Friday, November 13, 2009

Armenian (part 2 of 2) - from ancient times

Armenia was the first country in the world adopted Christianity as the national religion (310 AC). Today's Armenia is surrounded by Islamic countries (north: Georgia, south: Iran, east: Azerbaijan, west: Turkey). Religion is a likely source that could ignite security instability in this region.

Was Armenia built by Noah? According to the Book of Genesis, Noah's Ark was built by Patriarch Noah at God's command to save himself, his family and the world's animals from a worldwide deluge. It happened to be more than 2500 years ago.

God also instructed Noah to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, along with every kind of food to be stored as food for the animals and his family while on the ark. Noah obeyed everything God commanded him to do.

After they entered the ark, rain fell on the earth for a period of forty days and nights. The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days, and every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out. As the waters receded, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. Noah and his family continued to wait for almost eight more months while the surface of the earth dried out.

(A picture of what people say is the remains of the real Noah’s Ark)

Finally after an entire year, God invited Noah to come out of the ark. Immediately, he built an altar and worshiped the Lord with burnt offerings from some of the clean animals. God was pleased with the offerings and promised never again to destroy all the living creatures as he had just done. Later God established a covenant with Noah: "Never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth." As a sign of this everlasting covenant God set a rainbow in the clouds.

Traditional Armenia lies in an area between the Black Sea and Caspian Sea, in the region known as the Caucasus(高加索). Many argue that Armenia fits the legendary location of the Garden of Eden, and travellers from ancient times to this day give testimony that Noah’s Ark still rests on Mt. Ararat, the heart of Armenia. From Ararat, Noah walked to Yerevan and built the city (The capital of Armenia).

At the beginning of 19th century, Armenian already settled down in India, Burma, Java and Malay Peninsula (Penang and Malacca). In 1830, the Armenian merchants started their businesses in Singapore, mainly involved in spice and opium trading. In that era, most of the people came to Singapore to earn money. Once they accumulated enough wealth, they would return to their homeland. They were mostly transitional. In comparison, the Armenian were more sincere and committed. They brought their families to Singapore and made Singapore their home.

The Armenian still left their legacy behind which lasted many decades. The Armenia church (The Armenian Apostolic Church of St Gregory the Illuminator) was constructed in 1835. In 1973, the building was gazetted as a national monument.

Catchick Moses (1812-1895) was the co-founder of The Straits Times in 1845. The Sarkies brothers (Martin, Arshak, Aviet and Tigran) set up the Raffles Hotel in 1887.

In 1981, out of more than 40 orchid varieties, Vanda Miss Joaquim was selected as the Singapore national flower. Although Agnes Joaquim only lived a short 45 years, she had extended her life into the 21st century with the nation called Singapore.

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