Documentary : Know Armenia

ArmeniaArmenia officially the Republic of Armenia, is a mountainous country in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located in Western Asia, it is bordered by Turkey to the west, Georgia to the north, the de facto independent Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and Azerbaijan to the east, and Iran and the Azerbaijani exclave ofNakhchivan to the south.

Armenia is a unitary, multi-party, democratic nation-state with an ancient cultural heritage. The Satrapy of Armenia was established in the 6th century BC, after the fall of Urartu. In the first century BC the Kingdom of Armenia reached its height under Tigranes the Great. Armenia became the first state in the world to adopt Christianity as its official religion, in between late 3rd to early years of the 4th century (the official date is 301 AD), becoming the first Christian nation.” An Armenian principality and later a kingdom, known as Cilician Armenia, existed on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea between the 11th and 14th centuries.

Between the 16th and early 19th century, the traditional Armenian homeland composed of Eastern Armenia and Western Armenia came under rule of the rivaling Ottoman and Persian Empires, passing between the two over the centuries. By the mid 19th century, Eastern Armenia had been conquered by Russia, while most of the western parts of the traditional Armenian homeland still remained under Ottoman rule. During World War I, the Armenians living in their ancestral lands in the Ottoman Empire were systematically exterminated in the Armenian Genocide. After almost 600 years of statelessness, Armenia achieved Independence in 1918; however, the First Republic of Armenia, surrounded by hostile countries, was Sovietized in 1920. Between 1922 and 1991, Armenia was part of the Soviet Union. The modern Republic of Armenia became independent in 1991.

The Republic of Armenia recognizes the Armenian Apostolic Church, the world’s oldest national church, as the country’s primary religious establishment. Armenians have their own unique alphabet, which was invented by Mesrop Mashtots in 405 AD.

Armenia is a member of the Eurasian Economic Union, the Council of Europe and the Collective Security Treaty Organization. Armenia supports the de facto independent Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, which was proclaimed in 1991.

Powerful Quote #175 : Unlearning

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Education should unite not separate the nations. We learn history to know how stupidly we fought one another and not to repeat the same mistakes again.


– Din


Documentary : History of the World in 2 hours

Must Watch : A fascinating documentary about the world’s history, throws some light on our “Human- Pride!”

Imagine compressing 14 billion years of history down to just 14 years and on the scale the earth would have existed only for the past five years. So that’s about a third of the history of the universe wall large complex creatures would have developed seven months ago. On the scale dinosaurs went extinct only about three weeks ago. The entire recorded history of humans would span only the last three minutes . Modern industrial societies the Industrial Revolution effectively 6 seconds ago.

So welcome to the journey, well just one and a half hours without commercials.

A rapid-fire history of our world, from the beginning of time as we know it to present day. This two-hour CGI-driven special delves into the key turning points: the formation of earth, emergence of life, spread of man and the growth of civilization–and reveals their surprising connections to our world today.

The complete credits go to the director Douglas Cohen and his team for this awesome work.


 

Courtesy : History Channel, Douglas Cohen Bartek Juszczak via YouTube

Note: Shared for Educational purposes only, from public resources available online (YouTube)

Culture & People : Temple of Rats, Rajasthan, India

Near the India – Pakistan border and around 30 kms from Bikaner in Rajasthan, India, lies a small town called Deshnoke. The town is famous for its ancient temple, known as Karni Mata temple, which goes back 600 years. Goddess Karni is worshipped here, but that is not the only reason for the temple’s fame.The Karni Mata temple shelters more than 20,000 rodents! Built by Maharaja Ganga Singh in the early 1900’s the temple has a remarkable entrance, decorated with silver and gold. With thousands of tiny, brown blurs of motion bustling across its marble floor. It looks as though you may have entered a kingdom of rats and they are all busy going about their daily routine. These rats eat, run, sleep and do almost everything like other rats, and surprisingly the disturbance by the hoards of visitors does not seem to bother them.

 

These rats not just reside within the temple in complete harmony with the visitors but are also worshipped and loved by them. They are so cherished that if one of them dies, it has to be replaced with a rat made of solid gold.Not just Indians but also fascinated tourists from across the world come to the temple to pay their respects and experience the miracle. Hindu newly-weds consider it auspicious to seek blessings from the Goddess when starting a new chapter in their life. Karni Mata,a mystic matriarch from the 14th century, was believed to be a reincarnation of Goddess Durga. She lived as an ascetic most her life and was also the deity of the royals of Bikaner. The reason why thousands of rats, locally known as ‘Kabba’ are worshiped at the temple is linked to a legend. The legend goes back in time when Goddess Karni was alive. One day, the son of one of her clansmen from the Charan community died. In an attempt to get the child back to life, Karni Mata went to Yama Devta, the Hindu God of Death. Yama told her that the child has already been reincarnated as a rat and sent back to earth. This led to a deal between Karni Mata and Yama, that from that point onwards all of her clansmen would be reborn as rats until they could be born again into the clan.

