Victory Day in Russia and Other Countries: Vocabulary and History

Victory Day is a holiday of significance in many Eurasian cultures, but particularly stands out in Russia. People pay homage to veterans and remember the sacrifices that were made for the sake of victory in WWII. While Victory Day is deeply ingrained in Russia’s national identity, its observance across Eurasia reveals nuanced changes or adaptations […]

Dictionary of Armenian Food

Armenia, a land of ancient traditions and culinary treasures, invites you on a journey to explore its rich gastronomic heritage. Armenian food is characterized by its use of fresh herbs, succulent meats, and an array of grains and legumes, complemented by the distinctive flavors of pomegranate, lemon, apricot, and a variety of regional spices. Heavily […]

Yazidi Temples in Aknalich, Armenia

While I was studying in Armenia I was able to request a trip to visit the Yazidi temples in Aknalich, Armenia. I arranged this through Hasmik, the guide that led much of the cultural portion for our SRAS study abroad program in Yerevan. I am fascinated with different religious groups, and this was a great […]

Armenian Holidays 2024: A Complete Guide

Through these holidays, you will find Armenia is filled with a rich history revolving around nationhood, family, and religious tradition. Many holidays are particularly associated with specific monuments emphasizing the importance of place in Armenian culture. Some are ancient holidays steeped in pagan symbolism, officially repressed under the Soviets, but now newly embraced by the […]

Armenian Identity: Heroes, Geography, Language, and Religion

This resource analyzes Armenian national identity through a selection of Armenian national heroes, pivotal events in Armenian history over the past century, geography in the Armenian national consciousness, and the role of religion, language, and ethnicity in the Armenian understanding of what it means to be Armenian. It will also briefly cover ethnic diversity in […]

Baklava: A Sweet Cultural Controversy of Eurasia

Baklava (Баклава), is a delicate pastry served in numerous countries such as Russia, Turkey, and throughout the Balkans, the Middle East, the Caucuses, and Central Asia. The recipe for the luxurious dessert typically maintains the same components: honey and nuts placed between layers of pastry. Specific countries over the centuries have added their own specific […]

How Armenians Celebrate New Year’s

Studying in Bishkek for the academic year, I took advantage of winter break to visit my host family in Armenia from a previous study abroad experience. This gave me my first opportunity to see how New Year’s is celebrated in this part of the world: the setting up of the New Year’s tree and other […]

An Armenian Abroad: Adjusting to Life in St. Petersburg

Studying abroad in Russia as an Armenian American was eye-opening. I am a Russian Studies major that has always been interested in Russian culture and history – which are deeply intertwined with Armenian culture and history. After a summer abroad, viewing life in St. Petersburg through an Armenian-American lens, I feel that I have come […]

All About Shashlyk (BBQ from the Caucasus)

Shashlyk (шашлык) is considered to be one of the very first dishes humans invented and most likely hails from the place the first modern human likely appeared – the area covering Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, and the Caucasus. How “Shashlyk” Got Its Name (Почему он так называется?) The word “шашлык” was adopted into Russian in the […]