Growing up I always felt alienated from the Bangladeshi community. Not understanding why I felt this way, not comprehending why I couldn’t connect with family members, why I didn’t have mutual interests with my cousins. Not knowing why I couldn’t relate to the norms and traditions of my culture that never made sense to me.
I was that introverted, socially awkward girl who would sit quietly in a corner of the room, surrounded by people but not speak, just observing. Listening to older generations talking to each other, gossiping about each other. Throwing ‘harmless’ jokes at each other, commenting on other people “when are they getting married?” “She’s of age now.” When are you going to have children?” And if you go against the norm you’re instantly ostracised, exiled. Wincing to everything they’d say, never aligning with the ways they were, their beliefs, and values. It was never about belonging, it was the realisation that my life’s meaning, my purpose was different. It was to break the restrictive norms and traditions for future generations. It was to break the norms that society held of girls, of women. It was to heal the generations to come, it was to break the generational traumas and values that had no significant values. My purpose wasn’t going through the traditional route.
Transitioning into an adult, seeing the unspoken traumas, generational unhealed sadness that I realised the norms, ideations that existed never had an essential purpose. It simply confined the people, immobilised us to mind-ego and never seeing the light, the beauty of life. It isn’t just about the traditional route of going to university and graduating, nor about getting married by 25 and having children. It’s the gaps that reside in those spaces of conforming to these concepts. It’s the regret of not doing more in life, not knowing what your purpose is and why you’re here. It’s the pain, suffering they have of blindly following man-made societal norms and projecting the traumas that were created onto the future generations, onto the children. The trauma and suffering repeating like a cycle.
It never was about connecting with my community because that meant I affiliated with the societal norms that were created. It is about breaking the generational curses that controlled, imprisoned them because they never saw an extraordinary life. They simply saw the life of survival. The need to survive. It is my purpose to crack open, and break the generational curses, so the future generations don’t have to worry about breaking norms that limited them.