Memorial to Bangladeshi community be unveiled in Alexandra Park, Ipswich

Members of the Suffolk Bangladeshi Society at the site of their new memorial.

Members of the Suffolk Bangladeshi Society at the site of their new memorial. - Credit: Lucy taylor

Members of the Suffolk Bangladeshi community are preparing for a major event in their calendar next month – the unveiling of a memorial to their Mother Language in Ipswich’s Alexandra Park.

The community has been raising funds for the memorial, which marks the struggle of the Bangladeshi people for their own identity after originally being included in the state of Pakistan at the partition of India in 1947.

Bangladeshis across the world now recognise February 21 as International Mother Language Day.

On that date in 1952 students demonstrating for recognition of their language, Bangla, as one of the two national languages of the then Pakistan, were shot and killed by police in Dhaka, the capital of what is now Bangladesh.

It marked the start of a near 20-year struggle that resulted in independence for Bangladesh.

There is now a sizeable Bangladeshi community in Suffolk – many of the county’s curry houses are run by people from Bangladesh – and the community has been raising funds for the memorial for several years.

The application for planning permission for the memorial was granted by Ipswich Borough Council last year, and it is due to be unveiled on International Mother Language Day next month by Ipswich Mayor Glen Chisholm.

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Manik Miah, from the Suffolk Bangladeshi Society, said next month’s unveiling would be a very important date for members of the community.

He said: “International Mother Language Day is very important to us because it helped to establish our national identity.”

“We are really looking forward to this unveiling in Alexandra Park next month.”

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