Armenian culture represents the various manifestations of Armenians’ vital activity, based on self-knowledge, self-expression and accumulation of skills and abilities. It is a collection of symbols, beliefs and persuasions, values, norms and rules of behavior, which describe life of the nation.
In general, Armenia culture is an independent part in the Christian civilization, and belongs to its Eastern branch.
Armenian national culture -by its nature – is the highest form of ethnic culture development. That form is described by the existence of a unique cultural system – based on social solidarity – and the experience of Armenians’ coexistence not only on the territory of Armenia, but also in foreign countries.
The existence of a high professional level of culture brought it to the level of worldwide significance, particularly to the level of ability to support world civilization.
Armenian national culture is always connected with its direct social bearer – Armenians.
THE STRUCTURE OF ARMENIAN CULTURE
Material culture of Armenians is based on the reasonable, reproductive type of activity, it is expressed in an objective form and satisfies the primary needs of every single Armenian.
Spiritual culture of Armenians is based on the efficient and creative type of activity, it is expressed both in a subjective and in an objective form and satisfies secondary needs of every single Armenian.
Art culture of Armenians is based on an irrational and a creative type of activity, it is expressed by both in objective and subjective forms and satisfies the secondary needs of a person.
Physical culture is based on an efficient and creative type of activity, it is expressed by a subjective (bodily) form and satisfies the primary needs of a person.
Elite or high culture is created by the privileged part of Armenian society, or professional artists, creating by the order of that privileged part. As a rule, this type of culture is beyond the grasp of the perception level of a person with ,idle level of education. In the absence of statehood elite culture of Armenians passed through serious hardships and was almost completely entrusted to Armenian clergy.
Armenian folk culture or folklore was created by anonymous authors, who hadn’t had professional training. Being formed simultaneously with the origins of Armenians, Armenian national culture passed a secular path of development and preserved some local traditions.
Armenian popular culture does not express Armenian intelligentsia’s sophistication or nation’s spiritual search. This is a culture for everyone, which tends to serve the taste and needs of those who pay. Unlike Elite culture, popular culture has a larger audience, and in comparison with national culture, popular culture is always author’s. Armenia’s popular culture is for satisfying people’s immediate needs, it reacts to every new event and aims to reflect it. Its specimens lose their topicality and go out of fashion very quickly.
THE DEVELOPMENT OF ARMENIAN CULTURE
- The Bronze Period (4th -2nd millennium BC )
- Urartian period (9th – 8th centuries BC )
- Period of Orontid dynasty (4th – 3rd centuries BC)
- Period of Armenian Hellenism ( 2nd century BC – 3rd century AD)
- Early Christian period or “Golden Era” (4-5 centuries)
- The Marzpanate period (4-7 centuries)
- The period of Bagratuni dynasty (8-11 centuries)
- The period of Zakarids, “Silver Era” ( 12-13centuries)
- Cilician period ( 11-15centuries)
- Late Middle Ages or Era of Darkness (14-17centuries)
- Renewal (17-18 centuries)
- Armenian classicism (18 – the beginning of 19 centuries)
- Armenian romanticism (mid 19th century)
- Armenian realism (second half of the 19th century)
- Armenian impressionism (70th-80th of 19century)
- Armenian symbolism and neorealism (the beginning of 20 century)
- Soviet period (1921-1990)
- Armenian modernism
- Armenian postmodernism
- Pop art