Am I Bangladeshi?

by Leema Meah

Caught in the crossfire…

The topic I am about to embark on is an absolute vital concern of almost each and every one of us born in England to parents born in Bangladesh.  Notice here I didn’t easily mention ‘us’ as being British Asian’s or ‘Bangladeshi’s because to be frank, I’m not sure about ‘our’ definition yet.

Our parents were born in Bangladesh, we are born in England.  The fundamental question is what does that make us?

By the age of 5 we are expected to know that ‘our country’ is Bangladesh. By the age of 7 we are expected to realise ‘we are’ Bangladeshi’s. By the age of 10, we are expected to fully conform to our Bangladeshi culture. Yet, a question mark arises. I was born in England therefore shouldn’t that make me British or English. Or does being English define the colour of a person’s skin?

This is a significant question amongst the new generation born to Bangladeshi parents.  It is an issue that needs more thought and consideration.  It is not an easy answer and the new generation cannot get answers from their parents as they are seen out of character as soon as these concerns are broached.  Shouldn’t it be our parents’ prerogative to address such fundamental issues that concern us? Or should they be ignored in ignorance that these are childish thoughts and will fade as we mature.

Yes we are indeed caught in the crossfire…


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