Historical knowledge

The Serampore Initiative

Study of Serampore's population

This research project examines the population and development of Serampore from both historical and contemporary perspectives. The aim is to attain an understanding of the town’s development and of the challenges connected with everyday life in present day Serampore. This knowledge will among other things contribute to the planning of future preservation activities.

The historical part of the project focuses on the connections between Indians, Danes and other Europeans throughout the town’s history. The study is primarily based on written sources and covers the time from the Danish period and until the Indian independence in 1947.

The contemporary part of the project is based on field studies with collection and interpretation of quantitative data about demography, migration processes, economy etc., and of qualitative data in the form of life histories and participant observations, collected from citizens from different layers and groupings of society in Serampore. The research will investigate questions such as the use of public space, relations with authorities, knowledge of the town’s history, challenges in everyday life, dreams for the future and tangible wishes for development.

The field work is carried out in collaboration with the Indian social scientist Partha Sarathi Banerjee.

Participants of the project

  • Partha Sarathi Banerjee, social scientist
  • Souradip Bhattacharyya, M.phil. student
  • Kristine Djurhuus Christiansen, M.Sc. in anthropology
  • Simon Rastén, MA in history
  • Bente Wolff, PhD in anthropology

Preliminary results

In early 2013, Partha Sarathi Banerjee, Kristina Djurhuus Christiansen and Souradip Bhattacharyya conducted a series of interviews among citizens living in the historic part of Serampore. Trine Kristensen and Kristina Djurhuus Christiansen have now compiled the preliminary results in a survey report.


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