Middle Age and Old

Until recently many urban Armenian men and women looked forward to middle age because it meant that they could retire and spend more time with their families and on leisure activities. As pensions have dwindled and social services have disappeared in the post-Soviet period, women and men no longer look forward to retirement, because it has come to mean impoverishment and powerlessness. However, in rural areas, where patriarchal traditions are more prevalent and where pensions were never an integral part of one's retirement income, women still look forward to middle age because it brings a gain in stature. In old age, men and women become equal. Elders are respected in Armenian society and are referred to by family members and strangers as "father" (hayrig) or "mother" (mayrig).

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