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Hindistan Madras'taki Armenian Church in Chennai Kilisesi
 
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MessagePosté le: Lun 25 Juin 2012 - 09:55
MessageSujet du message: Hindistan Madras'taki Armenian Church in Chennai Kilisesi
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Madras Armenian Church Has No Priest but Bells are Rung Every Sunday



Not a single day passes without Trevor Alexander lighting a candle at the altar of the Armenian Church in Chennai (Madras) India.

As caretaker, Alexander lives in the premises of the church in the busy streets of George Town in the city.

Unfortunately, the church is left without a priest and there has been no Sunday service in the last six decades as there are no Armenians in the city. Alexander, however, makes it a point to ring the church’s huge bells every Sunday.

The Armenian Church is funded by the Armenian Apostolic Church and maintained by the Armenian Church Committee of Kolkata. Also called the Armenian Church of Virgin Mary, it was built by Armenians from Persia and is considered to be one of the oldest churches in India.

The church was built in 1712 by Armenians who arrived in India as traders. It was reconstructed in 1772.
The bodies of 350 Armenians are buried at the church’s cemetery. Reverend Haroutiun Shmavonian who founded the world’s first Armenian periodical “Azdarar”, is buried here.



The church is famous for its belfry adjacent to the main church. The six large bells are rung every Sunday at 9:30 am by the caretaker. The bells are of different sizes, from 21 to 26 inches, and weigh around 150 kg each. Believed to be the largest and heaviest bells of Chennai, they were manufactured and brought from London at different dates.

Alexander said, “We do not allow people to climb the stairs to see the six bells as the wooden stairs are three centuries old.”

The pictures on the walls are works of former caretaker of the church, George Gregorian, who lived in India for 50 years.

Mr. Alexander said, “Visiting hours are from 9:30 am to 2:30 every day. So please do come and visit the church. This is a heritage place that should be seen by everyone.”

Deccan Chronicle

........

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armenian_Church,_Chennai


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MessagePosté le: Sam 6 Aoû 2016 - 10:11
MessageSujet du message: Hindistan’da Ermeni olmak
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Hindistan’da Ermeni olmak









Hrant Dink Vakfı’nın Anarad Hığutyun Binası’nda düzenlendiği Ermenice kursu vesilesiyle tanıştığımız Nareg Seferian, kökleri Maraş’a dayansa da Hindistanlı bir Ermeni. Seferian’la Hindistan’daki Ermeni topluluğu ve ülkenin Ermeniler için önemini konuştuk.

Ermeniler, tarihleri boyunca, özellikle de 1915 sonrası yoğun göç veren bir topluluk olarak bilinirler. Asya’dan Avrupa’ya, Afrika’dan Amerika’ya hemen her kıtada ve ülkede Ermenilere rastlamak mümkün. Özellikle İpek Yolu döneminde birçok Ermeni tüccarın Avrupa ve Asya’ya göç ettiği biliniyor. Hindistan, tarih boyunca pek çok Ermeni’ye ev sahipliği yapmasa da 16. yüzyılda ticaretle ilgilenen Ermenilerin göç ettiği bir ülke. ABD ve Avrupa’da önemli diasporası bulunan Ermenilerin, Hindistan’da cemaati yok denecek kadar az. Öyle ki, bir milyarı aşkın nüfuslu bu ülkede yalnızca bir Ermeni okulu bulunuyor. Hrant Dink Vakfı’nın Anarad Hığutyun Binası’nda düzenlendiği Ermenice kursu vesilesiyle tanıştığımız Nareg Seferian, kökleri Maraş’a dayansa da Hindistanlı bir Ermeni. Hindistan’da doğup büyüyen, ABD ve Avrupa’da eğitimini tamamlamasının ardından Ermenistan’a yerleşen Seferian’la Hindistan’daki Ermeni topluluğu ve ülkenin Ermeniler için önemini konuştuk.

Öncelikle sizi tanıyabilir miyiz? Nerelisiniz, aile kökleriniz nereye dayanıyor?

