Transcreated by Cyril Wong
Translated from Bangla with help from Fariha Imran & Farouk Ahammed
Me Migrant features the poems of Md Mukul Hossine – poems originally written in Bengali by Mukul, transcreated by Singapore poet Cyril Wong based on English translations by Fariha Imran and Farouk Ahammed. It represents the voice of hope and inclusiveness, of longing and dreaming, of service and heart.
This collection was born of the friendship between volunteers of community clinic HealthServe and foreign construction workers. Dr Tan Lai Yong, a volunteer medical doctor at Healthserve and his team of medical students from National University of Singapore (NUS) were inspired by their experiences and Mukul's poems to respond with some writings of their own.
The poetry within these pages makes us see farther, think deeper, and listen. In listening, let us cross these borders.
"In Singapore, migrant workers are too often painted as either troublemakers or victims: faceless laborers without individuality or dignity. This book changes that."
—Ng Yi-Sheng, writer, author of Loud Poems for a Very Obliging Audience
"Hossine’s poetry is the result of his emotion that he expresses in simple verses without any lofty ideas or unique images.”
—Golam Sarwar Chowdhury, Asiatic: IIUM Journal of English Language & Literature
“In rewriting and editing the rough translations of what were essentially raw but passionately honest versifications, the colloquial directness of ‘Me Migrant’ kept coming back to haunt me…”
– Cyril Wong
“Along the way, our volunteers have grown to appreciate the resilience of the foreign workers who come to our island home, their devotion to and love for their own families left behind in their homeland. Our respect for their labour in building Singapore grew. Along the way, we also learnt about the many talents that they have. Talents that lay hidden behind their construction helmets and protective visors; talents that remain hidden because of our stereotyping.”
– Dr Tan Lai Yong