Thursday, October 28, 2010

Respected Citizens: The history of Armenians in Singapore and Malyasia.

Respected Citizens: The history of Armenians in Singapore and Malyasia.  Paperback book published in 2003.

Talk about obscure…  I don’t want to get into the politics of why Armenians left their homeland, that’s the job of Politicians, Armenians and their neighbours to discuss and argue over.  I’m more interested in who this book was written for.  The back cover blurb indicates that there were “no more than 830 Armenians (that) ever lived in Singapore and Malaysia”, but goes on to mention that their “achievements were quite incommensurate with their minute numbers” (what a great word “incommensurate” is).  So the history of Singapore and Malaysia has an Armenian tinge and this book is intended to let us know about it.  I guess if your Singaporean, Malaysian or Armenian this book could be of interest… I picked up the book because anything this obscure has to be good.  Am I being naïve, when I write this?  Is it possible that I’ve got it completely wrong and this book is not interesting?  Its got nice pictures and it seems to be detailed.  Would I read it?  Probably not, but I’m not Singaporean, Malaysian or Armenian. 

1 comment:

  1. Paul Perry AllSorts Books Northcote VicNovember 6, 2010 at 2:35 AM

    Armenian trading companies were in Malaya pretty early on - both The Straits Times and Raffles Hotel were founded by Armenians.
    But for obscurity, it would be difficult to beat the book about Agnes Joaquim (Ashkhen Hovakimian) who hybridised the orchid that became the national Flower of Singapore.

    "Vanda Miss Joaquim: Singapore's National Flower & The Legacy Of Agnes & Ridley" by Harold Johnson and Nadia Wright
    Suntree Media Pte Ltd 2008ISBN: 9789810803339