The women who used to be sad and lonely;Social history

23rd April 1999 at 01:00
After a school visit to 19 Princelet Street during the 1980s, an East End Bengali pupil wrote: "How did Bengali people come to East London?

"In Bangladesh it got very hard to make money and lots of people died and lots of houses got destroyed. Some people came to East London. Most people made restaurants and people worked in the textile industry making clothes. Some of the Bengali men couldn't afford money to buy clothes.

"Some Bengali men could afford money to get their families from Bangladesh, but they had lots of trouble trying to bring them to London. Some of their children grew up before they could join their father in this country. When the wives came they were very sad and very lonely, because they left their big family in Bangladesh, and their daughters and sons sometimes got beaten up by English boys who were racist.

"Now Bengali people know each other and the women have friends and the sons and daughters don't get beaten so much any more. And the men have their own restaurants and they are happier now."

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