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Bangla’s Transformation To Britain

Bangla language still shines in Britain
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Britain, the birthplace of the English language, is now called the Third Bengal. Bangla is one of the most spoken language in London city.

Not only in the naming of signboards or institutions, but everywhere from Tube station, hospitals, parks, mosques, Bangla names and instructions in Bangla language are still widely used. Notifications, announcements of various places including hospital, offices are being published in beautiful and clear Bengali language. Queen Mary university, SOAS University and many institutions successfuly run courses to learn Bangla language, Beginner and Elementary level.

Especially in the last three years, thousands of Bangladeshi new immigrants have come to Britain from Bangladesh. Several thousand Bangladeshis have also come from Europe. Their steps have added a new dimension to the Bengali language and culture in Britain.

However, many Bengla TV channels and Bengali newspapers have been shut down in Britain in the last five years. Among the new generation of British Bangladeshis, the practice of Bengali language is limited only at home with parents. Therefore, many people have expressed their concern about the future of the Bengali language in the coming days to the new generation.

In the last 34 years since the 1980s, 30 Bengali community schools have been established in East London’s Bangalipara Tower Hamlets. In these schools, Bangladeshi children born in Britain had the opportunity to learn Bengali language as well as practice Bengali culture. In these schools, language movement, great liberation war, victory day, independence day were taught. All the schools closed when Tower Hamlets Council stopped funding in 2021, citing a financial crisis. Ohid Ahmed, the former deputy mayor and councilor of Tower Hamlets confirmed that Bangla schools have not yet been opened even though Bangladeshi mayor and majority of the councilors have been elected to the Tower Hamlets Council from British Bangladeshi community.

Whereas in Bangladesh, the country of Bengali language, there is a lot of English naming and signboards in various places including commercial establishments, restaurants.

In Britain, the trend of continuous budget cuts in various sectors has been maintained for several years. However, the British courts still have the option of expensive Bengali translators. Until April 7, 2014, the opportunity to take the theory test of the driving test in Bengali remained in place in Britain. Later, if the opportunity to take the exam in all foreign languages is cancelled, the opportunity to take the exam in Bengali is also cancelled.

Md. Lukman Uddin, one of the founders and ex-chairman of London St. Mary’s Center, a close companion of Tasadduq Ahmed, the organizer of the language movement in Bangladesh.

He told Daily Dazzling Dawn, taking the opportunity of equal opportunity or equal rights in the British law, we are taking the initiative to introduce Bangla along with English in Bengali densely populated areas. Now in areas like Tower Hamlets, Camden, Birmingham, Cardiff, the names of buildings and streets are in Bengali. Many roads and institutions are also named after Bengali notables. Even NHS hospitals have introduced voice direction in other languages as well as Bengali and Sylheti regional languages much earlier. A number of buildings in Tower Hamlets’ Spetterfield Housing Association are named in Bengali. Kabi Nazrul Primary School in London, Osmani School is the pride of our language heritage.

Lukman Uddin also said, “We have been agitating in this country since the end of the seventies to maintain the Bengali language issue at this level and at this level. At various times it was hampered by excuses of lack of funding, students and teachers. The central Shaheed Minar of Altab Ali Park in London is a great introduction to the Bengali language and Bengali’s hundred years of history and struggle in this country. Before 1985, we used to build a temporary Shaheed Minar and celebrate 21st February.”

Community personality and ex-Bangladesh Students Union leader Nurur Rahim Noman said, that not only in London’s Altab Ali Park, but in several places including Oldham, expatriate Bangladeshis have built permanent martyrs’ minar. Bengali language is getting importance here as Britain gives importance to the mother tongue of all immigrants as a nation state. However, in the field of Bengali language and culture, no long-term or effective initiative is visible in the form of Bangladesh High Commission.

Media personality, activist and writer, Jobair Babu told to Daily Dazzling Dawn that, Britain is called the third Bengal. Outside of Bangladesh and West Bengal, most Bengali and Bangaliana is practiced in Britain. In the last decade, thousands of expatriate Bangladeshis who lived in different countries of Europe have come to Britain permanently with the intention of teaching their children only Bengali culture and language.

The practice of speaking Bengali in the expatriate Bangladeshi families in Britain in the second and third generation is decreasing day by day. Many of the second or third generation do not know how to read and write Bengali. He expressed his opinion that he doubted whether there would be Bengali practice in uk after one or two generation.

Poet and writer Abu Maksud said that, the history of Bengali practice in start in UK more than hundred years ago. Then Bangla newspaper was published from here. The age of publication of the first literary magazine has also passed more than seventy. In recent times, this practice has expanded, newspapers, TV channels, literature, cultural organizations are playing a significant role in Bengali practice and promotion. Many books of expatriate writers are published every year on the occasion of the fair. Apart from poetry, the writers of British Bangladeshi community are not lagging behind in publishing fiction, translation, drama and research books.

According to the British Statistics Department, There are approximately 500,000 Bengalis currently living in the UK. More then 250,000 people in Britain speak Bengali, According to the survey conducted by the British Statistics Department.

Councillor Mohammed Islam, from Croydon council told to Daily Dazzling Dawn that, there are several thousand Bengali books in Britain’s libraries. Bengali was introduced in the column of nationality in at least 9 types of forms or letters in the eighties. Bangladeshis are currently the fourth largest ethnic minority community in the country. In June 2017, Sylhet was listed as a native language in British schools. Along with Bengali, some schools include Sylheti as a separate language in the list of students’ mother tongue. Although England is a tiring nearly 10-hour long flight away from Bangladesh, the two regions have already established connections that run deep in history.

Bengali is often linked to maintaining one’s heritage and thus children are often encouraged to take Bengali classes. The British Bengali community consists of native speakers of various Bengali dialects. These include Sylheti and Chittagonian.

With over 272 million speakers, it is the 7th most widely spoken language in the world with more than 228 million native speakers and 37 m speakers of Bengali as a second language. It can therefore be considered a world language. Bengali is the national language of Bangladesh and the state language of West Bengal in India. There are substantial Bengali communities in the UK, USA, Europe, Australia and the Middle East.

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Daily Dazzling Dawn is the first and only international and non-profitable newspaper, which is 100% ownership of professional journalists from Bangladeshi origin with 20 years of experience in global journalism. The main aim of the newspaper is promoting ethical journalism with truth, accuracy and proficiency.

Editor in Chief

Dulal Ahmed Chowdhury

Dulal Ahmed Chowdhury is the Editor of The Daily Dazzling Dawn. Previously, he has been serving in important positions in all the famous national dailies of the Bangladesh since the nineties. He has played a commendable role in journalism by participating in various events at the national and international levels. United Nations Conference, World Climate Conference, SAARC Summit are notable among them.

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