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Kolkata Armenians mark 100th anniversary of genocide

Kolkata : At least 100 members of the Armenian community in Kolkata participated in a special prayer on Friday in observance of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide.

The genocide refers to the massacre of 1.5 million Armenians at the hands of Ottoman Turks, starting in 1915.

At the nearly 300-year-old Holy Church of Nazareth, located in Burrabazar in central Kolkata, the families and students from Armenia community gathered to offer tributes to the martyrs.

“Every year we hold a mass to mark this day but this year we organised a special mass in the church in memory of the martyrs. At least 100 people from the community were present,” Susan Reuben, a board member of the Church committee, told IANS.

“There were members outside the community as well. We also had a commemoration event outside the church.”

Nearly 40 students of the 194-year-old Armenian College and Philanthropic Academy (ACPA) also joined the mass.

Father Zaven Yazichyan, Armenian spiritual pastor of India and ACPA manager expressed gratitude to the countries, organisations and individuals who have the courage and conviction to recognise and condemn the Armenian genocide.

Kolkata has been home to the Armenian community since the 17th century and as many as 30 Armenian families continue to be an integral, yet quiet, part of the bustling metropolis.