Monday, December 17, 2012

Indo-Armenian Friendship NGO hosts Ambassador designate of India to Armenia and Georgia in New Delhi, India

IAF Press Release
December 16,2012
New Delhi

The Speakers of the event

On 15thDecember 2012, Indo-Armenian Friendship NGO (IAF) organised an interactive session between the newly appointed Ambassador of India to Armenia and Georgia Dr. T. Suresh Babu and members of IAF in India’s premier Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.  Dignitaries present in the occasion included Ambassador Achal Kumar Malhotra, outgoing Ambassador of India to Armenia and Georgia, Mrs. Lusik Tovmasyan, Consul of Armenian Embassy in India, and Prof. Purushottam Agrawal, Member of Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).

People who attended the event included Armenian students studying in India, Indian students who had graduated from YSMU, businessmen and people from different walks of life interested to know about Indo-Armenian ties. Most of them were members of Indo-Armenian Friendship NGO.

IAF Co-founder & President
Mr. Rananjay Anand
Mr. Rananjay Anand, Co-Founder and President of Indo-Armenian Friendship NGO welcomed everyone and thanked them for taking some time out of their busy schedules to attend the event. At the onset, he underlined the importance of such initiatives and need of such organizations like IAF to execute them. He updated the audience with IAF's past activities and future plannings!

Ambassador Achal K Malhotra

Ambassador Achal K Malhotra, who ended his tenure as the Ambassador of India to Armenia and Georgia in April this year congratulated IAF on organising the interactive session. He said, “IAF has done a great job so far, and I am sure that it will continue to do many more activities that will once again revive the old tradition of Indo-Armenian cultural and friendly interaction”.  Ambassador Malhotra also wished his successor, Dr. T.S. Babu a very fruitful and productive tenure in Yerevan.


Prof. Purushottam Agrawal

Prof. Purushottam Agrawal, who recently launched his new Book titled “Hindi Sarai: Astrakhan via Yerevan” spoke about his experiences in Yerevan which was his penultimate destination before his journey to Astrakhan in Russia. His journey inspired him to author this book, which he mentions not only as “Travelogue” but a well researched “Thoughtlogue”. He especially mentioned the great contribution of Armenian patriotic poet Yeghishe Charents in the cultural historicity of Armenia. “Armenian people are quite efficient, quite energetic and very helpful”, said the professor, recalling his days in Armenia. “I was aware of the importance of Armenia in world history, and also of the long standing cultural relations between Armenia and India”, continued the author, and went ahead to speak about the immense contribution the Armenians had on Indian culture and society.

Ambassador Designate of India to Armenia & Georgia
Dr. T. Suresh Babu

Ambassador Designate Dr. T. Suresh Babu works in the Eurasian division of Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India and is in charge of CIS countries, among which Armenia is one as well. While speaking of his next assignment as Ambassador of Armenia & Georgia, he recalled how he got to know about Armenia for the first time when his father took him to Armenian Bazar in Chennai. He underlined the great mutual goodwill existing between both countries and was happy to state that there is already a great existing foundation to take his work further very easily. He thanked IAF for organizing the event, which is his first official interaction with relevant group of people after being appointed as the Ambassador of India to Armenia & Georgia. “I will try my best to carry ahead the good work which Ambassador Malhotra had put up during his tenure in Armenia”, assured the newly appointed Ambassador, adding, “I will not let you down Amb Malhotra”, referring to his new responsibility in Armenia. 

Consul of Embassy of Armenia to India
Ms. Lusik Tovmasyan

Mrs. Lusik Tovmasyan, Consul of Armenian Embassy in India addressed the audience and spoke about the centuries old Indo-Armenian ties. She especially underlined the striking similarities between people of both countries. “As most Armenians in India will agree, it is very difficult for one to part away from India after staying in this country for some time”, she said, speaking about the love Armenians have for India. She also spoke about the long-standing Indo-Armenians ties, making a special mention about Mariam Zamani Begum, the Christian Armenian wife of Mughal Emperor Akbar. The Armenian Consul further wished the new Ambassador to Armenia immense success in his new task in Yerevan.

Warli Folk Art Painter
Ms. Babita Biswas

Renowned Warli Folk artist Mrs. Babita Biswas who was also present at the event was sharing her own memories about Armenia which she experienced during her visit to this beautiful country for her Painting Exhibition jointly organized by the Ministry of Culture of Armenia and ICCR.