‘Nerelisiniz?’ sorusu, birçok Ermeni için kolay bir soru değil. Ben, kendim için Maraş’tan başlayarak Halep, Beyrut, Yeni Delhi gibi birkaç şehir sayabilirim. Ailem Suriye ve Lübnanlı, babamın mesleği gereği Hindistan’a taşınmışlar, ben de Hindistan’ın başkenti Yeni Delhi’de doğdum. Liseyi orada bitirdim, daha sonra Ermenistan’a taşındık.

Babanızın işi vesilesiyle mi Ermenistan’a taşındınız?

Daha ziyade babamın vatanseverliği nedeniyle diyebilirim. Ermenistan’a taşınalı 14 yıl oluyor, dolayısıyla ömrümün yarısını Yerevan’da geçirdim. Ancak bu 14 yıllık süre zarfında altı yılımı ABD ve Avrupa’da eğitim alarak geçirdim. Son üç yıldır da Ermenistan’da yaşıyorum.

Hindistanlı Ermeniler hakkında neler söyleyebilirsiniz?

Ermenilerin Hindistan’daki varlıkları, Ermeni tarihinin en ilgi çekici sayfalarından birini oluşturuyor. Sıradan bir Hintli için Ermeniler çok tanıdık değildir. Bunun sebebi olarak ülkenin çok büyük olması, nüfusunun bir milyarı aşması gösterilebilir ama bir diğer faktör de Hindistan’daki Ermenilerin yalnızca birkaç şehirde yaşıyor olmaları. 15. ve 16. yüzyıllardan 20. yüzyıl ortalarına dek Hindistan’da Ermeni toplumunun varlığından söz edilebilir. Bu topluluklar özellikle İran’dan göç eden Ermeni tüccarlardan oluşuyordu. Orada ticaretle ilgilenirken birbirleriyle iletişime geçiyorlar, zamanla oraya yerleşiyorlardı, bazısı ise daha da doğuya giderek Asya’ya geçiyordu. Özetle tüccarlar için bir durak haline gelmişti Hindistan. Hiçbir zaman Hindistan’daki Ermeni topluluğunun nüfusu bini bulmadı. En büyük yerleşim 19. yüzyıl ortasında oldu, o dönem de birkaç yüz kişilik bir Ermeni nüfusundan bahsedebiliriz. Hindistan’daki Ermeni cemaati hep küçük bir toplum olmuştur. Ancak şunu da söylemeliyiz ki, Hindistan’ın İngilizlerin himayesi altındaki yerleşim yeri olan Kalküta’da önemli bir Ermeni nüfusu ve tarihi var. Geçmişte orada varlıklı Ermenilere rastlamak mümkündü.

Ben başkent Yeni Delhi’de doğdum. Orada da Ermeniler vardı ancak hiçbir zaman bir toplum olacak kadar kalabalık bir nüfusa sahip değildiler. Örneğin Kalküta şehrindeki gibi bir Ermeni okulu yok, bu yüzden de eğitimimi sıradan bir okulda aldım. Kalküta’daki Ermeni okulu 200 yıl önce, Ermeni yetimlerin eğitimlerini almaları için kurulmuş. Okul, günümüzde Eçmiadzin’e bağlı. Şu an özellikle Ermenistan, İran ve Irak’tan Ermeni öğrenciler bu okulda eğitim alıyorlar. Madras ve Mumbai’de Ermeni kiliseleri var. Ülkede tarih boyunca yaşamış Ermenilerden kalan 20’ye yakın kilise bulunuyor. Günümüzde Hindistan’da Ermeniler ya tüccar olarak göç edip kalanlar, ya Hindistan’lı biriyle evlenip kalanlar veya okumaya geldikten sonra burada kalanlar. Herbirinin ayrı bir hikâyesi var.

1915’ten sonra Hindistan’a göç eden Ermeniler var mıydı?

