The Bangladeshi population in Houston, the fourth largest city of the US has surged over the past few years. The tremendous growth in Houston has attracted Bangladeshis from the other corners of the country. As in any metropolitan city, ethnic cultures flourish along with the mainstream culture but it takes time and it takes a lot of efforts from the community members. Different levels of participation can be observed in different ethnic groups to promote and adhere to their culture. Some groups take it seriously and observe their festivals in high stride, whereas some group blends in with the mainstream culture and follow some of their culture as a mere formalities.
Being born in 1971, Bangladesh is a relatively new nation in the world community. With a colorful and vivid chronology of fighting for their rights to live, sacrificing lives for mother language and for freedom, the people of Bangladesh has a very unique and charming history. Bangladesh may be located in a flood prone and unsuitable low land compared to its neighbors, it may have bit more people that she should have, the political climate may not be matured just yet, but the resilient people of Bangladesh never stop fighting. They fight every day with climates, with rains, with corruption, with disease, with natural calamities, with floods, with poverty and with unfair treatment by the riches and powerful. But do they ever quit? Never. For this unparallel quality you can still find the boatman singing while rowing his boat, you will find children playing in the mud, women covering their heads while carrying food to the field for their loved ones, you will see the heavenly smile of a shy young girl behind the banana plant in the villages. It seems that nothing can ever touch the core of their strength.
Bangladeshi people are proud of their heritage and culture. They are brave and humble, they are honest and hard working.
The Bangladeshi immigrants in the USA are the first generation immigrants having the maximum influx in the 80's and 90's. To meet the need of the local Bangladeshi community, the Bangladesh Association, Houston was established in 1972 as a non-profit organization in the state of Texas and granted the Internal Revenue Tax exempted 501 (3) status in May of 1985.
Slowly the demand of the community had grown and a need for a community place was felt by everyone. From this urge to have an address for the Bangladeshi people, the project Bangladesh-American Center was born.
Today the Bangladeshis in Houston proudly own a piece of land which is approximately 4 acres. There is a temporary office building in the land where every Sunday children go to the weekend aptly named "PaathShala". People conducts meetings while other play badminton or basketball. Soon their will be vegetable garden and a children playground.
The long term goal of this project is to build an auditorium where the community can hold cultural programs and other events. It will require huge funds and the whole community is working towards raising funds.
The project belongs to everyone, people who donated and also people who didn't donate yet. This project is an icon for solidarity and unity. It brings the whole community in one place.
What can be more beautiful than that?
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