Audience were invited to ask questions regarding Indo-Armenian relationship or any relevant topics. Questions were asked to both the Ambassadors, which they were more than happy to answer, making it a completely interactive event.

Mane Mkrtchyan, who is studying Hindi in India
 had some questions for the speakers
The session ended with High Tea, where the event participants got a chance to meet each other and make new friends, further tightening the Indo-Armenian Connection.

Indo-Armenian Friendship NGO wished Dr. T.Suresh Babu immense success during his tenure as Ambassador of India in Armenia.

Picture Perfect


Hetq Report

Friday, November 23, 2012

Heritage Exhibition on Armenian Graves of Surat!

Exhibition in full operation at Surat Science Centre, Surat, India
Photo Courtesy: Sanjay Choksy

There's a heritage exhibition taking place in Surat, India now 19-25 November, the attached short biography and story of how the Armenian graves of Surat are being translated into English is currently being run in the local Surat newspapers. The exhibition, run by the Surat Science Museum has a photo gallery of the Armenian graves with the translations beside them.

Liz Chater on this project:

"In a way without IAF it wouldn't have happened. Sanjay Choksi and Piyush Dalal took the photos, Arpine posted them to IAF Facebook page, and I happened to see them. Further down the line without help from the fantastically knowledgeable historians such as Sebouh Aslanian and Father Krikor Maksoudian who assisted with the translations this truly international story of working together and co-operation would not have brought such lime-light onto the Armenian graves of Surat. We've all played a part and now the grave photographs and the transcriptions form part of the Surat Science Centre Heritage Programme this week in Surat. Amazing. A truly remarkable example of team work. Well Done Everyone Involved."

Such initiatives are great example of International coordination with greatest level of shared passion for a noble cause. IAF would like to have support from all around to realize our dream of regaining the lost glory of  Indo-Armenian relationship with perfect display of team-work having such initiatives. 

Long live Indo-Armenian Friendship!

Relevant Links:

Relevant Post: Armenian Graves at Surat India, New History Revealed
English Transcription on SURAT GRAVES PAGE of Chater Genealogy

Published Report on YEREVAN Magazine
Published Report on HETQ Online Newspaper

For any inquiry, please contact us:

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Bharatnatyam Dance Concert in Yerevan, Armenia

Bharatnatyam Exponent Ms. Revathi Ramachandran

On 29 September 2012 Indo-Armenian Friendship NGO’s members attended and participated in “A Bharatnatyam Dance Performance ” event performed by Bharatnatyam Dance Exponent Ms. Revathi Ramachandran. The performance took place at Arno Babajanyan  hall in Yerevan and was dedicated to the Celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the establishment of the Diplomatic Relations between the Republic of India and the Republic of Armenia. The organizers of the event are The Embassy of India in Yerevan, The Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Armenia.

IAF representatives with the
Bharatnatyam Dance Group of Ms. Revathi Ramachandran

The event began with the inaugural address by Mr. Pankaj Saxena, Charge d’ Affaires of the Embassy of India in Armenia, who welcomed all participants from different diplomatic missions, organizations, universities etc. and expressed his gratitude to all organizers for such a beautiful initiative. Then Mr. Artur Poghosyan - Deputy Minister of Culture in  Armenia addressed the large audience present in hall and talked about the importance of Indo-Armenian cultural relations which have long celebrated history. He also reminded this event as a part of  celebration of “Indian Cultural Days” in Armenia form 28 September till 2 October. During these days Bharatnatyam Dance Group will also perform in Yerevan State Medical University and in Gyumri - the cultural capital of Armenia.

Charge De Affairs, Embassy of India, Mr. Pankaj Saxena
with the dance group

Bharatnatyam Dance Group from India was comprised of 5 members; Ms. Revathi  Ramachandran - dancer who was accompanied by  Ms. Korukkai Ramachandran Manasvini (Cymbals), Ms. Preethy – Maheshwar (Vocalist), Mr. Krishnamoorthy Venkatasubramanian (Mridangam) and Mr. Vasudevan Muruganandam (Violin), presented 7 dances (Invocation, Varnam, Suddhanrittam, Javali, Padam, Devaram and Tillana).  