Hayır. Hindistan’a toplu olarak göç etmiş bir Ermeni nüfusundan söz edilemez. Hindistan’a göç edenler, orayı bir geçiş yolu olarak kullanmışlar ve önce ülkenin İngiltere sömürgesi olan bölgelerine, oradan da diğer ülkelere göç etmişler. Rahatlıkla diyebiliriz ki Hindistan, 1915’ten sonra Ermenilerin göç etmediği ender ülkelerden biri. Hindistanlı Ermeniler, tarihi daha eskiye dayanan bir diaspora olarak kabul edilirler. Diaspora olmanın gerektirdikleri toplumda dernekler olması, siyasi partiler olması, gazeteler olmasıdır, Hindistan’daki Ermenilerde bunlar yok. Öte yandan ilk Ermenice gazete olan Aztarar, 1794’te Madras’ta basılmış. Gazetenin ömrü uzun sürmese de Hindistan’daki Ermeni tarihinde önemli bir yere sahip.

Ailenizin Hindistan’a göç hikâyesi nasıl?

Yeni Delhi’de Ermenistan Büyükelçiliği var. Babamla diplomasiyle uğraşıyor ve görev yeri olarak kendisin Hindistan düşüyor. Ancak babam, Yeni Delhi’deki Brezilya Büyükelçiliği’nde diplomat olarak görev yapmak üzere oraya göç etti. Daha sonra başka alanlarda çalışsa da bugün yine başka bir ülkede diplomasiyle uğraşıyor.

Hindistan’da, özellikle de yaşadığınız şehirde Ermeni toplumu olmadığından bahsettiniz. Sizin Ermenice ve Ermeni kültürüyle tanışmanız nasıl oldu?

Bunun iki vesilesi var. Birincisi ve en önemlisi, ailem. Babam, 1990’larda Ermenistan’ın Hindistan Fahri Konsolosu idi. Bizim evimizde Ermenistan bayrağı vardı, evimizde her zaman Ermeni kültürünü yaşatıyorduk. Babam Beyrutlu ve onların döneminde Ermeniler kendi kültürlerini rahatça yaşamış ve yaşatmışlar. Dolayısıyla bu bize de yansıdı ve ailem sahip olduğu Ermeni kültürünü bize de aktardı. Evde doğal olarak Ermenice konuşurduk.

Bir diğer nedeni ise, yaşadığım yerin Hindistan olması. Hindistan, çokdilli bir ülke. Yeni Delhi, iki anadili olan bir şehir. Dolayısıyla evde konuştuğum Ermenicenin yanı sıra İngilizce ve Hindu dillerini de anadilim gibi biliyorum.

Öte yandan şunu da söylemem gerekir. Ermenice okuma ve yazmayı, Ermenistan’da yaşayana dek bilmiyordum. Doğu Ermenicesini de Ermenistan’a taşındıktan sonra öğrendim. Annem babam bana harfleri öğretse de, okuma yazmayı bilmiyordum. Anadilimi, diğer diaspora ülkelerindekilerin aksine Ermeni okulunda değil, evde öğrendim.

Çocukluğumda cep telefonunu bırakın, internet dahi yoktu ve dolayısıyla başka yerlerdeki Ermenilerle kolay iletişim kuramıyorduk. Bu yüzden de yalnızca evde konuşuyorduk Ermenice’yi. Arada bir misafirler gelirdi, biz onlara misafirliğe giderdik veya büyükannem ve büyükbabalarım gelirlerdi, o zaman aile dışındakilerle Ermenice konuşurduk. Ama ben ve kardeşlerim, diaspora hayatı yaşamadık. Ben diasporada yaşayan ve diasporalı bir Ermeni olduğumu söylemeyi sevmiyorum çünkü diasporada yaşamadım. Çok az sayıda Ermeni vardı ve onlar da benim yaşıtlarım değildi.




