I Belong Here Too: An Oral History of the Immigration of Bangladeshis to New York City

Subat Matin, James Madison University

This thesis project is based on oral histories of Bangladeshi immigration in New York City during the 1970s-1990s. These responses could help us understand how the migration of Bangladeshi immigrants to New York and the United States has affected or changed their relationship with culture, religion and relationship with families. The oral histories are being used to answer these questions: What kinds of societal changes took place around Bangladeshi Americans in New York? How do the experiences of Bangladeshi Americans compare to those of other South Asian Americans? What do the practices of Bangladeshi immigrants tell us about their vision for the future once in America? In the oral interviews many of the interviewees expressed their feelings about how important it was for them to keep their cultural values and religious teachings alive while living in a new country. This also affected the family dynamic because many of the interviewees felt that keeping in touch with their families back home and keeping the hope of one day seeing their families again and bringing them to America changed their perspectives on the struggles faced as immigrants in New York. This project is also in collaboration with the South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA).

See paper

 Presented in Session 2. Asian Americans