A sojourn through the Jewish relics in Kerala
By Express News Service | Published: 11th September 2013 12:01 PM |
Journeying through the 12 Jewish settlements in Kerala, a photo documentary titled ‘A journey through the Jewish remains in Kerala’ has begun at the Durbar Hall here.
The photo documentary by K B Bobinson is a culmination of the research on the Jewish Diaspora in Kerala carried out by Asif Rehman and Vishnu Vinay, who present the event.
“Initiated as an architectural study on two little known synagogues on Jew Street, Ernakaulam, our research progressed into a wider network of Jewish settlements in Kerala dating back to 300 BC,” said Asif and Vishnu at a press release issued here.
The Paradesi Synagogue at Mattanchery has been the lone standing relic of Jewish Diaspora in Kerala over the past few decades.
“With this preconception in mind, we were thrilled and surprised to find two magnificent synagogues juxtaposed in the middle of the buzzing markets of Ernakulam Broadway. One of them is currently closed down and the other is used as a plant and aquarium shop,” they said.
Asif said that the fact that the Synagogues at Ernakulam dated back to AD 1200s, at least 300 years older than the Paradesi Synagogue, forced them to explore more on the topic.
“So far we have pinned down as many as 12 Jewish settlements in Kerala. Along with the much known Jewish settlements in Mala, Paravur and Chennamangalam, our expedition has taken us to older settlements such as the ones at Madayippara (Kannur), Krishnagiri (Wayanad) and Kuttichira (Kozhikode).
About the photo documentary, the presenters said it would be a journey through these settlements, narrating local flavours of culture and history. “We were fortunate to accompany an Israeli Jewish priest’s family during our explorations which transcended space and time,” they added.
The photo documentary is the end of the Phase-I of the research. Â“We hope phase 2, the final phase, will culminate into a book or a documentary film which will help in creating a move to resurrect and protect these Jewish monuments and relics. Such movements have already been launched at Paravur and Chennamangalam,” they added.