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  #1  
Old February 24, 2008, 01:34 PM
Arnab Arnab is offline
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Default The geographical origin of Pakistanis living in Britain

From the article on Pothohari language in Wikipedia:

Quote:
The Pothwari or Pothohari language in Urdu otherwise known as Potwari is an Indo-European language spoken from the Potwar district around Rawalpindi, Pakistan to the Cease-fire Line (LoC) of Indian administered Kashmir de-facto border in the Mirpur district of the Jammu area in Pakistan administered Kashmir . It is closely related to Panjabi and Romani (Gypsy), but is distinct from these languages.
But more interesting is the following:

Quote:
In the UK, over 90% of British Pakistanis speak Pothohari as their first language. Over 2/3 of these originate from Mirpur in Azad Kashmir (the area of Kashmir under Pakistani administration).


Every second Muslim in Britain speaks Pothohari as their first language. Every third South Asian person in Britain is a Pothohari speaker.
So just like most of the Bengalis in the UK come from a specific area of Bangladesh, so is true for the Pakistanis living there as well?
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  #2  
Old February 24, 2008, 01:36 PM
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Too much wiki sources can take away all the credibility of the info.

If you have any "original" research, that's something you can use to decide. But for Wiki, the idea is "ja rotey, tar kichuta hoileo ghotey".
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  #3  
Old February 24, 2008, 01:39 PM
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That's what I am interested to know. They don't have sources for those claims in the wiki article.
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  #4  
Old February 24, 2008, 02:19 PM
Arnab Arnab is offline
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Ah, more information from the article on British Pakistanis:

Quote:
...the majority of Pakistanis in the UK are from Mirpur, Azad Kashmir and the dominant languages therefore spoken are Pothwari and Hindko.

...

Urdu, Whilst not the mother tongue of the vast majority of the community is understood and spoken by many, and is the only community language which has a written form.
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  #5  
Old February 24, 2008, 04:31 PM
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I recall having read this elsewhere, that most Pakistani immigrants to the UK from the 60s were Mirpuri Pakistanis. I am not certain its from Wikipedia, since this was in the days before Wikipedia was a household name (although I did start wikipedia-ing since 2003)
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  #6  
Old February 24, 2008, 05:59 PM
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Yep, the Wiki says most Pakistanis from 1960s were Mirpuris, and they form the majority of the British Pakistanis. From 1970s and onwards Western Punjabis and Sindhis are probably the dominant migrant groups from Pakistan, but apparently they are still outnumbered by Mirpuris by a big margin.

Kind of like Sylhetis and other Bangladeshis in Britain.
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  #7  
Old February 25, 2008, 02:51 AM
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Most of my Paki buddies have also made comments about "UK is for Mirpuris ..". This was typically followed by comments about the backwardness of this ethnic group and their unwillingness to learn English even after having been in UK for eons.
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  #8  
Old February 25, 2008, 02:54 AM
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Note, I personally do not know of any one from this region of Pakistan and have no pre-formed opinion of these folks. Just repeating what I've heard
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  #9  
Old February 25, 2008, 11:29 AM
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mirpur did constitute a large chunk of the original population of pakistanis but punjab and sindh seem to have more of a vocal presence amongst second and third generations. one has to take into account the geographical settlement patterns within uk as well. as the factories waned althrough the sixties, the numbers dwindled in terms of immigration to the traditional industrial heartlands. if a particular city or town had a large existing punjabi population, new arrivals would be more likely to settle close to it.

it is just my observation that the familial bond in the pakistani community is no less a potent factor as it is in other immigrant communities. in the past this would have accounted for a continuation of the family businesses and specialist trades. in the modern context, especially amongst the working classes and those who are on state benefits, such trades can form a barrier to social mobility. of course, this is not unique amongst pakistanis. the syleti population, the greek cypriots, the somalis and southern italians who have settled here throughout the 20th century had gone through that phase. the pakistanis and bangladeshis being the latest arrival will take a generation or two to truly find their feet.

for what its worth, i attended school in uk from the age of 12. there were very few non-white faces in my first school. i knew two of the asian boys who were of pakistani origin, although they weren't close friends in those days. for various reasons, there seemed to have been a lack of confidence in these chaps that resulted in being not overtly friendly to white kids. in the late eighties, such attitude would only be seen as more of an asian trend rather than a muslim specific problem centred around a palpable lack of integration. in contrast, the few hindu and sikh kids seem to have had more white friends. the situation is my school might not have had any universal significance but much later in life, in a different capacity i saw similar trends in other schools up and down the country. it would be fair to say that in my small school of less that three hundred pupils, the non-white population would have been 0.5%.

