Bangladeshi immigration to Brazil

Discussion in 'Americas' started by IBSA, Feb 6, 2014.

  1. IBSA

    IBSA Regular Member

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    Bangladesh in the Brazilian Amazon
    News of Brazil's booming economy is drawing economic migrants all the way from the opposite side of the globe.

    [​IMG]

    In the northwest Brazilian Amazon town of Brasileia, population 20,238, there are almost 1,200 Haitians.

    They often mill around during the day, clustered in groups in the shade trying to keep cool from the steamy heat, waiting for weeks for their work documents to be processed so they can get a job in another part of Brazil.

    But on Tuesday it was the two other guys sitting alone who caught my attention. They could have been Bolivian perhaps, or even Brazilian. But I knew they weren’t.

    “We are from Bangladesh,” AHM Sultan Ahmed, 36, tells me with a smile when I approach and ask to talk with them.

    His friend, Abdul Awal, and my photojournalist, Maria Elena Romero, and I, all sit together on the grass and begin to chat.

    They are from Dhaka, and arrived in Brasileia the night before. They slept on the ground in the main plaza, having nowhere else to go. For obvious reasons, they look tired, but still muster the energy to smile wide and often.

    Why did you come to Brazil?

    “I heard Brazil’s economy is growing, and that here is good for us and good jobs,” Ahmed says. “Soon we can hopefully get our papers and find a job. I am happy”

    “I think there is a lot of work in South America now, and a lot of people from my country are wanting to come here now,” he continues.

    Neither has been to Brazil before, nor speak a word of Portuguese.

    Ahmed tells me he is a trained painter and once worked in Greece. Awal, who worked in Malaysia, is an electrician.

    Both men say they need work to support their families back home. Ahmed left behind a wife and seven-year-old daughter; Awal a wife and one daughter and two sons.

    Long, Dangerous Journey

    I just had to ask: So how do two men from Bangladesh get to one of the most remote corners of the Amazon in Brazil?

    First, they tell me, they paid about $9,000 to a broker to arrange the journey. The trickster also promised easy and high-paying jobs in Ecuador.

    So Ahmed and Awal paid up and flew from Dhaka to Dubai (4 hours, 30 minutes).

    “Why not just work in Dubai,” I ask.

    “Not much work, Brazil is better I think,” Ahmed says.

    In the UAE, they boarded a flight that brought them non-stop from Dubai to Sao Paulo. It’s about a 15-hour flight.

    Because they didn’t have a visa for Brazil, when they landed in Sao Paulo they could not leave the airport, and had to transfer to another flight to Santiago, Chile (3 hours, 15 minutes).

    After a long layover in Santiago, another flight to Quito, Ecuador, (5 hours) where they stayed a few days.

    “No work for us in Ecuador,” Ahmed says.

    So they sharpened their focus on Brazil, a country recently named the world’s sixth largest economy by a consulting firm.

    But because they didn’t know the logistics how to get to Brazil without a visa, they were forced to pay $5,400 to another "middle man" who basically said: 'It's complicated, but don't worry, I'll arrange it all.'

    Border crossing

    Soon they found themselves on a public bus for a 26 hours journey from Quito to Lima, Peru. From there they transferred to another bus, and another 12-hour journey over mountain passes to Inapari, Peru, a dusty border town with Brazil.

    Still with no visa for Brazil, and in a far away land and culture they didn’t know, another local shady character demanded $600, they say, to secretly drive them to the Bolivian side of the border and then guide them the few kilometres through the jungle into Brazil.

    But the two men only had $300 in cash left. So the man asked for Ahmed’s cellphone to cover the rest. Having no other choice, he handed it over.

    Yesterday, 21 days after leaving Dhaka, the two men straggled into Brasileia.

    Ahmed had $20 in cash, and a few loose coins in Brazilian money. And no cellphone to call home.

    They bought a snack and some water to celebrate their arrival.

    “We have $10 now,” he said.

    They delivered their passports to the local federal police offices for processing for a work permit.

    But the two men had better get used to Brasileia.

    The wait time is averaging four weeks.

    Cultural Shock

    As I am sitting on the grass talking to my two new friends from Bangladesh, a good-natured, middle-aged Brazilian man comes by and asks us where we were from. “They are from Bangladesh,” I say.

    Probably not knowing where to take the conversation from there, he resorts to a well-tested, male fall-back: “You have beautiful girls over there?” he says, laughing.

    When that doesn't solicit much of a response from Ahmed or Awal, the Brazilian conceeds: “Bangladesh is the capital of India, right?”

    Mr. Ahmed smiles gently. “India, Pakistan, Bangladesh ...,” trying to help the man place it on his mental map of the world.

    “Nossa senhora,” the Brazilian says, before taking off to continue his jog.

    It is a quick and dirty geography and cultural lesson between two unlikely people in the most improbable place imaginable.

    But this isn't the first time.

    When I was in the neighbouring town of Epitaciolandia in May, working on stories about Haitians coming to Brazil, I also met a group of four men from Bangladesh who migrated to Brazil looking for work.

    New trend

    It appears to be a new and growing trend of east to west, south to south migration. At least from Bangladesh to Brazil.

    “When you get your work papers, where will you go?” I ask Ahmed.

    “Maybe Sao Paulo, but I would like Brasilia,” he says.

    While the Haitian migrants in Brasileia have each other to support, Ahmed and Awal do not. They are on their own, in a very different universe now.

    I ask Ahmed if he misses his family.

    He looks down towards the grass, and then back up again to my eyes, and says: “Sure, of course, I must go back at some time.”

    His eyes are red, but I am not sure if it is because he is about to cry, or just from 21 days of travel around the world.

