Gallery: Curry and Culture Heritage Project Exhibition launched by Ipswich and Suffolk Bangladeshi Support Centre

Tunu Miah and Julie Begum with the school project books at the launch of the Bangladeshi Support Cen

Tunu Miah and Julie Begum with the school project books at the launch of the Bangladeshi Support Centre's Curry and Culture Heritage Project Exhibition at Endeavour House. Photograph Simon Parker - Credit: Archant

An exhibition celebrating Suffolk’s Bangladeshi community, honouring their heritage and contribution to the region, has been launched.

Tunu Miah and Julie Begum with the school project books at the launch of the Bangladeshi Support Cen

Tunu Miah and Julie Begum with the school project books at the launch of the Bangladeshi Support Centre's Curry and Culture Heritage Project Exhibition at Endeavour House. Photograph Simon Parker - Credit: Archant

Around 100 visitors and dignitaries gathered at Suffolk County Council’s Endeavour House headquarters for the unveiling of the three-year project organised by the Ipswich and Suffolk Bangladeshi Support Centre.

Julie Begum and Tunu Miah, project co-ordinators for the centre’s Curry and Culture Heritage Project Exhibition, interviewed more than 30 people from the 1950s to the present. The exhibition highlights their lives, work and contribution to the community through creative and biographical placards.

The exhibition, which seeks to remove misconceptions break down barriers by working with communities, schools and museums in the region, is set to be displayed in other public venues across the region over the coming months.

It details the history of Bangladesh, such as how it gained independence from Pakistan in 1971, how the majority of Indian restaurants in Ipswich are owned and managed by Bangladeshi people, and other significant cultural aspects of the country.

Mojlum Khan, centre manager of the Ipswich and Suffolk Bangladeshi Support Centre, said: “It is a fantastic exhibition. A range of organisations have contributed to help us revive the last 60 years of history.

“The exhibition adds another dimension to our history and I would like to think plants the seeds for the future. We want young people to be proud of, and understand, our history in Ipswich and Suffolk so they can become better informed and more productive citizens. Hopefully we will do this and raise awareness.”

Most Read

It is thought around 8,000 British Bangladeshis live in Suffolk, and now an information pamphlet is set to be sent to every primary school in Ipswich so youngsters can learn about the historical and cultural legacy of the Suffolk Bangladeshi community.

The exhibition, which launched on Tuesday and remains open to the public, has on display dozens of Bangladeshi artefacts and memorabilia, including musical instruments, ornaments and household utensils.

One of the ‘People of Ipswich’ placards told the story of Mohammed Abdul Malik, who was born in British India in 1937 and left his family to move to London initially in 1963 before settling in Ipswich a year later.

He worked at the Crane Factory, as did many Bangladeshi people who moved to Ipswich due to communication barriers.

He lived in Cauldwell Hall Road during that time, earning £5.60 a week and sharing a property with around 15-20 people. Some worked day shifts and other worked night shifts, meaning the beds could be shared. Sometimes they would have to sleep on the floor.

He got married in 1979 and has nine children.

Mohammed was one of the visitors at the launch on Tuesday. He said the exhibition was “very nice” and said Ipswich was a “nice place to live”.

He is quoted on the placard as saying: “I do feel comfortable living in Ipswich, but I always feel my home is in Bangladesh. When I go back to Bangladesh, I do feel at home. The last time I went was in 1996 (for) 12/13 weeks…I wanted to say for longer but my family are in England and as much as I like to stay in Bangladesh, I cannot live without my family. My family home is in Ipswich.”