The Armenian people are an ethnos, which belongs to the large Caucasian racial group of peoples. The number of Armenians in the world counts approximately 10 million people, of whom only one third live in the Republic of Armenia. Large Armenian Diasporas reside in Russia, France, Iran, USA, Canada, Ukraine and Georgia. Significant quantities of Armenians also live in the unacknowledged Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.
Leaving behind the curtain the fact that some sources provide evidence of the first people in Armenia due to the early Paleolithic era, the first pre-Armenian tribes (Urartians, Hourrites, Luvians etc.) which inhabited Armenian uplands, were mentioned in the chronicles of the 4th – 3rd millennia BC. During prolonged historical process, some of these tribes passed on their physical appearance to the Armenian people, others – generally, traditions of their material or spiritual culture, the third ones – predominantly, their language, which then received into itself much of lexical wealth of other tribes, participants of this process. Especially important contribution belongs to the Khurrito - Urartian tribes as the most numerous and widespread ethnic element of the upland, which exactly due to this fact composed a physical basis of the Armenian people. Historically, the name Armenian has come to internationally designate this group of people. It was first used by neighbouring countries of ancient Armenia. It is traditionally derived from Armenak or Aram (the great-grandson of Haik's great-grandson, and another leader who is, according to Armenian tradition, the ancestor of all Armenians). However, Armenians call themselves Hay, pronounced Hye). The word has traditionally been linked to the name of the legendary founder of the Armenian nation, Haik, which is also a popular Armenian name.
Starting from the high antiquity, historical fate of the Armenian people was in many respects determined by its geographical settling. Being located at the joint of several civilizations, and then having already become the eastern outpost of the Christian world - the Armenian state invariably was in the epicenter of the destructive historical events. In the periods of the global changes of epochs the Armenians managed not only create and preserve, but also increase basic achievements of their ancient unique culture, often even under the most unfavorable conditions.
Particular historical fate of the Armenian people formed such features of national character as expressive national pride and merit, love for their land, surprising diligence, energy and perseverance; as well as tendency to sciences and crafts, hospitality, capability for self-irony and famous through the world Armenian feeling of humor.
The important feature of Armenian mentality is flair to adapt rapidly to the change in the external circumstances (another country, language, etc). Probably, this is caused by the historically conditioned practice of the forced mass migrations of Armenians to the territories of other states. It is necessary to note that Armenian Diaspora counts about 3/4 of Armenian people; however, regardless of the place of their residence the Armenians always maintain connection with the historical motherland, both spiritually and physically.
Outwardly Armenians are notable for their sufficiently expressive facial characteristic, their wavy or straight soft dark hair of different shades, relatively dark-complexioned skin, wide variety of eye colors – ranging from black and hazel to light grey and rarely blue, by strongly developed hair cover (in particular, beard of men), by the weakly appearing cheek-bones, narrow, coming out nose with the high bridge, usually thin or average thin lips.