Ms. Korukkai Ramachandran Manasvini  daughter and  student of Ms. Ramachandran accompanied with her Guru and mother to thrill the audience with their classical dance performances. It was a great performance to showcase the Indian spiritual and philosophical thought system where the expressions, the melody and the sound are in harmony with each other and emphasized the Union of Outer World with Inner World. 

Bharatnatyam is one of the ancient classical dances of India which are all based on “Natya Shastra” created by Bharat Muni. Bharatnatyam is also known as the fifth Veda or Natya Veda, a quintessence of four Vedas which were written thousands of years ago during Vedic Period. The word “Bharatnatyam” is composed of the terms, “Bha- Bhavam (means expression), Ra- Ragam (means music), Ta- Talam (means beat or rhythm) and Natyam (means dance). Bharatanatyam is a traditional dance-form known for its grace, purity, tenderness, and sculpturesque poses. Today, it is one of the most popular and widely performed dance styles and is practiced by male and female dancers all over the world.

The philosophy behind this dance is to search the human soul and unite with the Supreme Being. Ms. Revathi Ramachandran is one of the best dancers who really feels and presents to public the meaning of these dances. Her artistic talent was discovered by the great Guru Mangudi Dorairaja Iyer, a Maestro of the Melattur style of Bharathanatyam, and the visionary who revived the Shuddha Nrittam style of Bharathanatyam to make it his principal legacy to his student, Revathi. Revathi gave a lot performances in various parts of India and around the world (USA, Canada, UK, France, Singapore, Rome,Malaysia and the latest is Armenia) receiving great appreciations for her performances. In 1987 she established Kala Sadhanalaya Dance school which grown up by size and talents who are the representatives of Bharatnatyam dances.

IAF Secretary General Ms. Lusine Toroyan addressing the audience

At the end of the event, IAF Secretary General  Ms. Lusine Toroyan on behalf of President Mr. Rananjay Anand and all IAF  members congratulated all organizers and  Bharatnatyam Dance Group for this great event. Ms. Lusine and IAF Vice President Mr. Karen Hovhannisyan presented Ms. Revathi with a Bouquet of flowers and Armenian Souvenirs to her dance group members as a symbol of gratitude on behalf of all IAF members.

IAF Secretary General Ms. Lusine Toroyan in a deep conversation
with Bharatnatyam exponent Ms. Revathi Ramachandran

All audience present in the event were spell-bound with the special dance performances. This evening was one more proof of strong Indo-Armenian relations.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Armenian Graves at Surat India, New History Revealed

A chance viewing of a posting on the social network site of Facebook led to a wonderful joint international effort to uncover some hitherto previously unknown and unseen historically important Armenian graves at Surat in India.

Liz Chater, who has an ongoing project to photograph and record as many Armenian graves in India as possible, was fortunate to stumble upon a wonderful set of photographs posted on the Indo-Armenian Friendship NGO Group page on the popular social networking site Facebook.  Striking up a conversation thread with the Arpine Gyulinyan who had made the posting, it quickly became clear to Liz that there were a number of others as well.

Arpine who is happily married and lives in Surat permanently with her husband Piyush Dalal had recently visited the Surat Science Centre. At the entrance was a large photograph entitled “ARMENIAN CEMETERY”.  Enquiring about the photograph with staff members she was advised that the Science Centre’s photographer, Sanjay Choksi, was extremely knowledgeable about all the cemeteries in Surat including the Armenian one. Sanjay kindly agreed to take Arpine and her husband Piyush to the Armenian cemetery the next day.

Through Arpine, permission was sought of and granted by Sanjay for copies of the photographs to be sent to Liz with a view to trying to get them transcribed and translated into English.  Knowing of their historical importance and the fact that these graves had never before been translated into English, Liz turned to experts in this field for help. 

Liz approached Professor Sebouh Aslanian, Assistant Professor, Richard Hovannisian Endowed Chair in Modern Armenian History at UCLA and Very Reverend Father Krikor Maksoudian of Arlington, Massachusetts a professor of Armenian Church history and a past director of the Krikor and Clara Zohrab Information Centre New York, both of whom very generously agreed to assist with these difficult transcriptions. Very Reverend Fr. Krikor had previously assisted Liz with the grave transcriptions for her book: “Armenian Graves, Inscriptions and Memorials in India DACCA 1722-1977” published last year. There are very few people who are able to successfully transcribe from the now extinct Julfan dialect.  The graves at Surat are of that very rare dialect and Liz was indeed very fortunate to have two such exceptional experts willing to assist and help break down historic barriers. The Armenians of Surat are of particular interest to Professor Aslanian and he was keen to help with the translations.

