Fujian Museum in China puts spotlight on Armenian culture

Armenian Cultural Treasures of the 19th and 20th Centuries, kicked off at the Fujian Museum in China on May 18 and will continue through July 18. The Fujian Museum and the Yerevan History Museum have joined together to organize it, China Daily reports.

Armenian Prime Minister’s Assistant Hakob Abrahamyan, chairman of the “Centre of Armenian-Chinese Partnership” Armen Mkhitaryan, representative of the Yerevan History Museum Lusine Amirjanyan and coordinator Gevorg Orbelyan, representatives of other museums of China took part in the opening ceremony.

With the aim of showing the history and culture of Armenia — unfamiliar to many Chinese — in a vivid way, the exhibition tries to explore similarities between Chinese and Armenian cultures. It shows artifacts related to the Tea Road of Ten Thousand Miles, tea culture and other aspects of cultural heritage that are important to both countries, according to Shi Zhang, curator of the exhibition.

A number of Armenian costumes and decorations are on display. According to Shi, Chinese and Armenian people share a love for red, regarding the color as auspicious, and often wear red during important events like wedding ceremonies. Moreover, the plant, animal and geometric patterns on their clothes are similar to some of those in China.

A wool rug on display, with Armenian words showing it was made in 1899 by a rug-weaving school, has an exquisite pattern of feathers, scrolls and plants. According to Shi, the highlands of Armenia are one of the cradles of rug weaving. Samples of ancient rugs discovered in archaeological sites in Armenia date as far back as the 7th century BC.

“Rugs have a religious meaning in Armenian people’s lives, and that is why they are so important. Many Armenians believe the patterns on the rugs can expel evil things, so they often put sick children in them to try to dispel sickness and ensure safety,” says Shi.

“Every part of the exhibition shows the communication between civilizations. Both China and Armenia are ancient civilizations, with frequent trade and cultural exchanges and close historical ties. The friendship and cooperation between people from these two countries continues to this day,” says Shi.

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