Kalküta’da bulunan Ermeni Okulu’nun öğrencileri Ermenistan’ın bağımsızlığını kutluyor

.Kalküta’da bulunan Ermeni Okulu’nun öğrencileri Ermenistan’ın bağımsızlığını kutluyor.

Bunu olumsuz bir durum olarak değerlendiriyor musunuz?

Hayır. Tam tersini düşünüyorum. Ben, hayatımın bir bölümünde diasporada da yaşadım. Elbette genelleme yapmak yanlış olur ama İstanbul’da çoğu Ermeni, kendi aralarında sosyalleşiyor ve başka alanlara yönelmiyorlar. Eğitimim için bir süre Boston’da kaldım, orada geniş bir Ermeni toplumu bulunuyor ve bu toplum kendi içinde Ermeni kültürünü çok zengin bir şekilde yaşıyor. Ermeni olmayanlarla birlikte iş yapan, vaktini ‘Ermeni olmayan’larla geçiren Ermeniler de var elbette. Ancak bunun için ekstra bir çaba sarfetmiyorlar. Bu durum beni çok şaşırtıyor. Bazen düşünüyorum, bu gayet doğal bir şey mi, ben mi anlamıyorum diye. Hindistan’da hiç böyle şeyler olmuyordu sonuçta.

Hindistan’da Ermeni olmak, sıradan bir vatandaş için bir anlam ifade ediyor mu?

Hindistan için çok basit bir durum bu, herhangi bir sonucu yok. Biz de Ermeni olmanın ne demek olduğunu çok bilmezdik. 100 yıl önce Kalküta’da yaşayan Ermeniler olsaydık belki bu durum Hindistanlılar için bir anlam ifade edebilirdi, iyi eğitim alan, varlıklı insanlar olduğumuzu düşünebilirlerdi ama bugün için böyle bir durum söz konusu değil.

Kalküta 1950-60’larda İngilizlerin himayesi altına girdiğinde zaten oradaki Ermeniler de göç etmeye başladılar. Birçoğu İngiltere’ye gitti, bazıları da Kanada ve Avustralya gibi ülkelere göç etti. O dönem Kalküta’da yaşayan Ermeniler için, İngiliz İmparatorluğu’nun evlatlarıydı diyebiliriz. Ermenilerdi ama imparatorluk ortamında kendilerine yer bulmuşlardı, o yüzden de kendilerini o mertebede görüyorlardı, dolayısıyla da birçoğu imparatorluğun izinden İngiltere’ye gitti.

Ermenilerin Hindistan tarihinde ne gibi bir yeri var?

Biz günümüzdeki Hindistanlı Ermenilere dair konuştuk ama tarihte de Hindistan’daki Ermeni varlığına dair pek çok iz bulunuyor. Bunlar çoğunlukla bulanık izler. Ama örneğin Hindistan’ın güneybatı kıyılarında eski bir Hıristiyan topluluğu var. Bunlar, 451 yılından beri Ermenistan kilisesiyle kardeş kilise konumundalar. Bu tarihte Ermeniler, genel Hıristiyan dünyasından ayrıştılar; Kıptiler, Etiyopyalılar ve Süryanilerin yanı sıra Hindistan’daki bu Hıristiyan toplum da Ermenilerle aynı gruba dahil oldular.

Hıristiyanlık öncesi Ermenistan’a dair de Hindistan’da belli kaynaklara rastlanır. Ermenistan ile Hindistan arasındaki en önemli bağ ise, İran’dır. Ermenice’de sıklıkla karşılaştığımız Farsça kökenli kelimelere Hindu dilinde de rastlanıyor.