financial circumstances had changed drastically around the time i was 16 and as a result i went to a different school to attend sixth form. this would be the bangladeshi equivalent of intermediate. this was a much smaller grammar school with an even smaller sixth form. there would have been perhaps 50 students comprising of both the lower and upper sixth. my biology class was very small as it had just three students. the maths group had five. english was a large class of fifteen! one of the pakistani boys i knew from my old school had also gained entrance to my sixth form. it was during sixth form that we became quite good friends, primarily, due to our love for cricket and table tennis.

faisal was distinctly from the working classes. his father had been a train driver for the last twenty years. i did find out later that he was from mirpur and had arrived in uk in search of his fortune in the late sixties. his sons were the first in the family to go to university. there was much pride in this but there was also the anticipation that they would eventually join british rail in a higher capacity than their father, after completing university. i had lost touch with faisal over the last ten years but last i heard, his brother was working as a biochemist somewhere and he decided to go into teaching. it would be interesting to know if they have fulfilled their father's expectations.

i had been introduced to some of faisal's other pakistani friends during sixth form. a significant proportion of these new friends were school dropouts or were simply hanging onto the idea of completing some technical qualification. they looked at me, the non pakistani, with some suspicion; faisal was seen as something of a role model for wanting to go to univesity. they used to gather around a bearded youth leader of sorts in a terraced house that was called the young boys muslim centre. other that sports, the centre also gave voluntary islamic education to older teenagers. needless to say that i only went there for the five a side football and the table tennis table on wednesday evenings! i often wonder what those kids are up to now in their early thirties. some of their fathers were taxi drivers. some had worked in the catering trade. others never seemed to have worked and relied on benefit. have they followed their footsteps into the transport industry or perhaps have sourced call centre jobs?

my father's maternal grandfather was a student at oxford university in uk in the late 1920s. my father was close to him and was much influenced by his writing. my maternal grandfather was again a student in the early 1950's at swansea university in uk. again, he had so many tales to tell that litter my childhood. my parents were not a direct product of the west. my father was strictly a product of dhaka and rajshahi university as well as a brief year in the american university at beirut in the mid sixties. my mother went to kolkatta, karachi and then dhaka universities. their regurgitated tales of the foreign land (west) gave the impression that countries like britain was full of second class immigrant citizens! so when i first arrived in britain, it was interesting to see litter on the streets, houses in ethnic neighbourhoods falling down and a lot of the asian kids speaking in english with twangs that was different to what i had heard in television and radio before. however, there was a marked difference in the bengali and pakistani kids i had met through my parents acquaintances. most of them went to public, private or grammar schools. they were largely brown versions of the white kids i went to school with. it took me a while to work out how they had turned out like that! i did not resent the latter or felt sorry for the former, but was acutely aware of the marked difference in parental class. somehow, in the process of five to six years, unbeknown to me, i had managed to lose my accent that would have identified me as part of the asian lot. the last time i spoke to my old friend faisal was in 1995 after almost two years. we spoke on the phone and he said how much my accent has changed and he didn't almost recognise me.

once at university, i realised that the class system that i had been unconsciously aware of in early eighties dhaka, noticed in a different context in the late eighties and early nineties britain was simply a continuation of existing systems that had dominated the immigrant population throughout the centuries. much of the population had grown up with the same feudal systems back in their country of origin as well, and for them, it was not even a conscious observation. in britain, if you spoke well (a lack of indianised english accent helped), went to a grammar or public school (public school entails fee paying schools in UK), did a traditional humanities subject (none of this media studies or business studies!) at an old established university, the chances of being accepted into the middle class increased almost two folds. however, the children of the educated classes, or those immigrants who had come in here as professionals were born into the system. the traditional asian hordes going into law and medicine almost always succeeded but that was more due to the career orientated nature of those professions. without these, the working class kids from families that had ties with sylet, mirpur or even native sudan would have less of a chance to break out of a life of the catering, transport or lowly admin jobs.
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  #10  
Old February 25, 2008, 12:47 PM
Arnab Arnab is offline
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Nice stuff, Puck!
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  #11  
Old February 25, 2008, 02:36 PM
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Puck my friend you are one anglicized bangali
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