The first ever newspaper in Kannada was published by a German


Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to the city has the German community enthused. Although not many Germans live in the city as compared to other expats, they do have a major presence. Expats who live and work here love the culture and the opportunities to meet new people and explore several holiday destinations in and around Bengaluru.

The German consulate is the largest mission of its kind in the world and caters to a large community of Germans who live and work in the city besides carrying out consular work, and organising science, education and trade fairs. It is manned by nine Germans and 19 local staff. It runs many micro projects that include supporting a city-based school and screening world cup matches for the community.

The city is home to around 200 German companies. An estimated 1,000 Germans live in the city. On weekends, they explore neighbouring cities like Mysuru, Hassan and Hampi. “People say that the city is not touristy, but there are places like Bangalore Fort, Lalbagh, Bannerghatta Road and Nandi Hills to visit,” Deputy Consul General Andrea Christ says.

For Germans working in the city, the international flavour is a huge plus point. “My interest is football and I play each Saturday. The climate here is suitable for sitting outside and enjoying food. Microbreweries are a good idea as well,” Consul General Jorn Rohde says.

Karnataka has a tie-up with the German state of Bavaria for co-operation in sustainable agriculture, agricultural engineering, food processing, renewable energy and other allied sectors.

The cultural links between Germany and Karnataka date back to the 19 century.

The visit of Chancellor Angela Markel is pegged around business, but the links between Germany and Karnataka are quite strongly rooted in the cultural landscape, dating back to the 19 century.german_2573584f

The first name that pops up in any discussion on the cultural links is Rev. Ferdinand Kittel, who compiled the first Kannada-English dictionary in 1894, which is to this day regarded a model for lexicographers. It was another German, Rev. Hermann Friedrich Mögling, who brought out the first ever newspaper in Kannada, Mangalooru Samachara, in 1843.

Both belonged to the Basel Mission from Germany, which sent many missionaries to the Karnataka coast. Though their primary task was proselytizing, many took up work that went far beyond spreading the message of the Gospel. Besides the dictionary, Kittel published his own work Kathamale, presenting the life of Jesus Christ in metrical form, and authored books on Kannada grammar. Rev. Mögling travelled extensively to document folk literature and collect manuscripts. He edited and printed many of them.

Both these pioneers are remembered in Karnataka over a century later, even though they have been forgotten in their own land of birth. Rev. Kittel’s statue stands near Mayo Hall in Bengaluru and his dictionary is used extensively. The day on which Rev. Mögling started his paper, July 1, is celebrated as “Patrika Dina” in Karnataka.

Source : The Hindu, 6th, Oct, 2015

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