Jamal, Fatima (2019) A New Life in Huddersfield: The Memories of Partition and Migration. What is the legacy of Partition in the diaspora community in the UK? Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

The Seventieth Anniversary of the Independence of India and Pakistan has addressed the sensitive nature of the Partition legacy through the media coverage. This year a new debate has been addressed: that less knowledge of this topic is being transferred to the next generation of the diaspora South Asians. There is a preconception that this community that migrated from South Asia to the UK cannot live side-by-side. The oral history account states some people were a little hesitant because of the traumatic memories of childhood, but wanted to move forward rather than dwell on the past. The existing oral history archive is focused on people’s experience of settling in the UK, not about their ancestral history. It has only been in recent decades that there is a shift towards understanding this community’s memories about the Partition. I explore the existing local and national oral history archive regarding the Partition legacy of community that migrated to Huddersfield during the 1950s and 1960s. This community started to live side-by-side again in Huddersfield despite the fact they had experienced the traumatic memories of the Partition during childhood. Working with a company Lets Go Yorkshire, my project leader, Mandeep Samra, Director of The White Line Project offered guidance on how a community heritage project can be incorporated with academic learning to bring together expertise and knowledge into the public spheres. The aim for this thesis was to start a dialogue between the second generation who had experienced the Partition with third generation who are unaware of their family history and to understand their memories through creative writing workshops, oral history archive, and a documentary.1 The documentary reflective questionnaire for participants during the screening reveals that people had little knowledge about this topic prior to the media coverage during the Seventieth Anniversary. In addition to this South Asian community third generation feel ashamed that they did not learn about this topic during school education. The reflective essay discusses my experience and perspective as a third-generation South Asian academic working with the local community heritage project to create a shared history an archive for the local communities in Huddersfield.

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