Day of Slavic Writing and Culture Marked at the RCSC in New Delhi

The Day of Slavic Writing and Culture, which the Government of the Russian Federation has been celebrating since May 24, 1991, was marked at the Russian Centre of Science and Culture (RCSC) on May 25, 2017.

The highlight of the programme was a lecture – cum – multi-media presentation on “Christian Missionaries – Saints Cyril and Methodius – Who are Credited with Devising the Slavic / Cyrillic Alphabet” by Priest Dimitry Kulakov, the Clergyman of the St. Apostle Thomas Parish of the Russian Orthodox Church in Delhi. The Exhibition of photos of ancient books in Slavic script and crafts and the Exhibition of Books “Russian Monasteries as Centres of Medieval Writing, Education and Culture” were on display on the occasion.

Prominent participants of the function included Prof. Ramadhikari Kumar, Founder-President, Indian Association of Teachers of Russian Language and Literature (INDAPRYAL), Dr. Neelakshi Suryanarayan, Head of the Department of Slavonic & Finno-Ugrian Studies, University of Delhi, and others.

Tracing the background on the affinity of Slavic and Sanskrit words, Prof. R. Kumar noted that this Day is very important for Indian philologists and experts in the field of research of culture. He described the meeting and interaction between Aryans and Slavic down Central Asia in the earlier century. To the ardent interest of the gathering, Prof. Kumar narrated the historic background of Slavonic writing and culture, which had a potential bearing on the political and social scenario of that ancient period and the stage-by-stage development of Russian script as it is today. He aptly underlined the sentimental phenomenon on the affinity of linguistic and cultural backdrop of both India and Russia.

Dr. Neelakshi Suryanarayan underlined the significant process as to how the Russian language evolved to the present-day position. She lauded the sincere efforts taken by the RCSC in organising the anniversary of this important Day for the benefit of the people of India, particularly those who take keen interest in the Russian language and literature.

In his comprehensive address, Priest Dmitry Kulakov described the enlightening life, travel and monumental work of Holy Equal to the Apostles brothers St. Cyril and St. Methodius, who are credited with devising the Cyrillic alphabet, He dwelt at length upon the sincere and hard efforts taken by these prominent personalities, whose unique contributions to the evolution of Slavic writing and culture turned out to be a phenomenon in the linguistic world. He described in detail the evolution of Russian scripts aided by the remarkable photos displayed on the occasion.

The lecture-cum-multi-media presentation brought into focus the history of the family and early years and first missionary trips of the brothers Constantine the Philosopher (Cyril) and Methodius, th history of their vocation in Great Moravia for the translation of Christian Sacred books into Slavic languages and the organization of divine services in the native language of the Moravian Slavs, the obstacles to the spread of Slavic writing. The history of the creation of the Glagolitic and Cyrillic alphabet and their further distribution was also narrated.

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