For family historians and scholars alike, the newly translated Armenian graves of Surat will open up avenues of research that had been closed for many years. This project is a fine example of social networking operating in a positive and useful fashion, bringing individuals together who normally would never meet, and on this occasion Liz was simply a conduit by which the whole process passed. She is delighted to host and share this joint effort on her website and also wishes to thank all those involved for their time, effort and patience to ensure the rare and important details of these monuments are available for the future researcher. The English transcriptions can be found at:

There are a number of other graves that require to be photographed, it is hoped that these will be completed shortly.  Additional transcriptions are being added weekly to her website.

Courtesy: Ms. Liz Chater

Thursday, June 7, 2012

ITEC scholarship presentation for Armenian citizens

Within the framework of celebrating 20th anniversary of Indo-Armenian diplomatic relationship, Indo-Armenian Friendship NGO, in association with Embassy of India in Armenia organized a special event on 18th May 2012 at Hotel Ani Plaza, Yerevan, Armenia. The event was dedicated to create awareness about "Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation" scholarship program (popularly known as ITEC Program) among Armenian citizens.

IAF Secretary General Ms. Lusine Toroyan
addressing the audience

IAF Secretary General, Ms. Lusine Toroyan warmly welcomed all the guests on behalf of IAF Co-founders and President Mr. Rananjay Anand and Vice-President Mrs. Ruzanna Ashughyan Anand. She gave an introductory note and overview of event details. According to her words, all the events organized this year by Indo-Armenian Friendship NGO are dedicated to the celebration of 20th Anniversary of Indo-Armenian bilateral relations. Thereafter, Mr. Pankaj Saxena, Charghe de' Affaires of Embassy of India in Armenia gave a full presentation of "ITEC" scholarship program, which was launched on 15th September, 1964 as bilateral program of assistance of the Government of India. It is the flagship program of the Indian Govt's technical cooperation effort, not only because of its wide geographical coverage but also for innovative forms of technical cooperation. Being essentially bilateral in nature, ITEC is about cooperation and partnership for mutual benefit. It is demand-driven response-oriented. It is focused on addressing the needs of developing countries. It's relevance has grown manifold in contemporary world, when India is world's leading economy with giant leaps in technology and economy. Sharing this expertise is promoting the very concept of Global Partnership.

Every year the Ministry of External Affairs of India (MEA), organizes educational courses within the framework of ITEC Programs. The Embassy of India in Yerevan implements the selection of Armenian citizens for different courses within ITEC Programs. Then the course offered by ITEC as well as useful advice to program participants about the application procedures were presented by Mr. Saxena. Mr. Saxena answered to questions asked by inquisitive and enthusiastic participants of the event. He introduced Ms. Suman Latha Abrol from Indian Embassy, as the main responsible person for any ITEC application from Armenia.

 Mr. Pankaj Saxena
Charghe de' Affaires of Embassy of India in Armenia
ITEC alumni Ms. Inga Petrosyan and Luiza Ayvazyan were invited to share their own  ITEC experiences and impressions to potential future participants. After all Q&A session, IAF introduced its Annual Membership Announcement to the present audience. A separate posting would be published regarding this announcement. The Program ended with High Tea.

As IAF Co-Founders and President are based out in New Delhi, so we recommend our all future ITEC participants to contact them immediately after they land in India. They can be reached through email "". It would be our great pleasure to assist our friends from Armenia in India.

Indo-Armenian Friendship NGO wishes all the future participants of ITEC a great success in the programs of selection.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


IAF Press Bureau

This world is kaleidoscopic with different cultures and traditions with different types of lifestyles across globe. When these kaleidoscopic colours get converged through the prism of friendship, it takes the strongest shape of Unity and Peace which symbolizes Unity in Diversity. Traditional costumes are identity of any nation as they are representatives of any particular culture. India and Armenia represent world’s two great civilizations with many shared values and it’s quite obvious that their traditional costumes have a very rich history with great relevant connections.

