The people of Hayk
Armenians are people who are the descendants of a branch of the Indo-Europeans, they call themselves Hayq (singular: Hay), and can trace their history back thousands of years, to the Urartians, Hurrians, and Luwians that lived in Anatolia in the several millennia before Christ, known to the Persians as Armina and to the Greeks as Armenioi.
Some Armenians still exhibit these historic roots and ties because these early kingdoms passed along some of their traditions and customs to the kingdoms that came after them.
They refer to their country as Hayastan, which is derived from the name of Hayk, who established a significant kingdom in the area and was an ancestor of the biblical Noah.
The suffix “-stan” is from Persian, and it was added in the Middle Ages. The word “Armenia” has been used for around 2,500 years, and probably comes from the name of Aram, a descendent of Hayk.
The Ancient Armenian Tribes
Ancient sub-tribes included the Zok, who spoke a different language from the Indo-European Armenian. The Zok predominantly lived in Nakhijevan; their capital was Akuli, and they are reputed to have developed Armenian culture in Tbilisi. Aram Khachaturian was a Zok Armenian. Other distinct subgroups in Armenia are the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh, the Armenians of Siunik and Vayots Dzor, the Armenians of Sevan, Northern Armenia, and the Armenians of Western Armenia.
Numerous other sub-tribes exist, and those interested in family history should get in touch with the Armenian Genealogical Society.
Features and formal characteristics of the Armenians
Some Armenians have darker hair and skin, while others are lighter, with everything in between. Today, Armenia is an ethnically homogeneous country, and while the migration is beginning to increase, it is 98% Armenian. The only official language is Armenian, which is spoken by almost everyone, though Russian and English are ordinary second languages.
The most common ending is -ian, derived from Persian, and we have heard several reasons for this, the most plausible being that it denotes “son of” or “of.” Hence, Nubarian could be translated to mean “son of Nubar” or “from Nubar.”
Armenian culture has remained remarkably unified over the centuries, notably because of the adoption of Christianity (in 301 EC) and the unique Armenian alphabet (established in 405 EC). This has created a lot of cohesion among Armenians, even among the diaspora and communities living well beyond the borders of modern Armenia.