Going Back to Our Routes Gori Bibi Raja 1934 – 2005

Contributed by: Gori Bibi Raja

Barbodhan women at the wedding of Hafsa Atcha. Zubeda Raja is sat on extreme left.
Barbodhan women at the wedding of Hafsa Atcha. Zubeda Raja is sat on extreme left.

Interview with Zubeda Ahmed Raja (DOB 01/04/34) on 17/07/2005

Zubeda was born in Burma on 1 April, 1934. Her family moved to India when she was 6 years old. She has 3 brothers and 3 sisters.

In India, she went to school, did housework, played and went to the mosque. Her family lived in a large Haveli. Her dad owned and worked in a shop in Burma while her mother was a housewife.

For weekend and holidays, the family stayed in Gham (a nearby village). There weren’t any real facilities for going into Surat. When Bi ma went to do Hajj, Zuleka Apa and brothers and sisters stayed at their house.

She got married in 1957, then went to Burma in 1958 for 8 years. She had 3 children there then went back to Gham. She stayed for 3 years in Burma had one more child.

She came to England in 1967 at the age of 35, straight to Bolton. She had her own house on Birkdale Street. After settling, she went to work in a factory, James Lever, for 5 years.

Her and her husband acquired a shop on St Helens Rd, no 128. Greengrocers and she worked there for 5 years. The reason they closed was because her husband did nights and the boys went to school. Bolton was a predominantly white area and they were scared to live on top of the shop, so they moved to View Street. The family liked it in Bolton and they all settled in quickly.