IAF members  with the Chief Guest of the event
H.E. Mr. Achal K. Malhotra, Hon. Ambassador of India to Armenia

In the series of celebrations, Indo-Armenian Friendship NGO aka IAF in collaboration with Embassy of India to Armenia organized an event with the theme “Cultural Crossroad-Relationship Inspired” at Naregatsi Art Institute, Yerevan, Armenia on 10th April 2012. The event was graced by H.E Mr. Achal Kumar Malhotra as Chief Guest!
The program commenced formally with National Anthems of Armenia and India. 

To begin with, IAF Founder and President Mr. Rananjay Anand introduced the theme of the event to the large audience present in the Jam-packed hall. He emphasized how this group emerged out of love, and how it is important to consider love and respect as a great medium to bridge two different cultures.  He welcomed the audience, the Chief Guest and all other representatives from different media and institutes. He emphasized, how important it is to continue with these kinds of initiatives for a lively relationship among nations. It's need of hour to create a very active environment for people-to-people connection in order to achieve better Global Understanding.

IAF Founder &  President Mr. Rananjay Anand
addressing the event audience

Hon. Ambassador H.E Mr. Achal Kumar Malhotra addressed the audience in a very nostalgic atmosphere, as his very successful tenure is coming to an end this month. He thanked people of Armenia for great love and support and said he is never away from their heart. He had all praise for Indo-Armenian Friendship NGO for making his job easier by holding such events. He recalled how medieval emperor Akbar from India married an Armenian woman Mariam and started a cross-cultural relationship between these two great nations with lots of shared values. He correlated that historical marriage with contemporary Indo-Armenian relationship  and emphasized how this relationship will revisit the lost routes of Indo-Armenian relationship again, as IAF is a flourishing example. He wished a great future for Indo-Armenian Friendship.

Chief Guest of  the event H.E. Mr. Achal K. Malhotra,
Hon. Ambassador of India to Armenia
addressing the event audience

After Ambassador’s speech, Mr. Nareg Haroutunian the director of Naregatsi Art Institute thanked Mr. Ambassador for his great contribution towards Indo-Armenian bilateral relationship building and bid him adieu by offering him POMEGRANATE SOUVENIR as symbol of fertility and prosperity from Armenia. Afterwards he thanked IAF co-founders for their great effort to build this relationship further and said it’s really challenging and his all best wishes are with IAF.

Naregatsi Art Institute Director Mr. Nareg Haroutunian
presenting a Souvenir to H.E. Mr. Achal K. Malhotra
 IAF co-founders having all praises and wish for IAF
from Mr. Nareg Haroutunian

Afterwards the Film Screening of “Six Yards of Grace” started which explained how gracefully Saree has been the most loved attire of Indian women since antiquity. It explained different types of Sarees to be worn in different ways as per diverse cultures of India. After the film screening, Mrs. Ambassador Ms. Anita K. Malhotra demonstrated to the audience live, how to wear a Saree. It was one of the most interesting parts of the show.

Live Sari draping demonstration
by Mrs. Anita K. Malhotra

 Ms. Liana Khachaturyan, an Armenian Puppet artist also participated in the event by showcasing different types of traditional costumes of different regions of Armenia through her different puppets.  IAF General Secretary MS. Lusine Toroyan explained its each and every aspect in detail.

Ms. Liana Khachaturyan, with her different traditional Puppets
showcasing different traditional costumes of Armenia

Lastly, to conclude the program on a very musical note, the very famous Armenian Folk Dance Group “Karin Ethnographic Song & Dance Group” thrilled the audience with their scintillating dancing performances. The group is dedicated to spread Armenian Folk Art among its Armenian youth. The audience applauded the performers with great zeal, as the group presented their performances in traditional Armenian costumes.

