Husna Ara Begum Matin (Tower Hamlets, UK)


Husna Ara Begum used to travel to Bangladesh every year, but has not been for the past nine years because of health problems.

But it doesn't matter – I communicate regularly with my family and in-laws. Our family lives in town and we have a telephone in our house. We have had a telephone line in our house for many years. I can't even remember since when. So we can communicate at any time we want.

Although she owns a house in Sylhet, Husna Ara Begum doesn't see her future there:

We are not planning to go home permanently. I am very much settled here. My daughters have jobs here, so they can't go. And I cannot live without them.

Also, her extended family in Bangladesh is becoming less dependent:

My husband had to send money to support his brothers as they were very young at that time… We only send money occasionally now. They don't need the money that much because their children have grown up and they are working.

She stays in regular contact with her cousins on her father's side (part of the extended family she grew up with) in Bangladesh. She also has relatives in Canada, America and Europe:

I have relatives everywhere… I am in contact with them. The world is becoming smaller. We can communicate with them easily.

However, she thinks these connections will die out with the younger generation:

As time goes on the relationships are dying. People have less feeling for each other. My children don't know their relatives that much. If I die, they will probably have contact only with their nieces and nephews, but beyond that, I don't know if there will be any relationship or not. The situation is changing. We used to support each other in times of need, but now people are busy. They don't have time for others.




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