About the project
Bangla Stories is based on a three year research project exploring the history and experience of migration from the Bengal delta region in the period after Indian Independence in 1947. It is estimated that since this time over 20 million people, Muslims and Hindus, have left their homes and moved across national borders to live in a new country, with a small number moving long distance to Europe and the Middle East. Many moved because of war or communal conflict, or because of natural disasters, through marriage or for work – all were in search of a better life for themselves and their families.
We were interested in exploring when, how and why people moved and their experiences of migration and settlement in new places. We collected over 180 life history interviews with first generation migrants living in India, Bangladesh and the United Kingdom. The project focused on Bengali Muslims, who were the largest group to settle in the UK. These Bangla stories paint a very intimate portrait of what it means to migrate, to start a new life and create a new home.