Hello. My name is Deborah [ph] Norrey, I’m recording for the History at Hobsmoor Project. Today’s date is Monday the twenty-seventh of November 2017, I’m here with Bano. Now, can I please ask for your name, your date of birth and where you were born?
My name is Bano, you can call me Mrs Bano, and my date of birth is eight March 1980 and I born in Pakistan.
Oh [sneezes]. Can I ask you if you could share one of your childhood memories with me please?
Oh, my childhood memories are of playing with my friends in the, on, in the streets and, mm, having fun with the, er, girls most of the time and playing hide and seek. And going over the [0:50 signs], this is one of good memories of my childhood I really still keeping with me.
So, when did you move to England?
Um, when I got married in 2003, so my husband was here so I came here to join him.
And what was it like for you, coming over to England from Pakistan?
Oh, I think it was, um, same time excited and a bit scary because of the language and I don’t know what is, what are the customs. But I am glad that I came here. It’s really lovely country, I really like it.
Did you speak any of the language when you, you came to England?
Uh, I think, uh, I go a bit far for my studies but the way English people speak, it’s, it was hard for me to understand what they are saying or, um, what does that mean and what they call four different things. Because my language was Urdu so it’s not that much, to speak fluently in English is something different and it’s bit hard to learn that way. But with the time pass, I think I [laughing] I am quite good at it [laughing], ah.
So when, when you moved to England, where did you move to?
I came in the countryside called Suffolk because my husband was doing his studies in a college nearby. So we took a flat for, that is close to his college so it’s easy for him to go every day. But after some times, we, I, I think two years or three years, we moved to Birmingham.
And where in Birmingham did you move to?
Oh, it’s a long story, please don’t ask [laughing]. I move a lot of different places in Birmingham but, but now I settle down in, erm, South Yardley.
So when did you come to South Yardley then?
Er… South Yardley is almost ten years I’ve been living.
And what brought you to Yardley?
Our circumstances [laughing], different. Yeah, and because I don’t have my own house so I been living in a rented house. And some, most of the time, where, where I’ve been living, they said, ‘[3:07]’, so I have to move.
And what were your first impressions of Yardley?
Er… I can see lots of Pakistani people, that’s giving me a happiness and excitement and lots of familiar, uh, feature. So I thought, ‘’K, um, yeah, I can cope with this’.
So, you settled into Yardley…
And what changes have you noticed in the 12 years you’ve been here?
Yeah, uh, I think the change and very positive change is in the community. Community is really, very… especially ladies, they are more willing to learn something, to do something, to make… to raise a standard of their life. This is really approachable, I think, for me, for, really supportive and encouraging. And I am part of that society, this is a great thing.
And how did that come about? Well, how did, how did it come about that, that, that you started to grow your community, what sort of things were put into place for your community… to come together?
As I joined this, um, community centre, I noticed that the basic thing is ladies are interested is in learning English. And I was, I was the student and I am still student and I’m learning English and Maths. But… the thing is more is they are more social, mm, ladies are more social. They want some social and um, I think, it’s, I think it’s not, uh, against the law and this, any controversial, but they don’t want to be, stay inside the houses and they want to express their, themselves, this is really good thing.
And how long have you been coming to the Oasis Community Centre for?
I think it’s five years now, yeah.
And what sort of events do they put on here?
Oh, lots of things are going on in there but the more successful is the ladies’ night, where, where, when you can only have ladies only and you can dance, you can chill, you can have foods, you can chat. You can sing, whatever you want to do, it’s the, it’s something we…. mm, we don’t have before this. So I think this is the thing really good. And English, we are doing English, Maths and different courses and social, mental development and erm, mm… and parties, Eid parties, mehndi, the Summer Fair, Christmas Fair. These all things are happening in the [5:50] community.
That sounds like great fun. Looking out at the wider community, Bano, how d’you feel like the area has altered in the years since you’ve been here?
I think excellent opportunities are available. Parks are r, really clean and tidy and bus transport is accessible to each and every one. And the thing, I feel really safe, even I am walking at the night-time alone.
And where do you go and do your shopping?
Uh, . I do, mm, some, now I started doing online but most of the time, supermarkets – Aldi, Asda, Tesco, B&M, Next. These are my favourite shops.
