Cambridge University Bangla Society (BanglaSoc) is open to all members of the university; we provide a space for Bangladeshi and Bengali students and welcome anyone who is interested in learning about the history, culture and current events of Bangladesh and West Bengal.
Scroll down to find out more about the work we do and meet this year’s committee!
What We Do
Cambridge University BanglaSoc is a cultural society which explores and celebrates Bengali culture. Whether you’re from Bangladesh, the Bengal region, or any other part of the world, BanglaSoc is here to welcome you, give you a space to relax, and enjoy some time exploring Bengali culture!
We run a wide range of events, from mid-term movie nights, food tasting, caramboard chill sessions, post exam garden parties and much more! Check out our events page to see our current and past events!
We are also proud of the charity work we do, from charity formals to our fund raisers. At the heart of the society, our fundamental aim is to raise money in support of charities tackling issues faced in Bangladesh, a core belief that all our members carry. We also run many different access schemes to help those from a Bengali background apply to Cambridge, and to demystify the myths that surround life at Cambridge University. If you are thinking about applying to Cambridge, check out our prospective students area!
One of BanglaSoc’s biggest aims is to help freshers settle into their new life at University. Often many of our members come from households where they are the first to attend university and this can be a daunting prospect for some. Through hosting a range of social events BanglaSoc has helped many of our members ease into the transition of moving away from home. More information for incoming freshers can be found in our members area!
BanglaSoc caters for all its members in all walks of University life, be it academic, social or cultural. For many of our members, being part of the society becomes a crucial aspect of their University experience.
We hope you get the chance to meet us and attend our events! If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch.
Meet the Committee
President – Sharafiab Chowdhury (3rd Year Engineer at St Catharine’s)
Hi! I am Sharafiab, the president of BanglaSoc. I do engineering at Catz. BanglaSoc has helped me meet some amazing people, and has really helped undo my initial perception of Cambridge as a stuck-up and unwelcoming place. Events in the past such as inspiring speakers events and enjoyable socials have really helped me and others connect with our culture, even away from home. I look forward to welcoming the next generation of Bengali students and fostering a welcoming environment for students of all backgrounds, as well as introducing non-Bengalis to our wonderful culture.
Favourite Bengali food: Gulab Jamun
Vice President – Shihab Ahmed (2nd Year Medic at Trinity Hall)
Salaam! I’m Shihab, a first-year medic at Trinity Hall. I was born and raised in London but I’ve always been in touch with my Bengali side, from instinctively swearing in Bangla to learning to eyeball the spices in my cooking. I’m a big football fan (I support Arsenal just like ~50% of Bengalis) and I like to cook in my spare time, but that’s not exactly abundant in Cambridge.Favourite Bengali Snack: Soy Pita Biran. Another fact: I played 2000+ hours of Fortnite before realising I’m not very good at it.
Secretary – Hussain Khan (2nd Year Engineer at Wolfson)
My name is Hussain and I am a first-year engineer at Wolfson College. As you can see, I am the secretary for Bangla soc, so if you receive an email at 3am, just know its from me! My favourite Bengali snack is sana sul or as some Bengalis like to say ‘chana chur’. I love tigers.
Events Officer – Nusrat Razzaque (2nd Year Lawyer at St Catharine’s)
Salaam everyone, I’m Nusrat and I’m your events officer! Excited to see you all at the events in sha Allah so make sure you come through 🙂
Publicity Officer – Nabil Khan (3rd Year Medic at Churchill)
My name is Nabil and I’ll be your publicity officer for this year.
My favourite Bengali snack is sanasur and Bengali pass time is carrom board.
Operations Officer – Raheel Shah (4th Year Engineer at Magdalene)
Scroll through the years to see the past BanglaSoc committee members
Check again soon for a committee photo!
President- Azmaeen Zarif (3rd Year Medic at Gonville and Cauis)
“Cambridge University Bangla Society (CU BanglaSoc) has been an integral part of my university experience. I’ve met some amazing new people who have gone on to become my closest friends. Despite being a very young society, we have grown as more and more British Bangladeshi students have applied and have been accepted to the University through sustained Access efforts. Once they arrive, we have always endeavoured to provide a strong community spirit to provide a foundation from which students, old and new, of all backgrounds (not just Bangladeshi!) can foster new friendships and experiences.
“The growth over the last few years would not have been possible without the kind support of our members, alumni, mentors and sponsors. With our wonderful community and incoming talent, I can’t wait to see how BanglaSoc grows in the next few years!”
