GUANGZHOU, China (A.W.)—China and Hong Kong Armenians gathered on Dec. 12 in Guangzhou for a lecture on the history of the Armenian community in China.
The community’s annual Christmas celebration event featured a talk titled “Do Not Fall Off the World: The Armenian Community in China in the 19th and 20th Centuries,” by Khatchig Mouradian, the recipient of a Gulbenkian Armenian Studies Research Fellowship to research the topic.
Dozens of Armenians from Shanghai, Nanjing, Hong Kong, and other cities arrived in Guangzhou to attend the event and to celebrate mass the next day.
Henri Arslanian, president of the Armenian community in China, welcomed the guests and presented the work done by the community’s executive committee over the past year, and talked about future projects.
Bishop Haigazoun Najarian, Primate of the Armenian Diocese of Australia and New Zealand and Pontifical Legate of All Armenians in India and the Far East, delivered inspirational comments and said a prayer.
After dinner, Mouradian presented his illustrated talk on the Armenian communities in Harbin and Shanghai from the late 19th to the mid-20th century.
Mouradian is the coordinator of the Armenian Genocide Program at the Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights at Rutgers University, where he also teaches in the history and sociology departments as adjunct professor. He is in China to continue his research on the country’s Armenian community.
Pulling from memoirs, accounts, archival material, and photographs from China, Armenia, and missionary archives in the U.S., Mouradian depicted the life of Armenians from the Caucasus and the Ottoman Empire who went east in search of opportunity or to escape genocide and political upheavals.
A lively question and answer session followed.
The evening concluded with music and dance.