SOME IMMIGRANT STATS• The Asian Indian American population in USA is 1,678,765 (Census 2000.)• Indian Americans are the 3rd largest constituency in the Asian American community after the Chinese American & the Filipino American community• It is estimated that 7348 Asian Indians migrated to the United States andCanada between 1899 & 1920.• The Punjab province in India was a great source of Asian Indian immigration to the United States and Canada.• The composition of the immigrants from 1900 to 1917 included 85% Sikhs, 13% Muslim and 2% Hindu, though almost all that arrived were termed "Hindus“.• The immigration Act of 1917 dictated that Indian Laborers were no longerable to enter the United States; this native country existed in the "barred zone" identified in the Act.• And the Immigration Law of 1924 prevented recent immigrants from retrieving family members from their native country.
IMMIGRATION LAWS• In 1923, the verdict of United States v. Bhagat Singh Thind (U.S. vs Thind 261 US 204(1923)) became a major setback for Asian Indians struggling to survive and exist in a new land. Justice Sutherland decided that East Indian immigrants, referred to as Hindus, were "aliens ineligible to citizenship." They were designated as Caucasian, but this did not mean that they were "white.” or “Aryan”. The Court concluded that "The term Aryan has to do with linguistic, and not necessarily with physical characteristics, and it would seem quite reasonable that mere resemblance in language, indicating a common linguistic root buried in remotely ancient soil, is altogether inadequate to prove common racial origin."• The 1946 Luce-Celler Act changed this. This Act reversed the Thind decision, insofar as allowing naturalization to Indians, and set a token quota for their immigration at 100 per year.
INDIA- TRADITIONAL MUSICRavi Shankar: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9 xB_X9BOAOU – watch around 2:30
JHUMPA LAHIRI • Born in 1967 in London raised in Rhode Island • Father was a librarian and mother a teacher- emigrated from Calcutta and spoke Bengali in the home. • Never felt fully American because of ties to India- frequent visits occurred and her birth in London • Pursued writing seriously after college. • In 1998, went to Provincetown MA for Fine Arts Work Center • Published “A Temporary Matter” in the New Yorker as well as “Sexy” and “The Third and Final Continent” • Interpreter of Maladies published in 1999 • Won the Pulitzer in 2000 for In. of Maladies- first person of S. Asian descent to win an individual Pulitzer. • “Interpreter of Maladies” the story won an O. Henry for Best American Short Stories (included in anthology in 99) • She never lived in India but married there in 2001 • In 2003, Lahiri published her second book, The Namesake, and continues to publish individual short stories. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and two children.
INTERPRETER OF MALADIES• Few of the stories involve dramatic plot lines, although most involve the aftershocks of some major life-changing event, such as an affair, a miscarriage, or immigration.• India looms large in each story, although its influence varies in each story as it does in each character’s life.• Central themes of all of Lahiri’s work, “Interpreter of Maladies” included, are the difficulties that Indians have in relating to Americans and the ways in which Indian Americans are caught in the middle of two very different cultures.• Lahiri layers small, specific details in her descriptions of each character, giving them depth and richness.• In many stories the reader must infer information about them from the way they act.