Dear Anoop, The presence of Namboothiris is disputed at …
Comment posted Lifestyle of Kerala Syrian Christians by Jackson.
The presence of Namboothiris is disputed at that time, but yes there are reported to be Brahmins in South India, in Kerala and Tamil Nadu of course. The society was not rigid as we see today and caste system was fluid. Buddhism was the dominant religion then and there were Dravidians and Aryans too. Iyers and Iyengars are known to have come in the BCs but does Syrian Christian History claim origins from them ? NO. the converts surely must have included Brahmins and other loacl castes but few. The community was strengthened in folowing centuries by various migrations of middle-easterners.
The language then was tamil, yes. Malayalam developed only in 1000 AD. Sanskrit was used only by the Brahmins. Aramaic/Hebrew in liturgy used by us today may have been our language at home too but in society Tamil was surely used. There are words common in Tamil and Hebrew. Then came the influence of Sanskrit. The sound ‘zha’ is an archaeic Sanskrit contribution and non-keralites cannot pronounce it. But that this is ancient sanskrit sound, was an info given to me by my Maharashtrian Brahmin friend who can easily pronounce it. He also said this Sanskrit sound is not in use in today’s sanskrit. There are comments by historians who explain Syriac had a vast influence when languages were developing in ancient India and Kerala bcoz Syriac/Aramaic was the lingua franca of middle-east in those early times and India had contacts with the same for trade, hence the influence.
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