White Rat KArni Mata TempleThere are also some other uncanny facts related to the temple. Unexplainable but true that these 20,000 rats live inside the temple boundaries and never leave. Yet more surprising is that no one knows how they reproduce as no one has ever seen any baby rats here. Almost all the rats are of a standard size and their number has remained constant. This is contrary to the popular rat behavior, which is to multiply rapidly. Yet another wonder is that unlike common rats, these rats do not fear or run away from humans. Instead they climb on the visitors’ shoulders and even eat from their hands, which is considered a blessing. The holy rats are offered milk, sweets, grains and fruits in to receive Karni Mata’s blessings. Eating food or drinking water from the rats’ bowls of offerings is considered a great blessing. There are a couple of white rats in the temple, which are considered holy. Sighting them is considered hugely auspicious. 

The temple gates are sprung open for the visitors at 4:00 a.m. each morning and people queue up for the blessings of Karni Mata. The day turns into night with thousands of rats dining with the people and scampering over their feet. It is an unbelievable sight, which cannot be expressed in simple words. One has to experience this wonder personally to believe it.The thought of visiting such a place might feel disgusting to a person but despite being home to a large number of rats the temple is reasonably clean!Amazingly there have never been reports of any rat-related disease in or around the temple.It may seem strange that a rodent, which is commonly associated with plague and other diseases, is worshiped like a deity. But the miraculous temple is running on the immense faith and belief that the people have in the deity — Karni Mata and the large army of her tiny supporters! 


Courtesy : WildFilmsIndia and National Geographic

 

Tribute : Helen Keller (1880-1968)

481px-Helen_KellerAHelen Adams Keller (June 27, 1880 – June 1, 1968) was an American author, political activist, and lecturer. She was the first deafblind person to earn a bachelor of arts degree. The story of how Keller’s teacher, Anne Sullivan, broke through the isolation imposed by a near complete lack of language, allowing the girl to blossom as she learned to communicate, has become widely known through the dramatic depictions of the play and film The Miracle Worker. Her birthday on June 27 is commemorated as Helen Keller Day in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania and was authorized at the federal level by presidential proclamation by President Jimmy Carter in 1980, the 100th anniversary of her birth.

A prolific author, Keller was well-travelled and outspoken in her convictions. A member of the Socialist Party of Americaand the Industrial Workers of the World, she campaigned for women’s suffragelabor rights, socialism, and other radical left causes. She was inducted into the Alabama Women’s Hall of Fame in 1971.

Keller wrote a total of 12 published books and several articles. 

When Keller visited Akita Prefecture in Japan in July 1937, she inquired about Hachikō, the famed Akita dog that had died in 1935. She told a Japanese person that she would like to have an Akita dog; one was given to her within a month, with the name of Kamikaze-go.

 Keller wrote in the Akita Journal:

If ever there was an angel in fur, it was Kamikaze. I know I shall never feel quite the same tenderness for any other pet. The Akita dog has all the qualities that appeal to me – he is gentle, companionable and trusty.

 

Posthumous honors

A preschool for the deaf and hard of hearing in Mysore, India, was originally named after Helen Keller by its founder K. K. Srinivasan. In 1999, Keller was listed in Gallup’s Most Widely Admired People of the 20th century.

USPS-issued stamp of Keller and Sullivan, 1980

In 2003, Alabama honored its native daughter on its state quarter.The Alabama state quarter is the only circulating US coin to feature braille. The Helen Keller Hospital in Sheffield, Alabama is dedicated to her.

There are streets named after Helen Keller in Zurich, Switzerland, in Getafe, Spain, in Lod, Israel, in Lisbon, Portugal and in Caen, France.

A stamp was issued in 1980 by the United States Postal Service depicting Keller and Sullivan, to mark the centennial of Keller’s birth.

On October 7, 2009, a bronze statue of Helen Keller was added to the National Statuary Hall Collection, as a replacement for the State of Alabama’s former 1908 statue of the education reformerJabez Lamar Monroe Curry. It is displayed in the United States Capitol Visitor Center and depicts Keller as a seven-year-old child standing at a water pump.

The statue represents the seminal moment in Keller’s life when she understood her first word: W-A-T-E-R, as signed into her hand by teacher Anne Sullivan. The pedestal base bears a quotation in raised Latin and braille letters: “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart.” The statue is the first one of a person with a disability and of a child to be permanently displayed at the U.S. Capitol.

Johanna “Anne” Mansfield Sullivan Macy (April 14, 1866 – October 20, 1936), better known as Anne Sullivan, was an American teacher, best known for being the instructor and lifelong companion of Helen Keller. Anne Sullivan contracted an eye infection when she was eight years old which left her blind and without reading or writing skills.Anne received her education as a student of the Perkins School for the Blind where upon graduation she became a teacher to Helen Keller. Anne Sullivan was an exceptionally good teacher whose work is still recognized and spoken of today.


Courtesy : Wikipedia and Youtube (jancy and batangusboy)