Wednesday, 19 September

Researching the Past: What Happened to the Once Thriving Bangladeshi Armenian Community?



The following is a press release of the Armenian Church of the Holy Resurrection Church (Dhaka, Bangladesh)

Under the auspices of His Grace Bishop Haigazoun Najarian, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of Australia and New Zealand, the Armenian Church of the Holy Resurrection in Dhaka, Bangladesh, is embarking on an exciting, ambitious and unique community and history project.

The church has existed in Dhaka for over 200 years and its community played an important mercantile role in the history of this wonderful city.

The Church wardens and committee have already completed an extensive refurbishment programme of the building and structure. This renovation process will continue to be ongoing to ensure the Armenian Church will maintain a presence in Bangladesh for many years to come. The committee now wishes to move to the next phase of the development, and it is hoped that it will be community driven.

Here at the Armenian Church in Dhaka we would like to reach out to the Armenian Diaspora, particularly those who have family connections to India and Bangladesh. We would like to invite anyone with a past connection to Dhaka, no matter how small, to get in touch. We would particularly like to hear from those who might have personal items or memorabilia they would be willing to share with us in digital form. Perhaps your family played a role in the jute industry in the 19th or 20th centuries maybe even earlier? Do you have stories, photographs, items of interest that we could help build the history of the community on? Where did your family live, what social activities did they attend, who were their friends, what did they feel about their lives in Bangladesh?

 We are keen to reconstruct the history and vibe of this by-gone era of the Armenian presence in Bangladesh, but we can’t do it without YOUR help․

 There are many well-known Armenian families with a historical connection to Dhaka and Bangladesh, do you know, or have connections with any Agabeg, Agacy, Aganoor, Apcar, Arathoon, Aviet, the famous Beglar family, Bagram, Basil, Carapiet, Catchick, Catchatoor, Chater, David, Gasper, Gregory, Harney’s Harapiet, Johannes, Joachim, Lucas, Mackertich, Malchus, Manook, Marcar, Michael, Martyrose, Minas, Nahapiet, Petros, Pogose, Sarkies, Seth, Shircore, Stephanuse, Vertannes, Zorab.

These are just a few of the family names with links to the area.

We would really like to hear from anyone with an association․ We are determined to make this a community project with as many digital contributions as people will generously make.

We will produce a book containing all your wonder stories and items, and all donors will be acknowledged on the dedicated “thank you” page as well as permanently on our new website.

Our coordinator for this project is Liz Chater who, through her experience in her work and research with Armenian family history in India, will carefully and sensitively bring all the elements of it together. To contribute please contact project@armenianchurchbangladesh.com For more information please visit us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or our website.

We are very excited and are looking forward to working with the Diaspora on this unique venture.

Armen Arslanian

Warden of the Armenian Church of Holy Resurrection

4 Armenia Street

Armanitola, Dhaka 1100

Bangladesh

To read more about the project see:

 Dhaka Daily Star article – “In search of a community lost in time”

You can also visit us on FacebookTwitterInstagram or our website.

Top photo: Armenian Church of the Holy Resurrection in Armanitola, Old Dhaka. (Courtesy of Bangladesh Armenian Church Facebook page)

 


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Comments (1)
1. David Dilanchian20:27 - 11 July, 2018
No connection to your current project an ex student of Armenian College Calcutta. Student 1951 - 1959 interested in your project and wish you every luck and success in your project. Since 1959 have been living in Sydney Australia at this moment visiting Hayrenik / Armenia since 2001 this will be my 11th visit together with my wive , we will be here four months after which we will returne to Sydney Australia where the rest of our family are. Will endeavour to pass the message to other Indian or ex Bangladeshi compatriots who will hopefully have better established roots for this current project. Once again wishing you every success in you valuable project
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