Hindistan’ın en önemli simalarından biri kabul edilen Kral Akbar’dan da bahsetmek isterim. Kral, tarihte ‘büyük Akbar’ diye anılır, tuhaf olan ise Akbar’ın zaten büyük anlamına gelmesidir. Moğol kökenli bu hanedanlık, tarihte bütün Hindistan’a sahip olmuştu. Akbar, çok geniş görüşlü bir kraldı ve onun iktidarı döneminde bütün dinlere özgürlük tanındı. Kendisi Müslüman’dı, büyük bir haremi, üç de yasal karısı vardı. Bunlardan biri Müslüman, biri Hindu, biri de Hıristiyan’dı. Hıristiyan olan karısının, Maryam adında bir Ermeni olduğu iddia edilir. Hindistan’ın zengin dönemleriydi. Ermeni tüccarlar alışveriş yapıyorlardı. Kendi sarayı da Tac Mahal’in de bulunduğu Akra şehrindeydi.

Üç nesil sonra, torununun evladı döneminde de bu hanedanlık halen sürüyordu. Gerçi o yıllarda İngilizler aşama aşama Hindistan’ı işgal ediyorlardı. 18. yüzyılda Yeni Delhi’de Sarma adında mistik bir şahsiyetten söz edilir. Sarma’nın da Ermeni olduğunu iddia eden kaynaklar bulunuyor. Yeni Delhi’deki mezarı, kutsal bir mekân olarak ziyaret ediliyor.

Fotoğraf: Berge Arabian / Haber:Vartan Estukyan

http://www.agos.com.tr/


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MessagePosté le: Sam 1 Juil 2017 - 20:42
MessageSujet du message: Hindistan Madras'taki Armenian Church in Chennai Kilisesi
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Gorgin Khan – Armenians of India

http://allinnet.info/world/gorgin-khan-armenians-of-india/
May 31, 2017 Vigen Avetisyan

Gorgin Khan (also known as Griogor Harutyunyan) was the commander of the Bengal army and is national hero of India.
For participation in the significant liberation struggle of the Indian people against Britain Armenians received great respect from their Hindu allies.
In the days of victory over the enemy in the cities and villages of India along with Indian banners flags with a cross in honor of Armenians were raised.
The tradition continues until today, as along with the Indian military flags on the Independence Day of India an “Armenian military banner” rises.
The traditional “phobia” of British politicians towards Armenians, which does not weaken to this day, becomes understandable because it was in some measure Armenians’ help that did not allow British trading companies to plunder the resources of East India.
Gorgin Khan is the only Christian who was honored to be buried in the Sikh military rite. There is a square in Delhi named after Gorgin Khan. It also has a second name of “Square of courage”.


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MessagePosté le: Dim 2 Juil 2017 - 19:32
MessageSujet du message: Hindistan Madras'taki Armenian Church in Chennai Kilisesi
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https://books.google.com.tr/books?id=BlreO8bmK30C&printsec=frontcover&hl=tr#v=onepage&q&f=false

https://www.google.com.tr/search?hl=tr&tbo=p&tbm=bks&q=inauthor:%22Mesrovb+Jacob+Seth%22


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MessagePosté le: Mar 22 Aoû 2017 - 07:09
MessageSujet du message: Hindistan Madras'taki Armenian Church in Chennai Kilisesi
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Paper trail: How the world’s first Armenian journal emerged in Madras in 1794



Vinita Govindarajan

On Madras Day, retracing the origins of ‘Azdarar’ and the merchant community that supported it. Under the shade of frangipani trees in the quiet garden of Chennai’s 245-year-old Armenian Church is a grave decorated with an open book cemented. Engraved on the book in block letters is the word “Azdarar”, which means “The Intelligencer” in Armenian. This was the first Armenian journal in the world, published in Madras in the year 1794, when the merchant community from the mountainous, Eurasian country was thriving in the city.

The grave belonged to Reverend Haruthium Shmavonian (1750-1824), who was the editor and founder of Azdarar, hailed as the Father of Armenian Journalism. Shmavonian was born in Shiraz, a cultural hub in Iran. After the sudden death of his two sons, Shmavonian moved away from the crowded city to study Persian, which he ultimately mastered. His later voyages led him to settle down as a priest in Old Madras, where he eventually began the journal Azdarar on October 28, 1794 publishing business and world news in Armenian for the settlers in Madras.