    I decided not to push the issue.

    “Good luck, my friends,” I say, as we all exchange handshakes. “Hope to see you tomorrow. And welcome to Brazil.”

    “Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you so much” they reply back, smiling.

    Undocumented migrants from Bangladesh in a far corner of the Brazilian Amazon looking for work to support families on the other side of Earth.

    Yes, the world is changing. Fast. Stay safe, gentlemen. Good luck. And may you both achieve your Brazilian dream.
     
    Sridhar likes this.
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  3. Waffen SS

    Waffen SS New Member

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    Well.

    Good luck to them. Brazil is a country of immigrant background.

    Bangladesh seriously needs to stop it's population explosion instead of arming it's military, other wise massive famine will break out.

    I hope India, Pakistan and Bangladesh will be again reunited as were before.
     
  4. IBSA

    IBSA Regular Member

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    Bengali immigration is a growing phenomenon in Brazilian lands.

    Several them come to Brazil to work in halal food factories, mainly in Paraná State, in South region.

    I saw some statistics showing that in 2013 there was 1830 requests for refuge in Brazil, a rise of 500% in comparison to previous year.

    Now I ask for you, Indians, who copes with bengalis much more time than Brazil, how are the bengalis?? How they behave?? Do they bring more benefits or more troubles to the places that receives them??
     
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  5. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    I am Bengali, but not Bangladeshi.

    If you are importing an IT worker or doctor, he will be a benefit to the nation. If one is an unskilled worker, err on the side of caution and expect trouble.
     
  6. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    It is a Bangladeshi immigration and not Bengali.

    Good for Bangladesh.

    The rural Bangladesh is beautiful and the Padma River is majestic.

    The steamer journeys are as exciting as ever.

    Chittagong has its own charm.

    The cuisine is exciting and delicious.

    There is an idyllic charm about Bangladesh.

    And the people of Bangladesh have indicated how industrious they are, because they, once declared as the millstone around Pakistan's neck by the West Pakistanis, have surpassed Pakistan in economic growth
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2014
    bengalraider, arnabmit, Neil and 4 others like this.
  7. nirranj

    nirranj Regular Member

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    @Ray sir, How are they feeding their enormous population??? Their land area is too small and is just the size of TN.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
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  8. JBH22

    JBH22 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Poor Brazil bringing in more idiots
     
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  9. PredictablyMalicious

    PredictablyMalicious Punjabi Senior Member

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    They will get killed in Brazil if they live in favelas. Truthfully, I feel bad for these people. Imagine having to leave your land to go somewhere and where you don't even know their language. They should be treated humanely.
     
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  10. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Their land is fertile and they have many rivers. The staple is rice and fish.

    They are self sufficient in rice and the fish is abundant, which they also export.

    However, there is malnutrition, for the same reason as India. Incorrect priority in food consumption.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
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  11. praneetbajpaie

    praneetbajpaie Tihar Jail Banned

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    As Ray Sir and Maitra SIr pointed out before, there is a difference between Bengalis and Bangladeshis. Bengalis are Indians. I am a domiciled Bengali, born and brought up in Kolkata.

    Bengalis are the most culturally savvy people in India.

    Can't say anything about Bangladeshis though. \

    Just hope these Bangladeshis don't pass themselves off as Indians like their Paki brethren tend to do.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2014
  12. feathers

    feathers Tihar Jail Banned

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    Mods should change the title
     
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  13. roma

    roma NRI in Europe Senior Member

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    Cant blame IBSA for not realising the difference and yes Mods can change the title, because as it stands,
    it triggers an apprehensive reaction that relatively well-off Bengalis would want to go to the trouble of immigrating to Brazil.

    My Observation is - they basically do work, work and more work all seven days of the week in small enterprise as a worker until they've earned enough to start their own, apply for their family to join them and after they've made enough to qualify to move to the UK .. Thats what i've seen of them so far in parts of the E.U.

    Dont worry they are not gonna stay on in Brasil ! .They pick up a working knowledge of any language super-fast - enough to do business and not more . Most prefer to move to the UK where they have 1 million population and are a nation within a nation. ( or USA ).

    Those ive met absolutely dislike Packlanders ( re, the past ) and do not call themselves indian but stick to their correct name of being B'deshis
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2014
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  14. feathers

    feathers Tihar Jail Banned

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    This trend is quite dangerous and is being used by all those who are anti India.
     
  15. IBSA

    IBSA Regular Member

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    I agree with you. The effects of immigration depends of what type of workers are the immigrants coming. A qualified worker can be welcome and supply needy sectors of labor's market. Other side, a unskilled worker wouldn't be necessary to come. This type of labor force Brazil can find nearby in South America even, with the advantage that South Americans unskilled workers have less cultural difference and are easier to integration in our society.
     
  16. IBSA

    IBSA Regular Member

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    B-deshis are not coming to live in favelas (slums). Favelas there are usually in big cities. B-deshis are immigrating not to Brazilian big cities, but are staying at first in the boundary cities where they enter in Brazil.
     
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  17. IBSA

    IBSA Regular Member

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  18. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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  19. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    spanish should be made 2nd language by didi in west bengal
     
  20. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    They are Bangladeshi and not Indian Bengalis.

    So why should we have to learn Spanish?

    And anyway, the language spoken in Brazil is Portuguese.

    So learning Spanish would be a waste of time.

    Maybe Goans would be better suited in Brazil.
     
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  21. PredictablyMalicious

    PredictablyMalicious Punjabi Senior Member

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    Are they mostly found in the Northeast, Southeast or all over? Northeast is the poorer and black part of Brazil, right?
     

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