many clowns acting like fools for the amusement of us little children too much anymore.



Ancient Armenian Wedding Traditions

In 18th century Akhltskha, new brides would have special words embroidered onto their belts, such as “Ee Vayelum”, while the date of the wedding and initials would be placed on the lower right corner of the apron.

Also, a woman wore a cloth belt with her and her husband’s initials, as well as their wedding date embroidered on, helping society distinguish the wives from the available girls in Gyumri (former Alexandrapol).

Bringing Rain with Bourbadig

Նուրին Նուրին էկել է

Շալէ շապիկ հագել է,

Կարմիր գօտիկ կապել է.

Մեր Նուրինին փայ տվէք,

Տաշտերով ալուր բերէք,

Մաղերով ջուր բերէք,

Մեր Նուրինին կշտացրէք,

Ուտենք-խմենք, քեֆ անենք:


Nourin Nourin has come

Wearing a shirt and scarf

Red belt tied on

Give our Nourin her share

Bring her flour

Bring her water

Feed our Nourin

Eat, drink, and let’s have fun!



Made from a broom of twigs, the handmade doll called Nourin was in the hands of the village children as they sang such songs and walked from street to street, gathering ingredients to make gatnajash (today known as gatnabour or rice and milk pudding) and enjoy their day. The women of the village would give the eggs, flour, etc., and follow up by pouring water over the heads of the children.

At one point, this doll personified the rain-bringing goddess of water. The doll was made in the summers when droughts were common, in order to entice the rains to water their fields. Today, the doll still exists as part of Vartivar, even though the origins of this celebration can be tracked to the goddess Astghik. Churches give out wheat during Vartevar in order to keep the fields free of disasters. In order days, this would also be accompanied with dance, song and games to bring down the rain.

Nourin was a goddess who represented a strong matriarchy, but often also took on the image of a man. The spirit bore many names, including Khourtsgululu, Houchgululu, Mama-Chttig, Chichi-Mama, Chamcha-Khatun, Boubladig, Bourbadig, etc. Today, boubrig is the Armenian name for doll, coming from its olden name Bourbadig. Some of these names could have been derivations of colloquial words meaning beautiful. In Kghi, she was kalled Boubladigin; in Van, she was Khuntsgululu and Khourtsgululu; she was Nourin, Khushgururig or Khuchgururig in Shirak and Bayazet; in Aparan, she was Houchgururu, while in Arabkir` Mama-Chttig; in Garin, Agnoum and Armashum, she was Chichi-Mama, while in Akhalkalak he was Bourbadig. Whereas Eastern Armenians called her Nourin, he was Bourbadig or as a female form using the other names for the Western regions.

Nourin has also morphed over time into Nouri and Nari, then Nar or Nay. Today, many Armenian songs include “Nay-Nay” or “Hoy Nar” which may seem like jibberish to the modern individual but are actually words passed down over the centuries which were used to describe one god or another, while asking for a blessing.


(Սամվել Մկրտչյան. <<Տոներ: Հայկական ժողովրդական ծեսեր, սովորույթներ, հավատալիքներ (ավանդույթ և արդիականություն))


Thoughts, News and Interesting Tidbits- From Armenia C. 2013

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