When you moved into the area… the Swan, the Swan Centre’s had major re-developments over the years.
Yes, I know.
Was the previous centre there before when you moved in, the one with the markets?
No, I think, uh, when I w, er, I was in Yardley then, it’s, it’s changed quite a lot. And before that, what was there, even I don’t remember what I do now. And it’s only walking distance from my house so I keep … going. And there are, I think, some sport shop and then my son took me every week, every week [laughing].
So do you enjoy living in Yardley?
Of course, definitely. I really enjoy it. Being part of this [chuckling] town or this city.
So, compared to the other areas that you lived in Birmingham, as there were a few, is this your favourite part?
This is my favourite part, [chuckling], obviously, yes.
So do you feel like now you’ve found a, a home… you know, a, and …?
Yes, a homely feeling, yes, yes.
Yes, yeah. And you’ve got some good friends out of the community?
Yes, I have so many good friends. Ach, they give me so much respect. I told [chuckling] in another interview that they love me so much, they respect me so much and this is the thing, mm… but I try to do whatever their problems, they trust me. So whenever I, I know there, there is some problem and they want, mm, solution, I try to help them out.
Oh, that’s excellent. So are you … is there anything that you don’t like about Yardley, Bano?
Uh, [chuckling], I [chuckling] don’t want to say it but the Yardley is the cities or roads are really dirty and I want some, some solution for this because lots of parents coming to… mm, by walk from homes to… there must be something that they appreciate every day. So, you know, when you living in a nice clean atmosphere, this affect your overall mood and overall, your life. So I think if it is more cleaner and, um, tidy then it will be more helpful for overall community…This is the only concern.
When you were a …little girl in Pakistan, did you ever think that you would end up living in England?
No, to be honest, no. I never thought that I came to England or live, or uh, I will get married because there was a something that I will get married in my family in Pakistan.
So do you… are you glad that you moved to England or do you sometimes…?
This was my dad’s decision to, mm, that I should marry but it was with my own will that, because my husband was getting really highly education and you know what? This is personal but I want to share that. I, it was always my dream that I will get married with a man who is go very far for studies. So I choose him, I said ‘Yes’ for him [laughing].
Well, it’s really lovely that you’ve managed to find a home here in England and that you’ve managed to build up friendships within the community and the area and I hope that that continues to grow for you.
Yes, of course, definitely. Because um, I think, um… when you, whenever I do something, I put my head and heart in it. So when I … when I get involved in the community, yes I am here for the future as well. Everybody, anybody needs my help, my advice, my support for anything, even you are doing sewing or gardening or anything, I am here.
Do you feel that… being a part of the, the community and of the Oasis Academy, do you think that has …made you more confident in yourself?
Of course, definitely, yeah. I er, um… when I came to, I uh, I, uh, I told them that when I came to, mm, first time in Oasis …when my son join in 2002, people were talking and I couldn’t understand what they are saying. So I, uh, but when I took part in classes and coming and listening to other people and then I observing lots of things. And now, you can see, I can speak English. And uh, mm, yes, yes.
And that’s obviously helped with your confidence but now you –
Oh, it does, it does enhance my confidence. I think I was confident but the thing, language was barrier for me to express myself. But now I think I am in a full bloom [laughing].
Well, I feel that you’ve become a very part, a very important part of this community, Bano.
Oh, yeah [chuckling].
Yeah, you know, and it’s lovely to hear that, you know, that you feel at home here.
And that you’re enjoying your time here.
Yes, I do [chuckling].
So is there anything else you’d like to add, Bano, about your experience of Yardley or the community?
Uh, if anybody else is listening and they are staying in the house, I would say, ‘‘K, even you can’t speak English or even there is any other language you are speaking, try to say what you want to do and what you want to feel. There is a help available for everybody or for everyone. So ladies, if, mm, there is something, I think there is no barrier to learn and achieve what you want to achieve. And you want, and every ladies deserve to be happy and for, to be happy, you have to take first step… You have to be a bit brave, to come out of your house and you wa, you say what you want to say or what you want to do’.
Well, thank you for taking the time to talk to me, Bano, I’ve really enjoyed it.
No, thank you so much, thank you so much to having me, thank you [chuckling].
Oh, you’re welcome, thank you.
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