Monday, February 10, 2003
Yesterday we attended service at the Armenian Church. I was extremely thrilled. I did not understand a word of Armenian nor did I have a clue about the rituals involved. Yet I realized that we were not there to gape at an exotic happening. It was a religious service and it deserved all the respect and adoration it got.
One thing about the fact that I did not understand the words and the actions meant that I was trying to look at the proceedings as impassively as I could. But even if I tried my best I couldn�t help drawing parallels with Hindu temple rituals and sounds. The whole service had an uncanny resemblance to the Thirumanjanam performed at Vaishnavite temples: chants, incense, curtains drawn etc. The hymns and songs sounded like they were out of Samavedha. In fact when I brought home the recordings, my mother identified a couple of carnatic ragas. Even though this sounds fantastic, fascinating and intriguing. I think we should leave it at that and not draw any other conclusions from it. Else we would be slipping into the same ethnocentric banality that seems to be at the core of today�s �politico-historic� theses.
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