Thursday, 18 September 2014

Throwback Thursday - Top 5 Oldest Countries In The World

As a matter of fact ...

I read an article today from the Washington Post about the newest countries in the world. It was inspired by the prospect of Scotland topping the list come tomorrow if they vote yes for independence from the UK. It's pretty interesting and it got me thinking; its easy to identify the newest countries in the world but what about the oldest ones? 

I had a little look and here, for you, are the five oldest countries in the world ...

1) Iran3200 BC

I never would have guessed. In the turmoil that is the middle east, I presumed that most of the countries there were newly formed after the world wars; carved up by the allies. I was wrong! Iran has existed in one form or another for an astonishing 5200 years. Insane. It's easy to see why Persian culture is so widespread!

2) Egypt3100 BC

Now this is less of a surprise. We've all heard of the ancient Egyptians. There have been people living along the fertile banks of the river Nile for so incredibly long and they have always retained their identity as 'Egyptian'. This is despite the fact that it has been occupied a fair amount in its history, most recently by the British until 1922.

3) Vietnam2879 BC

Really? I know right. I would never have got this one either. What makes me laugh is how specific the date is this time. Like Egypt, Vietnam has been occupied by everyone from the Chinese to the French but have still stayed strong and together. Crazy to think there has been solid civilization there for 5000 years. 

4) North Korea2333 BC

Not South Korea though! Apparently in 1948 when the Soviets and Americans split Korea into north and south, it was the north that retained Korea's title and standings. South Korea is treated as a new country and technically only 66 years old! That's a bit of a gap compared to its 4000 year old neighbor!

5) Georgia1300 BC

No, not the US state. I thought that too at first glance. Georgia is a county that straddles the area between Europe and Asia with Russia towering above it. The relationship between these two countries was only brought to my attention when Russian invaded Georgia in 2008. Their history is long and complicated but where many countries have crumpled under Russian pressure, Georgia has stood intact for over 3000 years; long before Russia existed. 

The signing of the Declaration of Independence signing in 1776 giving the United States full independence from the United Kingdom

Notable Mentions

  • The UK is recognised as being roughly 1500 years old. Not bad. Still got nothing on Iran or Egypt but it's certainly no baby.
  • The US is 228 years old! What a lot of stuff it's got done since then though. It was formed around the same time as Nepal and Madagascar but has outshone any countries of a similar age!
  • Canada is just 83 years old. Wow. There are Canadians alive right now who are older than their own country. Although it existed as a province some 200 years ago, it was only in 1931 that it was given full independence from the British Empire. 

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