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Armenian Women: Characteristics, Clothing, and Names

Armenian Women

Armenian Women: Characteristics, Clothing, and Names

Women play a significant role in any society, and Armenia is certainly no exception. Armenian women are particularly known for their beauty and sharp intellect.

Throughout history, Armenian women fought alongside men and ruled the country against its many invaders. Even to this day, Armenian women remain hard-working and will do anything to protect their families and their country.

Characteristics of Armenian Women

What are Armenian women like? This is certainly a question that many people would like to know the answer to, especially after Armenian women were named the sexiest women several years ago. It is difficult to generalize, but there are several characteristics that many Armenian women seem to share.

Hard-working: Armenian women are certainly among the most hard-working. While it has been acceptable for a long time for women to not work, that didn’t always stop Armenian women from doing whatever they could to provide for their families. It is not uncommon to see Armenian women even today tending to the fields in the blistering summer sun with the hope that the harvest will help put food on the table. Nowadays, it’s not uncommon to see women working in different sectors, all the way from schools to some of the most powerful seats in government. Armenian women also love to study; it has been shown that Armenian women tend to obtain a higher education more often than men do.

Family-oriented: Armenians, in general, are very family-oriented. They will do anything for their families and divorce rates are particularly low in Armenia because of how much children are prioritized. Many Armenian women get married at a young age and have children right away. For them, taking care of the home and family is of utmost importance. Arguably, this has a lot to do with the traditional upbringing and gender roles that are prominent in Armenian society, but it is a common characteristic of Armenian women. Most of them see marriage and motherhood as their primary goals in life. In addition, Armenians take care of their extended families, too, as the nuclear family is not emphasized as much in Armenia. It is common for a married woman to live with her husband’s family in Armenia.

Religious: Armenia was the first Christian nation and over 95 percent of its population are adherents of the Armenian Apostolic Church. So, perhaps it is not a stretch to say that many Armenian women are religious. They enjoy prayer and many Armenian women- more so than men- go to church in their free time, especially for the Sunday mass.

Fashion-forward: And finally, one of the most common characteristics that you will see in Armenian women is that they love to take care of themselves and follow trends. Plenty of Armenian girls enjoy getting their hair and nails done and are experts on makeup and fashion. You will see Armenian women in the most trendsetting outfits on your next trip to Armenia. And don’t be surprised by the fact that they can walk in heels that are several inches. When we look at women like Kim Kardashian, who has a major influence on the beauty and fashion industry, it’s not so surprising then to see that Armenian women, in general, tend to be trendsetters.

Armenian Women’s Clothing

If you travel to Armenia today, you will see that most Armenian women dress the same way that women do in Western Europe or the USA: jeans, sneakers, hoodies, and other casual wear. Armenian women like to take care of themselves, so don’t feel too intimidated if you see an Armenian woman dressed beautifully for an occasion. While Armenia is a bit more conservative in terms of its values, the country has become accepting of women dressing more openly and casually over the past few decades.

In history, the Armenian taraz was the most famous traditional garment. Its appearance depended on the part of Armenia the wearer was from, their wealth, position, class, and region. The Armenian women’s taraz was made of fabric such as velvet, satin, and silk. The colors were diverse and it is common to find traditional garments in red, blue, green, and other lively colors. Women from the eastern regions would wear a red shirt and red velvet pants under their garment that was cinched with a silver belt. The outer garment featured jackets, dresses, and sleeveless clothes. Those who were of higher classes often incorporated silver and gold fibers in their dresses and they often wore many accessories. High-class women would also wear bibs and velvet jackets.

Armenian woman in traditional taraz dress

©Lilith Shahbazyan

Sometimes, the clothes would indicate whether or not a woman was married and how many children she had. In early times, women covered their mouths with a cloth, especially married women because newlyweds were not allowed to speak to anyone besides their husbands. Medieval women covered their heads with veils.

Famous Armenian Women

Although we most commonly hear about Armenian men, Armenian women have also had their impact on the nation and its culture. Here are some of the most famous Armenian women in the world today.

Kim Kardashian: Perhaps it’s difficult to speak about Armenian women without mentioning Kim Kardashian. Indeed, she and her sisters have spoken about their Armenian heritage and upbringing often on their show and have played a major role in spreading awareness about the Armenian Genocide worldwide. Kim’s father, Robert, was an ethnic Armenian and his ancestors had fled from Kars during the Genocide. Kim Kardashian

Sirusho: Sirusho is a famous singer known for her incorporation of the Armenian culture in her songs and music videos. She is most famous for her performance in Eurovision and for the traditional Armenian taraz that she wears in many of her videos. Sirusho also owns a brand, Pregomesh, which is known for its traditional Armenian-style jewelry. She frequently performs in the Diaspora.

Cher: Cher, born Cherilyn Sarkissian, is another famous woman who is known for her acting and singing abilities. She reached the height of her career in the 1970s and 1980s. Cher is also known for being vocal about her Armenian heritage, most particularly for her aid in the aftermath of the Spitak earthquake of 1988.

Diana Abgar: Although she is no longer alive, nor is she particularly famous, it is also important to mention Diana Abgar on this list. She was a writer and publicist of Armenian descent, and is most well-known for being the first female ambassador in history. She was the ambassador of Armenia in Japan from the First Republic’s establishment in 1918 until its dissolution.

Diana Abgar

Gladys Berejiklian: Gladys Berejiklian is the Premier of New South Wales, a state in Australia. She was the first female to be elected into this position and is also the leader of the New South Wales Liberal Party. Prior to her election, Berejiklian had been the Treasurer of New South Wales, the Minister for Industrial Relations, and the Minister for Transport. 

Gladys Berejiklian

Popular Armenian Female Names

Armenians are known for having unique names, but as of recently, Armenians have also been using international names for their children, too.

According to statistics from 2015, the top 10 most common female names in Armenia were: Nare, Milena, Mary, Mane, Ani, Maria, Mariam, Anahit, Ellen, and Angelina.

Typically, Armenians will either use international names, Biblical names, or historical names for their children. For example, Mary, Milena, Ellen, Diana, Liana, Lena, Lily, and other common female names are also used internationally. As Armenians are Christians, it is also normal to come across women who are named after Biblical figures, most commonly Mary (Mariam), the mother of Christ. Armenians also have their own variations of popular international names, such as Heghine (Helen/Helena), Hasmik (Jasmine), Silva (Sylvia/Celia), and Mariam (Mary).

In addition, the Armenian culture has its own traditional names. For example, Anahit was the name of the mother of the Armenian gods. Nare was the name of another Armenian goddess, too. Ani is the name of a former capital of Armenia, and Tatev is the name of a famous monastery in southern Armenia. It is also common to come across girls named Lusine, the Armenian word for “moon,” Arev, the Armenian word for “sun,” Anush (sweet), Ashkhen (the name of an Armenian queen), Gohar (jewel), and others.

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