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Happy New Year to migrant Bengali workers in Maldives

April 14th, 2011 · 1 Comment · Labour Rights, Tolerance

April 14 is the New Year’s Day marked by Bengalis in Bangladesh and West Bengal in India. It is the New Year’s Day celebrated by all people in Bangladesh, regardless of their religion. Thousands of migrant Bangladeshi workers live in the Maldives. As their New Year falls, their lives are miserable than ever because of difficulties in purchasing US dollars in the Maldives, forcing the migrant workers to buy dollars at extremely high prices on black market.

Expatriate worker from Bangladesh working in Malé, Maldives.

Expatriate worker from Bangladesh in Malé, Maldives. Life is miserable for migrant Bengali workers in the Maldives.

It is the new year’s day celebrated by a number of communities and countries in South Asia and South East Asia, including Nepal, Thailand, Burma and Cambodia. The day is marked in Kerela, Karnataka, Assam and Orissa states in India. Both Sinhalese and Tamils in Sri Lanka mark their new year in mid-April. We extend our new year greetings to those communities and any migrant workers from those communities living in the Maldives.

April 14 also used to be the traditional new year’s day of the Maldives. Our links to the South Asian history and culture are deep-rooted and dates back to centuries. As Maldivians and migrant workers from South Asia live and work in the Maldives, reflecting on the shared identity and culture is essential to foster a higher level of tolerance.

Happy New Year to all Maldvians too!

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