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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Kanwal Rahman, July 15, 1999. Interview K-0817. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Interacting more with Americans than fellow Bangladeshis

Rahman describes a closely knit Bangladeshi community in the Chapel Hill area, but she finds that she interacts more with her American-born colleagues and friends than Bangladeshis.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Kanwal Rahman, July 15, 1999. Interview K-0817. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

So you at all interact with, what you would consider, sort of, your community here, or, what would the term "community" even mean to you, here in this context, in America?
KANWAL RAHMAN:
I believe that the community feeling is very strong among most Bangladeshi's and they, interact very much with each other, and, er. . .. Because most of the people who are from Bangladesh over here in Chapel Hill, Raleigh/Durham areas, are either going to college, or studying their master or higher studies or working in a field relevant to their studies—. I, per se, have not been much in touch with my community, only because there are certain limitations right now—not having a car, not having the time—not being in my field of work yet, as I wanted to be—.
RAJIKA BHANDARI:
Okay.
KANWAL RAHMAN:
And, er. . .. That—.
RAJIKA BHANDARI:
But you feel that they as a community are quite open to that. They, Otherwise there's a lot of interaction between, sort of, other Bangladeshi's who, you know—.
KANWAL RAHMAN:
There is! There is a very strong—. Because they celebrate their national holidays among themselves, or a Saturday—. So, er. . . the communities are pretty strong.
RAJIKA BHANDARI:
Okay. [pause] Okay—. Do you interact a lot with, er. . .. Americans, as in friends, as well as American families?
KANWAL RAHMAN:
I do interact with a lot of American friends and I think, ahm. . . to tell you the truth I have, because of my work and because of the way I'm living my life right now, I, I interact more with Americans than any of my community members, and, er. . .. But this families, I never had much of a chance, apart from my older sister's in-laws, who are Americans and, maybe on an odd Christmas I'd go out and have, to Chicago and have dinner with them, or spend Christmas with them. But otherwise, all of, all of, er. . . people I interact with are Americans, and they are friends.