The journal lasted only for 18 months, for reasons unknown. “The journal, sad to say, did not last long – and the few attempts to revive it also failed,” wrote city historian and chronicler S Muthiah in his book Tales of Old and New Madras.

Little is known about this Armenian journal today. While much has been written about the elegant architecture and the famous bell tower of the Armenian Church in city newspapers, the journal usually receives only a passing mention.
Old ties

The Armenian connection with Madras dates back to the 1600s, when merchants arrived by sea to trade in jute and silk, spices and precious stones. The first traces of Armenian settlements in India can be found in Surat in the 13th Century, where Armenians settled after fleeing from the persecution of the Islamic Caliphate in Persia and the Armenian Highlands. The community soon spread its network and settled in the port cities of Bombay, Calcutta, Rangoon and Madras.

Armenian Street in northern Chennai still serves as a reminder of the city’s links with the Eurasian country. The bustling street, which is now lined with street vendors and tea shops, also houses the remnants of an era long past. The Armenian Church, where the grave of Shmavonian lies, was once the focus of the city’s Armenians – not only for religious gatherings but also as a storehouse and library for a large collection of books for the local community. According to one study on Armenian print culture, a merchant prince named Shahamir Shahamirian, established the first Armenian printing press in India in the city of Madras in 1772 in India. This press also published a number of important works of Armenian political thought and modern constitutional thinking around 1787, including The Snare of Glory by Shahamirian – the first republican-inspired proto-constitution of the future state of Armenia.

But these books dwindled in numbers along with the community. After the city’s last Armenian moved to Bengaluru around 2007, there were no more descendants of the original settlers in Chennai. But even today, the Republic of Armenia acknowledges its strong ties with India, and Madras in particular, as it prepare to build a monument in front of the Victory War Memorial in Chennai to mark 25 years of diplomacy with India.

“The Armenians of Madras were famous for their printing press and charitable work,” the Consul General of the Republic of Armenia, Shivkumar Eashwaran, told The Times of India. “They even set up an Armenian newspaper Azdarar, which they printed and distributed in the city.”



Reverend Haruthium Shmavonian's grave. Credit: Vinita Govindarajan
Pioneer journal

“What would the history of Armenian journalism be without the world’s first Armenian newspaper Azdarar, published for two consecutive years by Haruthiun Shmavonian in Madras from 1794 to 1796?” asks historian and Armenian studies scholar Sebouh Aslanian.

Reverend Haruthiun Shmavonian was “the last of the great Madras-Armenians,” according to S Muthiah. The first Armenian leader was the magnetic Kojah Petrus Woskan, who was responsible for the strong relationship the community had with the British. Woskan was also known for building the first bridge across the Adyar river and the flight of 160 steps up the St Thomas Mount.

Shmavonian’s Azdarar however, had an impact not only on the local community but across the world. The periodical was considered to be one of the origins of Armenian nationalism. “It was the first attempt to speak for the community which was scattered across many port cities,” said Hari Vasudevan, Professor Emeritus of Calcutta University. The centenary jubilee of the the founding of the journal was celebrated in 1894, by Armenian journalists in Venice, Vienna, Marseilles, Constantinople and many other cities.

According to Aslanian, Azdarar contained novel features for the 18th century Armenian readers. Since the Armenian community were primarily traders, several pages in each issue were devoted to making commercial information publicly available – such as the timetables of commercial shipping traffic in the Madras port, the price lists of various commodities traded in local markets and advertisements of goods for sale.

Shmavonian himself apparently noted in his first editorial that his main aim was to “provide useful news to Madras’s then fledgling community and especially to its business leaders.” But Azdarar had a wide variety of articles. Besides business news, each issue also contained social and political news about various Armenian communities across India, said Aslanian. The periodical also had sections that would recap news from Europe, which was excerpted and translated from English language newspapers in India and Europe.

