We all have a story. The story of our lives. For many, this is the story of coming to a new land and calling it home. Home away from home.
It is imperative to tell our stories to our children, to record those stories for our grand-children, and to all those who are yet to come. This, we owe to our descendants, so they come to know the land their forefathers came from; they understand the lives led before theirs, the sorrows and the joys felt in times gone by. Let them hear from us what it meant to leave our families behind and the connections we made with those that, in a new country, became our families.
Our flight from home brought our descendants to a place and to lives over which they had no say. Do they not wonder what made us decide to move to a new land and make it our own? They may ask how we fared. They may want to know how we crossed untold hurdles. They will ask how we held on to what was dear to us - our religion, culture, and our language while searching for belonging in an adopted homeland.
First generation migrants, like myself, have been telling our stories for a while. Now, it is important for the children of that first generation to add their voices to this story. Our children struggled as well, in ways that were similar but also different to ours. They experienced challenges we may not have seen or understood and they lived through it to proudly call themselves Australians of Bangladeshi background.
It is a calling on all of us to document the stories of our first and second generation immigrants, in a language that our future generations will understand. I encourage you with great urgency to document those stories that will bring your struggles and achievements to life. To publish a collection of these stories would be of immense value for generations to come.
I would be more than obliged to be able to coordinate the collection and collation of such writings, with the ultimate goal of publishing it as a printed volume.