Brick Lane Circle’s Bengali history week brings heritage alive

PUBLISHED: 11:08 22 August 2011

The second Annual Bengal History Week is planned in London’s East End in October by the Brick Lane Circle.

Organisers want to encourage more people to take an interest in Bengali history, especially new generations born in Britain whose family origins are in Bangladesh or Assam in eastern Bengal.

Brick Lane Circle aims to help transform the intellectual landscape of the Bangladeshi community to gain confidence and critical engagement relevant to it development in East London.

The week opens October 3 with the ‘Great Bengal Famine in the Global Context by author Madhusree Mukerjee, at the Kobi Nazrul Centre in Hanbury Street, Whitechapel, 7-9pm.

October 4 sees a presentation on the early Portuguese community in Bengal by Dr M Ahmedullah, venue to be confirmed.

October 5: Decoding the East India Company Army, a presentation by the author Imran Jamal who has made a study of the ‘hidden story of the East India Company’, at Poplar’s Idea Store in Chrisp Street Market, 7-9pm.

October 6: How Tagore’s experience in East Bengal in the 1890s made him a master of prose and poetry, a presentation by William Radice, lecturer at the School of Oriental & African Studies well known for his translations of Tagore’s poems and stories. Kobi Nazrul Centre, Hanbury Street, 7-9pm.

October 7: A history of the Urdu-speaking minority Bihari community in Bangladesh by Ruhul Abidin, who is piloting a library project with the Biharis, most of whom have lived in permanent refugee camps since independence from West Pakistan. Venue to be confirmed, time 7-9pm.

October 8: Documentary film about the life and work of Rokeya Hossein (1880-1932), portraying her struggle to educate women, followed by questions and answers, at the Departure arts books and café, 649 Commercial Road, Limehouse, 2-4.30pm,

October 9: Presentation on the ‘failure of the Pakistan experiment in East Pakistan—1947-71’, by Prof Mushtaq Khan of the School of Oriental & African Studies, at the Whitechapel Idea Store, Whitechapel Road, 2.30-4.30pm.

Full details by email to or online at

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