From Pakistan to Burngreave and back again (1990s and 2000s)
© Rabia Khan
I was born in Pakistan. When I came to England in 1997, I was only 2 years old. I had almost no memories of Pakistan. At first we went to Rochdale as I used to have cousins there. We lived with them for a while and then we came here to Sheffield. I went to Sheffield University nursery while my mum was doing her PhD.
The first day I went to nursery I remember I was crying my eyes out! I was really sad when my mum left me there but the teachers were very kind and comforted me. After a while I started to play and join in. I even made friends with a girl called Maheere from Egypt. From that day on, I had really had fun and made other friends. In the summer going and coming back to nursery from home was fine but in the winter I used to ask my mum, "Why do you come to get me at night?" because I didn't know then that the sun set earlier in winter than in summer.
In 2003, when I was eight years old, I went for a three month holiday to Pakistan. I was really fascinated as most things were different from England - cows in the middle of the road, tongas, rickshaws and buses with open windows and noisy horns. Packed trains with open doors and windows. People crossing busy roads without any pedestrian crossings or red lights. During this holidays, I visited the small town where my grandfather lives. This was my first experience of seeing sugar cane and vegetables growing in the fields. I saw people working on the land, ploughing with animals. I learnt how these people in the villages live with their animals and grow their food from agricultural land.
Now I am living in Burngreave. I go to Parkwood High School. I like it there and have made quite a few friends such as Memory, Yousra and Sophie. I like Burngreave as it is multilingual and a lot of different communities and races live here. In 2005 I went to Pakistan again for my aunt's wedding. It was a typical Pakistani wedding with Asian music and dancing and Asian food. This was a new experience for me as it was the first time I had seen an Asian wedding. Back here in Burngreave I have settled in but I still do miss Pakistan and hopefully, God willing, I will go again for a visit.