PATERSON, NJ - Already widely praised for their contributions to business, education, and athletics in the city one segment of Paterson’s continually growing Bangladeshi population has set out to share their artistic side with their adopted community as well. 

On Sunday the Bangladeshi American Women’s Development Initiative (BAWDI) launched an exhibit featuring the culture and language of the South Asian nation at the Paterson Museum.

Bangladeshi immigrants have inhabited Paterson since at least the 1930s according to S. Nadia Hussein, one of BAWDI’s founders. Having steadily become woven into the fabric of the diverse city the population now represents one of the largest Bangladeshi diaspora communities in the country.

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However, Hussein told TAPinto Paterson, until now there has still never been an open community art event, accessible to the greater public, to showcase the culture and history of Bangladeshi people.

The exhibit, launched with nearly 50 guests in attendance, including Mayor Andre Sayegh, features paintings, photography and poetry, and on Sunday was also introduced with song and spoken word. 

Deputy Mayor Ferdous Hussain, the first Bangladeshi American to hold the position in Paterson, was also on hand to offer support.

With Paterson at the cusp of a renaissance that Sayegh has said will be ushered in with the arts as a major component, now, Hussein offered, is the perfect time to share this aspect of Bangladeshi culture with the greater Paterson community.

The exhibit, she hopes, “can be another way to build bridges between the incredibly diverse cultural groups in this city, and also be a unique way to share the richness of our city beyond the borders of Paterson.”

“The cultures we have in our city are very unique and beautiful, and it's time for the rest of New Jersey and the world to see that.”

Launched in 2012 BAWDI is committed to helping the Bangladeshi community of Paterson to grow with self confidence, self awareness and become ideal citizens.


TAPinto Paterson is proud to be the only local media source regularly reporting on efforts to improve learning and transform Paterson through the arts. Follow us on Facebook and sign up for TAPinto Paterson E-News alerts to be the first to read them all!

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