Huddersfield Railway Station and St Georges Square, March 2010
Take a look at the new images of Huddersfield added to the Asian Voices website, including the new look St Georges Square, The Empire Cinema which was popular in the 1960’s and still stand today. Also see if you can see the symbols of the British Empire on the buildings which have been around since the 1800’s.
Posted in community, heritage, Heritage Lottery Fund, History, Oral History, Research, http://www.asianvoices.org.uk/, Huddersfield, Huddersfield University, Immigration, oral history, Oral History Research, Oral History, Centre for Oral History Research, audio t, traditions, West Yorkshire
Tagged Afro-carribean, asians, bangladesh, buildings, children, culture, digital storytelling, family, heritage, Heritage Lottery Fund, history, home, Huddersfield, Huddersfield University, Immigration, indian, kirklees, oral history, Oral History Society, Pakistan, railway station, south asian, south asian community, tradition, West Yorkshire, yorkshire
I find the most interesting question I ask people in my Oral History research is where do you see your home? Now for you and I this may be a straight forward answer; but if you were born in another country and came to England as a child or even later on in life, where would you see your home?
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.
home is where the heart is
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.
Posted in community, family, heritage, Immigration, Uncategorized
Tagged Afro-carribean, birthplace, British Asian, England, family, home, Huddersfield, identity, Irish, Pakistan, research, roots
So the day finally arrived, the day of the wedding, the day that we had spent months preparing for… co-ordinating clothes, shoes and accessories, the day our brother was getting married 🙂
Now we had matched up the groom’s outfit to go with the bride, who was wearing the sherman which I quote he said “sounds like someone herding sheep” LOL. Anyway a sherwani, paag; which is a traditional hat and kusay; which are hand-made leather shoes, embroidered with gold thread and turned up at the front (these can come in all sorts of shapes and sizes). He also had a red and gold scarf over his shoulders to match the bride.
As we were on the boys side, the wedding part was hosted by the girls side of the Newcastle. We arrived in convey outside the hotel and entered with two Dhol players heading the front of the procession from which we were greeted with flower garlands, the sisters were given a single red rose each and then were then lead to the stage area. The colour theme was red and gold and everything was beautifully co-ordinated, somehow even the guests were!!
Live Classical Indian Music
Classical Indian music was playing in the background, a live sitar and tabla and the dinner was a four course silver service feast (five including the cake). So the setting was perfect.
Now for the important stuff the Nikkah. Muslim ceremonies have a nikkah which is the religious part of the wedding and basically like the vows at a Civil Ceremony. The bride is separate from the groom and is asked by an Imaan (Muslim priest) if she consents to marriage, this is asked three times and she will reply “I do” or “Kabool Hai”. Once the bride agrees she signs the marriage document and the Imaan asks the groom the same three times if he consents to marry his bride to be. Once agreed the groom also signs the form and the Imaan prays that they have a happy life together and the congratulations begin.
It is traditional for the Groom side to bring Shewaray; dried dates, coconut and other things which are given out straight after the Nikkah (like wedding favours). After everyone has congratulated the groom the bride comes into the main hall and sits with her husband…awww.
The eating begins and finishes with a three-tier wedding cake, after which gifts are
given to the groom’s family from the bride’s family and we finish the wedding by the Rukhsati…taking the bride home.
See website www.asianvoices.org.uk/galleries for more wedding pictures x
Posted in commitment, community, family, food, heritage, http://www.asianvoices.org.uk/, Huddersfield, Immigration, indian wedding, traditions, wedding, West Yorkshire
Tagged bride, family, food, groom, home, live music, nikkah, tradition, wedding cake
Many of the people I interview came to England, leaving behind their families and looking for a better life. South Asia had plenty to offer, but in the 50′ and 60’s after the partition of Pakistan and India the doors were open to go to England and work, earn money so they could come back and build better homes for themselves in the birthland. So forty years on what happened? Still living in England doing manual labour jobs, working all hours of the day only having been back 2 or 3 times what stopped them from going back to see their parents and siblings? Well parents had died, brothers and sisters moved on and their life and culture had become imbedded with Britishness. Children now see themselves as not ‘British Asian’, but ‘British’ born and bred here, what else were they? The dual cultures exist, traditional food is eaten not only at home but throughout the town- curry is a national dish, cultural events celebrated we see Eid and Diwali lights up as well as Christmas lights and jobs are worked by people of all background and cultures. So is this what our parents and grandparents paved for us? This is the better life they wanted!
Tell me about your experiences… what was it like growing up? Where your family is from? and how do you see yourself in terms of your heritage?