The publishing of the Armenian journal on a regular basis was quite an unusual phenomenon, said Hari Vasudevan. “The publishing of a non-English, non-European periodical was not something very common,” he said. “This notion of producing for a reading public was not known in Iran and East Turkey at that time. It was usually only almanacs that were distributed, concerning details of the position of stars and auspicious dates of the month.”

Scholars suspect that the British newspapers and periodicals circulated were an important influence on Armenian print culture. Since the British were their competitors in trade, the Armenians needed to keep their community up to speed with the latest trade developments. “Many of these innovative features were creative adaptations from English-language newspapers that had just begun to appear in India, including the idea of presenting information pertinent to the business community in a public forum,” wrote Aslanian.

The Armenian merchants were regular travellers, and culturally united by the churches they built and their Christian practice. But the Azdarar is regarded as one of the first non-religious attempts to bring the community together. Today, in a Madras church that lies 4,000 kilometres away from their homeland, the inscription on a grave is testament to the first voice of the Armenians.

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.

https://scroll.in/magazine/845597/paper-trail-how-the-worlds-first-armenian-journal-emerged-in-madras-in-1794


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MessagePosté le: Ven 8 Déc 2017 - 08:33
MessageSujet du message: Hindistan Madras'taki Armenian Church in Chennai Kilisesi
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Holy Mass echoes the Armenian way in city Church



St Peter’s Orthodox Church - Salman Ansari, DNA

Arriving in Mumbai as traders in the late 17th Century and early 18th Century, Armenians built a Church nestled in the lanes of Fort. Named St Peter's Orthodox Church, it was built in 1796 by Armenians. Besides Kolkata, where they continue to be in large numbers, presence of Armenians can also be seen in Surat, Delhi, and Agra.

On Thursday, Armenian priests from Kolkata conducted Holy Mass at the church after six years in an Armenian manner.

"Two years ago there was a small prayer service in Armenian language but this is happening after six years," said Zabel "Bella" Joshi, one of the few Armenians living in the city. Joshi, now 70-years-old came from Juhu where she now lives. "I came to India in 1972 after my marriage to my Indian husband. I am originally from Beirut in Lebanon. A lot of Armenians live there, too. For me, praying in Armenian language is something that is me. My grandfather was a priest," said Joshi who now speaks different Indian languages.

Considered Orthodox, Armenia was the first Christian nation over 18 centuries ago in 310 AD. "Back then, the Armenian ruler's daughter was unwell. The King vouched to convert to Christianity if his daughter is healed. That is when the nation became the first Christian nation," said Thomas Varughese of Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church who is looking after the Armenian Church for the last 12 years. The church opens only once a week for few hours of service by the Malankara Church followers.

"We are sister churches. Unlike Roman Catholics, Orthodox do not have one head. In each region we have heads. Our head is in India. Their's is Catholicos (Supreme Head of Armenian Church). Since we are both Orthodox and have mainly everything similar, when the population of Armenians thinned out in city, we were looking for space and they gave the church when we asked for it," said Fr Benjamin Philip, Vicar (head) of the St Peter's Church Orthodox Church. Both orthodox churches do not use idols and have only icons (pictures) of Jesus and Mary.

Fr Movses Sargsyan, pastor manager of Indian-Armenian Spiritual Pastorate who flew from Kolkatta thanked the Malankara community for taking care of the Church."It was excellent being here. It was like a pilgrimage for us. Mass was not done for and I look to doing one every year," said Fr. Movses.

The Holy Mass besides being witnessed by the Joshi and followers of Malankara Orthodox Church was also witnessed by Jason Johns, a visiting faculty at Ancient Indian History and Culture at St. Xavier's College who is studying the Armenians in city. "They even had a grave in Byculla which was shifted to Sewri after government order," said Johns who had come to witness the liturgy to update his study.

"It was a nice experience to hear the Mass in Armenian way in their language," said Johns. "It was different and same in some ways. Different in terms of vestment of priest and parts of communion and same in things that we do as well. We did not understand the mass but it was spiritually enriching the way they sung it," said Thomas.