Mesmerizing Performance by
"Karin Ethnographic Song & Dance Group"
Public Radio of Armenia (Listen to the audio link)
AZG Newspaper

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Hindi Diwas

By Angela Mikaelyan
Student of YSLU 

India’s great family in Armenia is increasing day by day. They are Armenians which are interested in Indian people, wonderful culture, Hindi language, religions, dances, yoga, traditional medicine etc.
We are students from Yerevan State Linguistic University after Valeri Bryusov. Years ago our country and Indian government signed a document according to which we got opportunity to study Hindi language and culture. It is a great chance for us and we are very grateful that we are the group that started learning Hindi on a governmental basis. So twice a year our Hindi learners supervised with the Hindi professor Aanita Verma and with great excellency Mr. Ambassador Achal Kumar Malhotra organize Hindi day “Hindi Diwas” cultural program. Once on 14 September and the second is on 11 January. 
This year our university was closed, that’s why we organized it on 12 March. But no matter when it is a great event for us. We try to be creative and every time we do our best to introduce India’s incredible country and culture beautifully. We had Hindi speech and poetry, dances, songs, small performances etc.
This time our program had invited Hindi learners from other institutions as well. Our chief guests were Mr. Ambassador Achal Kumar Malhotra, our Rector Suren Zolyan, other representatives from the embassy, professors, students. We tried to be original and prepared a fascinating cultural program. One of our groups introduced Indian states and their languages, showing that they live in separate states, that unity is diversity, but their state language is Hindi. The other group showed some beautiful classic dances and songs, by which the audience was really admired and performances showing the similarities in languages and even everyday life. 
We obviously showed Indian and Armenian cultural similarities. For instance Indians celebrate Holi festival (pouring colors and colored water on each other) while Armenians celebrate Vardavar (pouring water and flowers on each other), Indians celebrate Lohri (setting a bonfire) while Armenians set bonfires on Trndez. Similarities are there even in music and musical instruments like Armenian dhol and Indian dholak etc. 
Considering our problems, we introduced smoking, alcohol, corruption that we desire to level it to ground in both countries.
In speech chapter of the competition we spoke about India, Armenia, our language similarities etc. 
One of the students showed her willingness to visit India; the other had had the chance to be there and told them about her impression from the trip to the incredible land. 

All this has one purpose to prosper and improve our knowledge of Hindi language. We make new friends, share opportunities, and discover ourselves, as where we come from and what our roots are. And why not, we add good memories of our student life.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

India Presented by Armenians

By Inga Petrosyan

Those who love India, who are interested in its life and culture, have the opportunity to witness a small part of it in Naregatsi Art Institute. However this time Indian culture is not represented by Indians but Armenians.

On January 20th Indo-Armenian Friendship NGO presented a group photo exhibition titled “India through the Armenian lens”.
One of the participants is Feliix Gharibyan from Iran who used to study in India for 6 years and came to Armenia 1 year ago. He says. “Those who were able to live in India can live anywhere in the world as India is a quite tough but exciting country at the same time”. Felix has decided to stay and work in Armenia.

Another participant, Paruyr Abrahamyan, says that he will surely visit India again. He was there only for 20 days though even Indians say that a whole life is not enough to travel all over India.

The exhibition presents 51 photos of 11 participants who have been to India and through their photos show the joyful and colorful sides of Indian reality. Although the participants are armatures but according to many attendants the photos seem to be shot by professionals.

The opening ceremony was graced by the ambassador of India to Armenian H.E.  Mr Achal Kumar Malhotra. Mr Ambassador said that we should see not only the outer part of the photos but the inner, spiritual side of them too.  The president of Naregatsi Art Institute stressed. “Both Armenians and Indians are old nations and we need to present Indian culture in Armenia and Armenian culture in India”. Naregatsi Art Institute meets these needs for what it was established, to serve the culture, said Mr Nareg Harutyunyan. 

At the opening ceremony Indian students performed an Indian dance. 19 year old Srinivasan, one of the dancers, who studies at Yerevan State Medical University, has decided to become a neurologist. He says when he goes back to India he’ll take Armenian paintings with him, and being more frankly he would love to take an Armenian girl to India. My interlocutor says that he doesn’t know much about Armenian culture but he managed to visit main cultural destinations in Yerevan and notes that his favorite place is Vernisaj.  In general what he likes most in Armenia is gender equality.

The group photo exhibition “India through the Armenian lens” is organized by Indo-Armenian Frindship NGO in collaboration with the Embassy of India in Armenia. The exhibition is dedicated to the 63rd anniversary of the Republic Day in India. 


About the author: Inga Petrosyan is one of the participants of the exhibition. She works at one of  the daily newspapers in Yerevan as a journalist. 