Vice President- Mahfuza Yasmin (2nd Year Historian at Peterhouse)
“Here in Cambridge, as a Bangladeshi, I found that I was a minority within a minority. BanglaSoc was a key aspect to my university life. I felt recognised and comfortable to express myself as it created a safe place that enabled me to navigate the new foreign environment known as Cambridge. With the intimate gatherings and large formal dinners, I was able to network and create and share new memories with others that were just like me.
“The best part about Cambridge is the sheer scope of possibilities that it can offer, from the societies, the academic scope, to the college experience, there is always something to be a part of and enjoy.
“Peterhouse, being the smallest college in Cambridge, has a very intimate feeling. As a Historian weekly essays are a must! However, when I have free time, the Peterhouse JCR is where I go with my house mates to play pool.”
Treasurer- Sayeed Ahmed (2nd Year Phys NatSci at Selwyn)
“My favourite thing about BanglaSoc is the strong focus on serving the community. We do this locally by creating a friendly space for people in Cambridge to meet and connect, but also internationally through our charity efforts, such as last year’s Maa Month, where we raised money to support mothers in Bangladesh. To me, this is a key aspect of our identity as a society, seeing as Bengali tradition places an emphasis on offering hospitality and generosity to our relatives, neighbours and friends.
“As a Phys Natsci, my mornings and afternoons on most days are occupied with lectures, labs and supervisions. I like to study in the gaps between these sessions, so that I can have some free time each evening to check out a society event, chill with friends, go to the gym, or take some time to myself.”
Secretary- Emteaz Hassan (2nd Year Medic at Fitzwilliam)
“My interest in science primarily reflected the reason why I chose Cambridge. A typical day for me would involve waking up early to prepare for the day in which I would have lectures, labs and small group tutorials led by the best doctors and researchers in the medical field.
“Following this I would relax with my friends through events hosted by the societies in Cambridge. One of which is BanglaSoc! Being a Bangladeshi/Portuguese student, BanglaSoc helped me fit in when I arrived at Cambridge, it showed me how there are others in Cambridge who are like me and that I wasn’t the only one, the social events and student support put me at ease and made my journey as a medical student ever so lively!”
Events- Saihan Choudhury (3rd Year Economist at Fitzwilliam)
“My favourite thing about Cambridge is simply how busy it is. There’s always an event to look forward to and you can never catch yourself feeling bored, even if sometimes you’re worked to death.”
“The best part of BanglaSoc is that it is a safe space for people like me. Growing up in East London and being thrusted into Cambridge is a big cultural shock. So being a part of BanglaSoc and hanging out with people who have had similar experiences to me has really helped me settle in to Cambridge.
“At Fitz, most people move into houses in their second year. I live in a house with 8 other people and it’s really busy so luckily there’s always someone to hang out with every day. A typical day would involve chilling with friends e.g playing pool or football and then getting some of the boring stuff like deadlines done as well.”
Access and Welfare- Zaynab Ahmed (3rd Year Classicist at Newnham)
“As cheesy as it sounds, my favourite thing about Cambridge is the people, whether they’re my peers, teachers, or college staff. I’m very lucky to have a group of friends that, even though we seem like we have very little in common, I can rely on for anything from a shoulder to cry on to a really fun time together.
“I think a university like Cambridge, which is more diverse than people expect it to be, highlights the importance of differences, because there is such a massive range of experiences and ideas across the board, so you can really show people (even the academics!) a new way of thinking, and equally you can learn something you hadn’t considered in return.
“The greatest thing is that when I want to be with people I have more in common with, there are spaces like BanglaSoc I can turn to share a traditional meal with or to joke about Asian timing!”
Publicity, Design and Webmaster- Sheamol Obeda (3rd Year Engineer at King’s)
“As a British Bengali, it is always so encouraging to see other Bengalis doing so well! For me, BanglaSoc is a way to meet people with similar backgrounds and cultures to make Cambridge feel more homely and welcoming. BanglaSoc allowed me to meet other people and welcomed me to Cambridge, as well as giving me a community of people to hang out with and to make new friends with!
“Studying Engineering at Cambridge is very challenging, even at the best of times! In my free time, to relax from everything that’s going on, I like to take part in improv, and I am also a part of a band! I am on the university’s TaeKwonDo team which is really fun way to de-stress as well!”