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377 yet young

The city that is young and vibrant at heart has turned 377 years. On 22 August 1639, East India Company bought Madrasapattinam or Chennapattanam from Damerla Venkatapathy, the viceroy of the Vijayanagar Empire. The celebrations to mark this day began in 2004, the result of a meeting between the Chennai Heritage Foundation trustees, Chennai-based historian S Muthiah and journalist Vincent D’Souza. Since then, Madras Day celebrations have been held every year. Last year saw events like heritage walks, public talks, exhibitions, poetry, reading sessions, public performances, food festivals and special programmes on local radio. This year there is yet another highlight of this celebration. The Luz Church is 500 years old this year. Luz means light in Portuguese.  The Franciscan missionaries built this church  in 1516; the church has some beautiful artwork covering its altar and ceiling. The church is also a home for some old tablets, one of them with Aramaic inscriptions, the language Jesus spoke.

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