Armenia versus the Netherlands Lilit Mkrtchyan
Noravank-Delft
When reading the title of the article, a question arises: “What unites these two countries, seemingly so diverse and far away from each other?”

One of the points to be considered in the comparison of Armenia and the Netherlands is the geography.

Below, some geographical facts on Armenia and the Netherlands:

The total area of the Netherlands is 41,526 sq km, of which 33,883 sq km form the land surface, while the water area occupies 7,643 sq km. In comparison to the Netherlands, the present territory of Armenia is certainly smaller, with 29,800 sq km of total area, composed by 28,400 sq km land and only 1,400 sq km of water area; whereas, formerly Armenia was known as a Great country “from Sea to Sea”, with the total area of 316,000 sq km.

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The Netherlands is a geographically low-lying country, with about 20% of its area and 21% of its population located below sea-level, while Armenia is a highland country, with the land rising to 4,090 metres above sea-level at Mount Aragats.

When referring to the history, a huge difference can be noted between the two countries:

The Armenian civilization originated nearly 5,000 years ago. Armenia is one of the oldest countries in the world. The same cannot be said about The Kingdom of the Netherlands, which is thousands years younger, with the foundation year in 1815. Formerly, the Kingdom of the Netherlands was composed of three countries, existing in the present Europe- Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands. Thus, the territory of the former Kingdom of the Netherlands was larger than the present territory of the Netherlands. However, former Armenia’s territory was still bigger than the territory of the former Kingdom of the Netherlands. During the reign of the King Tigran the Great, Armenia was one of the world’s most powerful countries, which was 10 times greater than the present Republic of Armenia.

These geographical and historical aspects though do not confirm the present power of Armenia over The Netherlands. Conversely, even though Armenia has a rich and powerful history, unfortunately the present situation is quite lamentable, especially in terms of economy and the high unemployment rate.

Nevertheless, in the past centuries the Netherlands was a rich capitalist country: in early modern Europe, the wealthiest trading city was the Dutch capital Amsterdam and the country (the Netherlands) possessed the first full-time stock exchange.

In contrast to Armenia, by possessing rich trading past, the Netherlands persistently continues its root to growth, developing economy and prosperity. 


Personal impressions

While being grown up in Armenia and spending a few years of my life in The Netherlands, I give myself a permission to draw a parallel between these two countries.

When I first arrived in the Netherlands, one of the points that captured my interest and which was a bit unusual for an Armenian eye, was the green nature of the country with its pure lowlands - an authentic side of the Netherlands, which truly contrasts Armenian highlands. Likewise, I felt somehow shocked by the Dutch climate, which is quite harsh for Southern nations.

In line with differences, there are certain similarities to be found between Armenia and the Netherlands. One particular natural aspect being especially attractive for me in the Netherlands, are the miraculous tulips growing in the fields. Similar to the tulips, in Armenia you may encounter fields full of mesmerizing red poppies - otherwise called Papaver Rhoeas, which are the wild types of tulips.
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Eventually, I have noted an endless list of advantages, advancements and more developed aspects in the picturesque country of tulips, cheese and windmills, as compared to Armenia. Among these aspects are: the transport, the road infrastructure, food safety, well-organized governmental sector, Justice and many more aspects. Nevertheless, despite all these advancements, Armenia still remains my beautiful native land - a celestial and mysterious country, still unknown for many nations in the world.


Sources:

geography.about.com

www.armenica.org

www.wikipedia.org

www.welcomearmenia.com

www.newworldencyclopedia.org


Edited by:  Celeste Concari 
Photo credits:
Lilit Mkrtchyan

armenia.org 
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