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MessagePosté le: Ven 15 Déc 2017 - 18:40
MessageSujet du message: Hindistan Madras'taki Armenian Church in Chennai Kilisesi
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All-priest band ushers in Yuletide spirit with carols



The band, however, didn't ring in the Yuletide spirit alone as the evening opened with the Armenian Church Choir. And the 'Catholic of the Year' award went to Charles Mantosh, who's been working for Kolkata's churches since 1971 — participating in historic events, including Mother Teresa's beatification and Pope John Paul's visit.

Ajanta Chakraborty

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/all-priest-band-ushers-in-yuletide-spirit-with-carols/articleshow/62076936.cms


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MessagePosté le: Mer 7 Fév 2018 - 08:57
MessageSujet du message: Hindistan Madras'taki Armenian Church in Chennai Kilisesi
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Chennai’s Armenian culture set in stone since 16th Century





The church on Aranmanaikaran Street

CHENNAI: The Aranmanaikaran Street, also known as the Armenian Street is a narrow lane, bustling with shops, shopkeepers, and vehicles, which has been a witness to years of changes in history and culture. But despite all the development in and around the street, what has stayed is a white arch-shaped Armenian church.




The harmonious ringing of bells inside a long, white bell tower welcomes you. This bell which usually rings every Sunday morning, rang on Tuesday to mark the service being offered after more a year. A divine liturgy brings Armenians from across the country and sometimes even from outside India, to come together, deliver their prayers, offerings and to retain the long history of the Armenians in Chennai.  
 
 
The history of the church dates back to the days of Kojah Petrus Woskan, an Armenian merchant who came to Madras from Manila at a time when the city was like a magnet, because of St Thomas of Cana. “Woskan built the steps of St Thomas Mount church and the Marmalong Bridge. Before he departed, he wrote all of his will to the people of Madras,” said Jude Johnson, the caretaker of the Armenian Church, adding, “You would have noticed the picture of Mother Mary taking Jesus to heaven inside the altar, and it is only in this Armenian Church that you would find such a photo.” 

The church, which was built as a wooden structure in 1712, was then reconstructed in stone in 1772. This year, the church had a curtain at the altar to conceal the priest from people, a tradition followed during some parts of the liturgy. Rev Movses Sargysan, pastor and priest from Kolkatta, was seen in a bright traditional cassock and a crown. Accompanying him was a deacon, who said the prayers and songs in Armenian.  
 
 
At the service was Michael Stephen, one of the last Armenians who lived in Chennai, whose great grandparents came to India in 1810. Michael was a caretaker at the Armenian Church from 1994 to 2004, after which he moved to Kolkatta and then to Bengaluru, where he is now settled with his family. “It was a blessing to have served at the church for 10 years. Attending this service was simply delightful. I’m glad that the priest has agreed to do this every year,” said Michael.  


The church was initially built on a cemetery, and has buried the souls of 350 Armenians in its space. A small building next to the bell tower, which used to be a mortuary earlier, is the parish office today. “The last burial was done in 1855. After that we were given a place near the Central Railway Station” he said.The bell tower is said to be the only church in south India to have six bells. Each bell is a different size and weighs up to 150 kg. One of them has inscriptions in Tamil.  
  
Susan Reuben, warden, Armenian church, Kolkatta, attended the service. She said, “I was here last year too and it feels good to be back. It’s important to retain our culture.” 
 
 By Thushara Ann Mathew

http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/chennai/2018/feb/06/chennais-armenian-culture-set-in-stone-since-16th-century-1769390.html 


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MessagePosté le: Mer 7 Fév 2018 - 09:34
MessageSujet du message: Hindistan Madras'taki Armenian Church in Chennai Kilisesi
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The bells toll again: Chennai revives its Armenian link with annual church service



Once a flourishing community in the city, Chennai now only houses six Armenians.

BY Anjana Shekar

https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/croc-42-years-later-madras-crocodile-bank-ocean-cool-reptiles-76015


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