This oral history interview is an intimate conversation between two people, both of whom have generously agreed to share this recording with Oral History Summer School, and with you. Please listen in the spirit with which this was shared.
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This interview with Mohammed Rony was conducted at Solaris in Hudson, NY on July 1, 2017. Rony was born in Bangladesh and moved to Hudson as a child with his parents and younger sister. Rony moved away to Long Island for college and returned to Hudson after his graduation. Rony discusses the industry in Hudson and how it has changed over time by mentioning his parents’ work at the button factory and Walmart and his jobs that have included delivering pizza, working at the pharmacy at Walmart, and working at a factory across the river. In detailing his past and current employment, Rony reflects upon the type of work environment that has been most conducive to his personal growth. Rony also describes the Hudson community through his experiences of immigrating to the city, organizing a yearly citywide Bangladeshi cultural festival, and working at the Hudson radio station. He explains that his work with the Bangladeshi cultural festival has been particularly impactful as it has brought in outside Bangladeshi performers, encouraged Bangladeshi youth born in the United States to connect to their culture, and attempted to draw in the broader Hudson community. In the future, Rony hopes that the Hudson community will become more cohesive and inclusive through efforts like the Bangladeshi cultural festival.
This interview may be of interest to those who want to learn about the Bangladeshi community in Hudson; changes in Hudson industry; the relationship between immigrants and their new cities more broadly; and the experience of leaving and then returning to home.
Tamar Aizenberg is a rising senior at Williams College, where she studies History, Chemistry, and Jewish Studies. She is studying oral history in order to interview grandchildren of Holocaust survivors for her senior thesis. The interview that she conducted with Rony was her first time using oral history techniques for an interview.
This interview is hereby made available for research purposes only. For additional uses (radio and other media, music, internet), please click here to inquire about permissions.
Oral history is an iterative process. In keeping with oral history values of anti-fixity, interviewees will have an opportunity to add, annotate and reflect upon their lives and interviews in perpetuity. Talking back to the archive is a form of “shared authority.”