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Nairi (Armenian usages)

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Title: Nairi (Armenian usages)  
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Subject: Armenian nationalism, LGBT history in Armenia, National Security Service (Armenia), Crime in Armenia, Vahan Terian
Collection: Armenian Culture, Armenian Nationalism, Armenian Unisex Given Names
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Nairi (Armenian usages)

During the late 19th century rise of nationalism under the Ottoman Empire, the word "Nairi" or "Nayiri" (Armenian: Նայիրի in TAO or Նաիրի in RAO) came to be used as a synonym for Armenia among Armenians who came to see the Nairi (see also Mitanni, better known to Armenians as Aram-Naharin), a people located in the wider area of the Armenian Highlands during the Late Bronze Age, as their remote ancestors.

In 1916, Vahan Terian published a collection of poems entitled Land of Nairi (Armenian: Yerkir Nairi), in which he used Nairi in place of Armenia. Likewise in 1923, Yeghishe Charents wrote a satirical novella entitled Land of Nairi, using Nairi as a synonym for Armenia. Another writer, Hayastan Yeghiazarian, used Nairi Zarian as his pen-name, replacing his first name, Hayastan (the Armenian word for Armenia since the Late Middle Ages) with Nairi.

As a proper name

Nairi is used by Armenians as a first name for both boys and girls, as well as a name for a variety of products and businesses ranging from restaurants to movie theaters, magazines to publishing houses, hotels to cognac, and even computers. In the United States, especially in areas where there are large Armenian diaspora communities, many businesses, including beauty-salons, bakeries, and grocery stores bear the name Nairi. A famous example of this would be the "Nairi" brand of Armenian brandy produced by the Yerevan Brandy Company.

Nayiri (in Armenian Նայիրի) was also a prominent Armenian language long-running literary, social and artistic publication. It was established in Aleppo, Syria by the literary Armenian figure Antranig Dzarougian as a monthly from 1941 to 1949. The journal continued as a weekly / biweekly / monthly in Lebanon for many more years from the 1950s until the death of Dzarougian in 1989.

Other examples include the Nairi Stadium in Yerevan, Armenia, and Nairi a society of the Armenian minority in Russia.[1]


  1. ^ "An Ethnic History of Russia: Pre-revolutionary Times to the Present" ,ISBN 0-313-29315-5, p. 177 (Google Books)
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