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I Know They love Me

Re-Balance
16 June 2021

I Know They love Me

I Know They Love Me

Hello, my name's Saffrana Rahman. I am a British Bangladeshi. I’m 15 years old and I’m from Portsmouth. I live with my Dadi (Grandmother), Ammu (Mum), Baba (Dad), Brother, and Fergey, our cat.

Growing up in a multi-generational house has always been the norm for me; my whole life I have lived with my Dadi and Dada (Grandfather), before he passed away. I loved my Dada a lot and miss him very much. For a while my Boro Ma (Great-Grandmother) also lived with us before she passed away - she was funny.

My Ammu and Dadi were born and grew up in Bangladesh before they came to the UK, however my Baba was born here, in Portsmouth.

In Bengali culture and language, there is not a phrase to say ‘I love you’ to someone you care about. There is a phrase in Bengali which is 'ami tumare bhalobashi', but that is really reserved for your Husband/Wife or Girlfriend/Boyfriend. Speaking English and Bengali, I sometimes found it confusing, and it would frustrate me growing up that my Baba was the only person who would say 'I love you' to me, as my Ammu, Dadi and Dada would never say it. As I've grown up and understand more, I have realised that saying these three words is not the only way to prove that they love me, but rather, they show it through their actions.

I know that they love me when I ask them to make me a certain meal or dish, I know that they love me when they ask me to watch a Star Plus serial TV show with them, I know that they love me when they listen to me talk about pointless drama at school. I could not ever fully list all the things that they do for me that shows me their love. You see, it's through their actions that they tell me they love me.

I realise that things don't always translate in their totality between two cultures and two languages. Sometimes we have to interpret these, and I think this is what makes culture and language so interesting. I am proud to be British and Bangladeshi. I think it has helped me develop my emotional intelligence. It adds richness and colour to my life, and I love that.

So to me, words are important, but so are the actions, and I would much rather have it this way.

Saffrana Rahman

Re-Balance.org

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