I was reading a story with Elias that we had written together. A neighbor boy was watching us.
“Do you write Bangla stories?” I told him that as Elias’ mother-tongue is English, he has to learn English first and then he will learn how to read and write Bangla. The little boy thought for a bit, and then said,
“You bi-deshi (literally “not- of the country'”) don’t speak Bangla. Bengalis are Muslim, and bi-deshis are not Muslim.” Us vs. them is much easier for little brains, isn’t it?
“Do you know that there are many people outside Bangladesh who are Muslim?” the little boy shook his head. “Do you know that there are many Bengalis who are not Muslim?” Again he shook his head.
Some lessons are hard to learn.

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