Saturday, November 15, 2008

Interesting Armenian Traditions that are Part of the History Now.

In old times when the young man’s family would go to a future bride’s house to ask her parents for a permission to marry their girl, the parents (even if they didn’t mind the engagement) would not agree from the first time. The guy’s parents had to come back again and again, and finally the father of the girl would give his permission. The girl’s father would never say “yes” directly, but he would speak allegorically, saying “Let’s not argue. I’ll put the scarf on your hand and you’ll take it with you”.

Since ancient times the Armenians have not been allowed to marry their relatives way back to the seventh generation. Even if a child was adopted, and there was no blood relationship, he/she couldn’t marry the relative of the family that adopted him/her, as he/she was considered a full member of the clan. What is interesting, a person couldn’t marry even the descendants of their cross father, or god father, since the latter were considered even closer than a blood relationship.

Armenian guys used to choose a bride from the same town or village. There is even an old saying on this occasion “It's Better to Give Your Daughter to the Local Cowboy, than to a Foreign King”. Another saying is “The best bride is the one that lives in your street”. This popular wisdom shows that the people who live in the same area have similar values and will understand each other much better.

Another Armenian saying provided that “A bride should not be necessarily beautiful, but should have a good character”, or “When choosing a wife, look at the girl’s mother.

In old days a divorce was allowed but was an extremely rare thing. People were allowed to divorce, for example, if the husband or wife proved to be disloyal. Usually a man could get married only three times after a divorce or death of his wife. And the third time he was only allowed to marry a widow.

A comparably recent tradition, which is though very rare in our days, is the tradition of a “Fox”. When the groom and his family and friends went to the bride’s house to take the bride to church, one of the groom’s friends speeded ahead of the group, and went to the bride’s house to take the news to the bride, saying that the groom is coming. The man who took the news was called a fox, and sometimes there was a skin of a fox attached to his horse, cart, car. For the news “the fox” was given a chicken.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, for the time being these traditions are part of history, but it will be very interesting and entertaining to use some of them even "today"

About Us

Yerevan,, Armenia
Armine Karakhanyan, 2nd year student, Political Science and International Affairs, American University of Armenia Narine Hovakimyan, 1st year student, Business and Administration, American University of Armenia