Traditional Armenian dance. *Photo from Wikipedia
September 21 is Independence Day, celebrates the independence of Armenia from the Soviet Union in 1991.
Armenia became the first state in the world to adopt Christianity as its official religion. In between the late 3rd century to early years of the 4th century, the state became the first Christian nation.
The ancient Armenian kingdom was split between the Byzantine and Sasanian Empires around the early 5th century. Declining due to the wars against the Byzantines, the kingdom fell in 1045 and Armenia was soon after invaded by the Seljuk Turks.
Between the 16th century and 19th century, the traditional Armenian homeland composed of Eastern Armenia and Western Armenia came under the rule of the Ottoman and Iranian empires, repeatedly ruled by either of the two over the centuries.
By the 19th century, Eastern Armenia had been conquered by the Russian Empire, while most of the western parts of the traditional Armenian homeland remained under Ottoman rule.
During World War I, Armenians living in their ancestral lands in the Ottoman Empire were systematically exterminated in the Armenian Genocide. In 1918, following the Russian Revolution, all non-Russian countries declared their independence after the Russian Empire ceased to exist, leading to the establishment of the First Republic of Armenia. By 1920, the state was incorporated into the Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, and in 1922 became a founding member of the Soviet Union. In 1936, the Transcaucasian state was dissolved, transforming its constituent states, including the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic, into full Union republics.
The modern Republic of Armenia became independent in 1991 during the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
Armenia, officially the Republic of Armenia, is a sovereign state in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located in Western Asia, it is bordered by Turkey to the west, Georgia to the north, the de facto independent Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and Azerbaijan to the east, and Iran and Azerbaijan’s exclave of Nakhchivan to the south.
Armenia has a relatively large external diaspora (8 million by some estimates, greatly exceeding the 3 million population of Armenia itself), with communities existing across the globe. The largest Armenian communities outside of Armenia can be found in Russia, France, Iran, the United States, Georgia, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Argentina, Australia, Canada, Greece, Cyprus, Israel, Poland, Ukraine and Brazil.