Bangladeshi London

Bangladeshi London

London's Bangladeshi community have their roots in East Bengal, the land at the top of the Bay of Bengal between Burma and India. When India was partitioned in 1947, this land became 'East Pakistan', geographically divided from 'West Pakistan' one thousand miles away.

East Pakistan's dissatisfaction with this situation, in which most political power remained in West Pakistan, led to a civil war. In December 1971, East Pakistan formally seceded from its partner to create the independent state of Bangladesh.

Lone 'Lascar' seamen from East Bengal had arrived in London during the 19th and 20th centuries and some had settled in East London. Ayub Ali from Sylhet, a region of Bangladesh, established a caf on Commercial Road in the 1920s. This became a centre for the small community. Numbers grew during the 1960s and particularly during the Bangladeshi war of independence when refugees or migrants began to arrive in greater numbers.

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