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Bangla Stories

Abu Md Jehangir

Abu Md Jehangir

Abu Md Jehangir’s family have lived in Bangladesh since the beginning of the twentieth century. He is typical of the aristocrats living in the old part of the city of Dhaka.

Anwara

Anwara

75-year-old Anwara is a landless refugee living in Satkhira, south-west Bangladesh. She had to leave West Bengal suddenly, in the dead of night, leaving everything behind.

Mohammed Shamuz Miah

Mohammed Shamuz Miah

In his late 70s, Shamuz Miah is one of our oldest UK interviewees. Living now in Burnley, he left West Bengal in 1964.

Mohammed Shamsul Haq

Mohammed Shamsul Haq

Mohammed Shamsul Haq believes that he is 108 years old. He lives in Dinajpur, Bangladesh. He once worked as a lascar (seaman) on a ship.

Husna Ara Begum Matin

Husna Ara Begum Matin

Husna Begum lives in Tower Hamlets and came to London from Bangladesh in 1972, having earlier migrated to Saudi Arabia.

Jubair Ahmed

Jubair Ahmed

Jubair came to the UK as a teenager in the 1980s. He runs a Bangladeshi takeaway in Essex.

Farzana Banu Shirin

Farzana Banu Shirin

Farzana represents the young generation from Syedpur in north-west Bangladesh. Her forefathers are Bihari. She works as a teacher.

Aleya Parveen

Aleya Parveen

28-year-old Aleya lives in Birmingham, UK and came here in 2006 as a bride.

Our stories of migration came out of a three- year London School of Economics/University of Cambridge project. They’re told by people who left Bengal after Independence in 1947 when the state was divided into West Bengal and East Pakistan (later Bangladesh). These are stories of people who left behind home and family, people who crossed new borders and travelled overseas, people who made new lives.

East India postcard with map

We have chosen eight main interviewees to help you understand the history – and life histories – of migration. They will help explain how and why very ordinary people moved from country to country. They tell some extraordinary stories – real life stories that paint a vivid picture of the changing experiences of migration among Bengali Muslim communities in India, Bangladesh and the United Kingdom.

Home sweet home

To begin your journey, click on any of the names on the right. Each one opens a door into the past. Step inside and start to explore Bangla Stories - a rich and complex history of movement and change, of separations and reunions, incredible journeys, tales of the past and present, and hopes for the future.

Home and AwayHome and Away results from a research project based at the University of Sussex. Using stories, poems, drawings and paintings, it explores how children from South Asian communities in East London think about the places they encounter in their everyday lives and the journeys they make.



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