Canada 150 Conference Proceedings: Migration of Bengalis


Habiba Zaman, Professor, Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, Canada; Sanzida Habib, Center for India and South Asia Research, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada; Chinmoy Banerjee, Professor Emeritus at the Department of English, Simon Fraser University; Khaleda Banu, University of Minnesota; Supriya Bhattacharyya, University of British Columbia; Iqbal Bhuiyan, Senior Consultant at Sperling Hansen Associates in Vancouver, British Columbia; Sarika Bose, Lecturer in the Department of English, University of British Columbia; Mustafa Chowdhury; Tania Das Gupta, Department of Equity Studies, York University; Ranjan Datta, School of Environment and Sustainability, University of Saskatchewan; C. Emdad Haque, Natural Resources Institute, University of Manitoba; Maz Haque; Marina Hossain; Hafizul Islam, Greater Vancouver Bangladesh Cultural Association, British Columbia; Muhammad Aminul Islam, Mother Language Lovers of the World Society, British Columbia; Tareq Islam, Fraser Valley District, British Columbia; Fariha Khondaker, University of Victoria; Rafia Mahzabin, York University; Helal Mohiuddin, Department of Anthropology, University of Manitoba; Bidushy Rahman, University of Victoria; Bidisha Ray, Department of History, Simon Fraser University; Mohammad Zaman; Jane Pulkingham, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Simon Fraser University; Mandakranta Bose, Center for India and South Asia Research, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada


The Canada 150 Conference on Migration of Bengalis was triggered by our academic as well as personal desires to establish broadly the history of migration of Bengalis  or Bangla-speaking people to Canada. As long-time researchers on Asian immigrants in Canada, and through our involvement in the Metropolis Research Project, we realized that there was hardly any published material on Canadian Bengalis. Therefore, in 2017, on the eve of Canada’s 150th anniversary, we took the opportunity to celebrate and document the history and contemporary trends of Bengali immigrants in Canada.

ISBN: 9781772870442


  • Frontmatter
  • Complete Proceedings
    Habiba Zaman, Sanzida Habib
  • Contributors
  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction
    Habiba Zaman, Sanzida Habib
  • Open Remarks
    Jane Pulkingham
  • “Are You a Bengali or Are You an Indian?” Bengalis in Canada
    Tania Das Gupta
  • Migration of Bengalis to Canada: An Historical Account
    Bidisha Ray
  • An Oral History of Bengali Immigrants in British Columbia: 1960 – 2017
    Supriya Bhattacharyya
  • In Pursuit of Our Dreams
    Khaleda Banu
  • Bengali Immigrant Women: Health and Wellbeing
    Sanzida Habib
  • “Multi-Cultural”: Straddling Continents, Straddling Identities
    Sarika Bose
  • Adaptation and Acceptance in Canada: A Story of a Student, Immigrant, and Citizen
    Tareq Islam
  • Making My Path in Canada: My Memoir
    Marina Hossain
  • Bengali Canadians in the National Capital Region (NCR): Mapping Social and Cultural Identities
    Mustafa Chowdhury
  • Empowerment: Intercultural Activities in a Community Garden
    Ranjan Datta
  • Challenges for Internationally Trained Engineers in BC and the Role of the Bangladeshi Engineers’ Association
    Iqbal Bhuiyan
  • Ekushey February – International Mother Language Day: History, Significance and Implementation Challenges
    Muhammad Aminul Islam, Mohammad Zaman
  • GVBCA: Celebrating and Incorporating Bengali Culture in Multicultural Canada
    Sanzida Habib, Hafizul Islam
  • Coming Abroad to Find Home
    Chinmoy Banerjee
  • Day 2 Welcome Address
    Mandakranta Bose
  • Can We Really Have a “Jaiga” (Space) in a New Place? An Ethnographic Quest of Migration, Identity, and Contributions of Bengalis in Manitoba
    C. Emdad Haque, Helal Mohiuddin
  • Split Between Cultures: Negotiating My Bengali and Western Girlhood
    Fariha Khondaker
  • Unbelonging Between Turtle Island and Bangladesh: A Second-Generational Rambling
    Bidushy Rahman
  • The “Filmy” Life of a Bengali Western Boy
    Maz Haque
  • The Evolution of Religious Identity of a First-Generation Bengali Immigrant
    Rafia Mahzabin
  • ROUNDTABLE I: Migration, Settlement Experience and Community Service in Greater Vancouver
    Sanzida Habib
  • ROUND TABLE II: Multiculturalism, Activism, and Social Justice
    Supriya Bhattacharyya
  • Appendix 1: My Reflections on the Conference
    Mustafa Chowdhury
  • Appendix 2: Conference Program


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April 5, 2018