Hayastan 1915-2015

On April 24th, 2015, Armenians celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, one of the most important events in the history of the country, which brought the world’s attention to the memory of the million and a half Armenians killed in 1915. In the capital Yerevan the entire population went to Dzidzernagapert, the memorial of Genocide, to leave a flower, and in Echmiadzin – considered the Armenian Vatican and the seat of the Catholicos Karekin II, head of the national church – the Armenian martyrs were canonized. Armenia, the oldest country to adopt Christianity as a state religion in 301, is officially at war with Azerbaijan for the control of Nagorno-Karabakh, former Armenian enclave in Azerbaijani territory assigned to Baku by Stalin. And the Soviet past has still a very strong influence in the daily life of the country, Russian is commonly spoken and studied in schools; in Yerevan and in vacation destinations near the capital architecture is still very much influenced by the Soviet period. But Yerevan is also a living city, rich in art, culture and entertainment, despite a difficult economic situation and the arrival of Syrian refugees of Armenian descent, fleeing the war in Syria.

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