About

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I am on a journey to discover my paternal family’s past, from early 19th century Colonial Burma until ….well, now. Come with me as I explore this exotic country in person; by reading articles and books, as well as researching online and in libraries. I will tell the stories, cook the food, show the sights and try to make that lost world come alive.

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11 Responses to About

  1. Ruth Williams says:

    I love your blog and you write so beautifully. You are so lucky to be able to tell these stories for others to enjoy. My family were from Burma and India but mother never talked about her experiences there so us kids were never encouraged to probe any further. Sadly now in her 80s she has little memory of her Burma history and cannot remember details of “trekking out” with her family, luckily by plane to India. Her stay in evacuee camps went undocumented. Thank you for sharing your stories.
    I await your next installment.
    Ruth ABL member

    • Chinthe Chaser says:

      Thank you, Ruth. I have been a bit slow putting more on the blog but will try harder! I saw the photos you took of the church in Rangoon on the ABL site; they are excellent.

      Sharman

    • richard carlyon says:

      Have just found Chasing Chinthes. Am a direct descendant of Mackertich Minas/Minus.He was my grandmother’s grandfather. My doctorate in History deals with Armenian merchants in Asia.(Royal Holloway Univ.London) I think we have much to talk about. Please get in touch Richard C.

  2. Sofia says:

    Hello,

    Thank you so much for this blog and the amazing book list. I have extended family that lived and worked in Burma and migrated back to India and I am so keen to find out more. All I know at this point is my grandmother’s Khou Suey’s recipe she learnt from her relatives.

    • Chinthe Chaser says:

      Dear Sofia,

      Oh how I love kau swe, even if I don’t know how to spell it. I have an adorable little grainy B&W photo taken by my grandmother before she married, of a little boy with a tiffin carrier. On the back in her handwriting she notes it is the Kau Swe boy who delivered lunch to her husband-to-be’s office every day. Good luck in your family research.

  3. Prem Rao says:

    I am an Old Lawrencian ( Lovedale, 1959-67) and loved your piece on the school. I would be happy to stay in touch with you.

  4. Your blog is very impressive! I’m excited to read your posts.

    The group I was referring to is called Metta in Action. Metta is a Pali word which means friendliness or loving-kindness. It refers to a specific practice taught by the Buddha as an antidote to fear.

    Here’s a link to their website: http://mettainaction.org/

    You can read their latest update about the various projects they are supporting in Burma.

    best wishes,
    Margo

    • Sharman says:

      Thank you for the link, Margo. I’ve been reading some of the entries on it and it is very impressive how much they have achieved since 2008. The stories are quite detailed, and the people involved have a deep understanding of the Burmese people, their desires and their dignity. I think some of the big NGO’s could learn a lot from Metta in Action.

  5. Michael Greig says:

    Very interesting reading the site. My mothers family lived in Burma from 1890 to 1947 when they left to come to New Zealand, four generations. My mother is 92 and still talks of her time in Burma and India where she evacuated to in 1942. Her family lived near Government House and some other places and would go to Maymyo with the Viceroy every year. My great aunt was an accountant and part of government staff hence the travel. My mother went to St. Philomena’s as a boarder and knew some of the Armenian families that were friends of the family . She mentioned (?) Mestrobe Gregory who lived in the flat above with a Mrs. Minus who had a daughter, Bertha. They had lved in Mandalay at some time and my grandmother knew them from there. Mum thinks Bertha flew out of Burma and she last saw her in Calcutta where refugees made contact when getting to India. Bertha would have been 9 at the time. I could send other details of the family’s time there. The great grandfathers name was Netto, Portuguese from Bombay, and the grandfather was Hyde (English from Aligath).
    There are some period photos we have that were saved. I will see if they have identified family friends.
    Regards, Michael Greig

    • Sharman says:

      Dear Michael, I have a great-aunt Bertha Minus in the family tree who married an Edward Seymour in 1916, who trekked out of Burma with her family. Her married daughter, Phyllis Fairley died on the trek as well as her own son, Terence Seymour, who I have a picture of. Bertha returned to Burma after the war and gave shelter to my uncle Arthur in 1946, when he did the journey from Calcutta to Rangoon by foot, horse cart and hitching a final ride on the train from Mandalay. He arrived skin and bone and nearly dead – she nursed him back to health. A cousin, Edith Minus, b. 1893, of my grandfather married a Bertie Clarence Gregory in 1932. All the Armenians in old Rangoon and Mandalay knew each other. I would be very interested in seeing any photos you might have.
      Cheers, Sharman

  6. Carl Carapiet Casimir says:

    I love your blogs. So many memories. I, an Armenian,was born in Rangoon and the whole family fled to India by boat. Thank God for that. I have heard so many stories about people who trekked out. I cannot imagine the suffering and hardship they went thru. Till the day she died my mother hated the Japs. I dont blame her. She lost her husband and son both of whom died or were killed by the Japs. My daughter is hot on ancestry and wants me to get a copy of my birth certificate. Is this possible? You mentioned that the registry is lost and that impostor and would-be priest, John Felix
    seems to have all the old documents hidden somewhere. Why is he allowed to do what he is doing. Can we not take this up with the government to stop him.
    Keep blogging and good luck. Carl

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