Inga taking an interview from Felix - one of
the participants of the exhibition
The original article in AZG daily

Thursday, January 26, 2012

INDIA through the ARMENIAN lens

Within the framework of celebrations of 63rd Republic Day of India (26th January) Indo-Armenian Friendship NGO in collaboration with the Embassy of India in Armenia organized a Photo Exhibition. The theme of the Photo Exhibition is “India through the Armenian lens”.

The opening ceremony was held at Naregatsi Art Institute at 15:00 pm, 20th January. The chief guest of the event was the Ambassador of India to Armenia H.E. Mr Achal Kumar Malhotra. Representatives of the Ministry of culture and Ministry of Foreign Affairs were among the distinguished guest.

According to the Indian tradition Mr Ambassador lit the auspicious lamp and inaugurated the event with his welcome words. Congratulating IAF for their initiative Mr Ambassador also emphasized the great significance of such initiatives by stating that India and Armenia enjoy good relations at diplomatic level, but what is very heartening to see is having great relationship at grass-root level which is well realized by this group exhibition.

The president of Naregatsi Art Institute also welcomed the visitors and the guests stressing the importance of the two oldest cultures - Armenian and Indian to be well interacted. Mr Harutyunyan also presented Mr Ambassador with the symbol of Armenians - a pomegranate souvenir and a book titled "Mashtots. Sacred pearls".

Lighting the auspicious lamp

The Vice president of IAF Ruzanna Ashughyan introduced the guests and visitors the significance of organizing the exhibition.

The goal of this Photo Exhibition was to represent the cultural and historical marvels of India shot by common travelers from Armenia to India. Every year many travelers visit India in different capacity, be it as tourists, as students or as businessmen. They visit India and bring memories back to Armenia. It’s their view of India which they see through their camera lens and share with their loved ones. And through these images India enters into the heart of Armenian people. This way we are emphasizing the very quintessence of people-to-people connection between two great ancient civilizations of the world.
The opening Ceremony was followed by a dance performance by the students of Yerevan State Medical University. Their Vandana made the guests feel the atmosphere of India before they were invited to view the photographs. The exhibition was well supported by musical compositions of the great Indian santoor maestro Shiv Kumar Sharma providing an impeccable environment.

Students of YSMU performing Vandana
Indo-Armenian Friendship NGO conceptualized this Photo exhibition in collaboration with Embassy of India. It would not have been possible without their support. Our heartiest thanks to H.E  Mr. Achal Kumar Malhotra, the Hon. Ambassador of India for continuously being our guiding force. The whole embassy staff extended their great support to us for realizing this to happen. Indo-Armenian Friendship NGO is committed to strengthen the people-to-people connection between India and Armenia through different initiatives.

We also thank Naregatsi Art Institute for their cooperation who generously has enabled us to use these rooms for the exhibition.

Special thanks to IAF volunteers for their great support and dedication.

Apparently this event brought together all those who like the Indian culture and don’t want to miss the opportunity to communicate with Indian culture.
Besides this was another reason for all Indo-Armenian community in Armenia to gather and share common thoughts and interests.

H. E. Mr Malhotra, Mr Nareg Harutyunyan, Mrs Malhotra, Ms Ashughyan

It would not have been a better timing than this, when India celebrates its 63rd Republic Day. This way we are celebrating the great spirit of India, being world’s largest democracy. And when we have Armenian people as main participant for this exhibition, what can be better to show India that Armenia and its people love India from the very core of their heart. It’s our warm heartedness which keeps our friendship and partnership intact for a very strong bonding. 

Mr Saxena (1st secretary at the Embassy of India),
Felix Gharibyan (participant), Mr Ambassador

The opening ceremony was attended by not only IAF members but common citizens as well who were excited to see a piece of India in Yerevan. There were so many visitors in the group exhibition who were not aware of IAF because their non-use of Internet. They came to know about the event through different media channels like TV, Radio and News Papers. Those who had already visited India once  were so excited to revisit their India through these images.
The following two days of the exhibition were also eventful by having a big number of admirers. Due to the unbelievable popularity over the weekend the photo exhibition has been extended for 7 more days and will now show until the 29th January.

Mrs Saxena & Mrs Zirekyants (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
The show will go along between 10am and 7pm any day next week. Take a look at the photographs that have captured everyone's hearts and imaginations during their showing this weekend! 

IAF team is wishing our all members, friends and supporters a very happy Republic Day of India. Long live Indo-Armenian Friendship!