It still fascinates me the length people went to, to build a better life for themselves which I am grateful to as I being British Asian would not be here if they hadn’t done so, but this sacrifice didn’t just affect the Asian community, but Irish, Afro-Caribbean and many others communities that still have to migrate from their homeland after conflict, due to poverty and to seek a better life. The roots they hold are firm passing on their proud cultural heritage and traditions from their birthplace, but once rooted in England they are nourished by the new culture and grow with it enriching everyone around them.
In my lifetime and through my research, I have encountered many people in this situation; my parents themselves have dual heritage, my dad maybe less so as he came to Huddersfield at the age of five so sees himself as British, but my mother who came when she was eighteen, still a young age, but as she left her family in Pakistan she strongly felt that Pakistan was still her home. It was only after her parents died that her connections weakened and despite her siblings still living there and her mother’s home still standing, her heart now belongs in Huddersfield with her children, her home and her life.
Now for the first time this year my granddad who came to England in 1960 has gone to Pakistan. He is in his late 70’s and my grandma is not far behind, now they will go to Pakistan a few times in the year probably eight weeks here and eight weeks there…their birthplace is Pakistan, their home is England they have the best of both worlds.