CultureGenocide 100

Armenian community to celebrate history at ArmeniaFest in Glen Waverley

Herald Sun – As a child, Gloria Hotakorzian used to get blank looks when she told people she was from Armenia.

“Do you mean Romania, they’d ask,” she said.

“And I would reply, ‘no, it’s Armenia’.”

Today, more than 50 years since she was among the wave of Armenian migrants to Melbourne in the 1960s, Mrs Hotakorzian is delighted that more people know about her homeland.

About 35,000 people from Armenian background now live in Melbourne.

“It’s a real buzz for us that people now recognise Armenia and some of its history,” Mrs Hotakorzian said.

Armenians were the victims of genocide last century, with as many as two million Armenians living in Turkey eliminated through deportations and massacres from 1915.

To mark the centenary, the community will celebrate its achievements at ArmeniaFest on Saturday, April 4, at the Glen Waverley Community Centre.

Mrs Hotakorzian will co-ordinate the festival, which will include song, dance and food.

“We always mark this time of year with solemn and respectful commemoration, but this year we decided it’s time to pat ourselves on the back for surviving and indeed flourishing in our new home,” Mrs Hotakorzian said.

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