A photo from my parents’ wedding day in August of 1975, a small affair in a community hall, my Mama and Mami (uncle & aunt) were married on the same day – no Hindu ceremony, just the simple civil one.
My mum is peeking through the back on the left, in a white and red sari. A 21 year old who just moved to the UK from Uganda a few years earlier, and now moving again from Leicester to London into a new, unknown family and to a husband she only met once! I can’t even imagine how scary that must have been, and how many women of my mum’s generation did the move to the UK followed by moving into a new family. To have to not only adjust to living in a country – who for the most part didn’t even seem to want you here – then to a new family; most of the time working, cooking, being a daughter-in-law, mother, and switching between the codes of British-ness and Asian-ness.
I remember her telling me how she worked in a factory in Leicester when she moved to Britain and even bought her own house off Melton Road (the Golden Mile) – for £2,000! And how after she got married, her father-in-law (my granddad) told her off for wearing a mini skirt with tights when they had guests round one day. I mean, the nerve! I just love the determination! After 45 years of marriage she’s still very much her own person – super hard working and the image of herself in all her young 70s fashionable glory, serving chai to guests. Even today she radiates that power, independence, and is still incredibly glamorous.
Love you, Mum x