The Bangladeshi community is growing in the Pembina Valley. Morden's Abdur Rashid recalled when his family moved to Morden.  

"When I arrived here, I came through the Morden Immigration Initiative program in 2016 and at that time we are only three families at Morden, so there were no other Bangladeshis. Just me, Zafrul (Hasan) and Jahangir (Talukdar) with our three families here. And within two or three years, we became 4-5 families, now in the Pembina Valley area, we are 31 families."  

Rashid said some of the families have come from larger urban cities across Canada like Toronto and Calgary. He explained why. 

"In this community we feel welcomed, and, in this community, we feel it is the best place to raise our kids. I think we don't want to live in chaos and the fast life. So, we just want to live peacefully here."  

Rashid described Bangladesh as a beautifully green country where most people live in villages and on farms. He said the people see everyone as brothers and sisters and are very friendly. Volunteering has been a part of settling into the Pembina Valley for many who make it home.  

"At Winterfest, we invited all of our friends from everywhere. Come visit us, see our Winterfest, and see how we are doing. They enjoyed it a lot." 

Robyn Wiebe with a group of ladies

He said the group was inspired to stay connected and get together again organizing a potluck to welcome three new families to the area, held Saturday at Winkler Arts and Culture.  

"Today we are having a potluck, so all the families living in Pembina Valley area are gathering together. Sometimes we know their name, but we don't know the face. Sometimes we talk with them over the phone, but the face is not known. There are three families who came this month. We are introducing them to all the families who we know by name. We want to know by face also."   

Robyn Wiebe with two ladies

Children chased around giggling and making new friends while families and friends reconnected and made new friends, telling stories, singing songs and eating a delicious, authentic meal, in traditional Bangladeshi style, with their hands. I, Reporter Robyn Wiebe, experienced the warm hospitality for myself, enjoying the friendly atmosphere and making new friends. 

The next event the Bangladeshi community will celebrate is the Pohela Boishakh or Bangla Noboborsho, the Bengali New Year coming up April 14th. 

Some pictures in the gallery were submitted.