THE ARAMAIC PROJECT
TO RESUSCITATE AN INTANGIBLE CULTURAL HERITAGE OF HUMANITY
A program to honor and preserve the unparalleled legacy of an ancient language and music tradition that are part of the history and an intangible treasure in the world’s cultural heritage .
The Aramaic (Syriac) language in which Jesus and His disciples preached the Gospel reached South India in the early Christian era. Until the 1960s, the St. Thomas Christians in Kerala, who trace the origin of their faith to St.Thomas the Apostle, celebrated liturgy in this language. Since the vernacularization of the liturgy, the language and the melodies are on the path to extinction in the Syro Malabar Church (3.25 million members)....
The Aramaic project is a part of a larger plan of a digital library of Christian music in India under the auspices of the Christian Musicological Society. This library will be beneficial to the general public, as well as academic departments that specialize in such topics as South Asian and West Asian studies, Indology, musicology, anthropology, theology, religion, Church history, Syriac Christianity, liturgy, and linguistics....
This website is dedicated to Fr. Chandy Kadavil (1588-1677), a great son of India and a celebrated St. Thomas Christians from Kaduthuruthy, in central Kerala. He was also known by his nickname in Syriac, “Alaksandros hendwāyā” Alexander the Indian. Fr. Kadavil was a great scholar, orator, and a prominent leader of the St. Thomas Christians. He lived at a tumultuous period in the history of the St. Thomas Christians,, who reacted vehemently ....
The source of inspiration for the Aramaic project is the life story of the saintly Palackal Thoma Malpan (Pālackal Tōmmā Malpān, circa 1780-1841), my collateral ancestor, a teacher and scholar of the Syriac language and liturgy, founder of the first seminary of the Syriac Christians in India, founder of the first indigenous religious congregation for men in India (see video), and a father to the Syro Malabar Church......
Bishop Mar Francis Kalabat is welcomed by singing the Syriac Song "Slothak Awun". Syriac Songs are getting attention in the Syro Malabar Church, an indication of the increasing comfort level of the younger generation of Syro Malabar Catholics, especially in the USA with the Syriac tradition.
It was indeed an honor to represent the East-Syriac tradition of the Syro Malabar Church at the international Syriac music conference that Geneva Haute Ecole de Musique and Laus Plena Foundation organized in Geneva from 17-21 March 2021
This is a very useful exchange of ideas between Prof. Sebastian Brock (Oxford University) and Dr. Joseph J. Palackal, CMI at the Syriac Music Conference at Geneva, on 20 March 2021. The history of the two different pronunciations of the Syriac language is still under the cloud. Prof. Brock traces bifurcation back to about the Seventh century.