East Indians represented a big group that wanted to take part in American culture. The large majorities from India were Punjabis, from a region called the Punjab. Most of
these immigrants were young men, between 16 and 35 years old. They left their families in India, and came here in small groups of cousins and village neighbors. Thus, the family and community ties remained very strong. They had several reasons to come to America. They were repressed by the British rule and had no land to farm on. To make matters worse, famine devastated India from 1899 to 1902. Thus, large-scale immigration began in 1906, when six hundred Asians applied to enter the United States. They came here in hopes of changing their lives around. Unfortunately, they soon found out that life in America was very challenging. Many Indians were farmers back in India, but when they came to the United States they had to take jobs no one else would. They also encountered prejudice. Whites sometimes associated the Asian Indian immigrants with blacks, Chinese, or Jap
The major conflict between the old and the new is centered directly around the family life. The roles of husband, wife, and their children are strictly governed by their traditions. Many young people aggravate at the rules imposed by their parents, who seem much stricter than other American parents. One of the most difficult issues between the parents and their children has been the idea of dating. The idea of dating is unheard of in an Indian culture. Parents arrange the marriage between their children, and both kids have limited contact with each other until the wedding. Women marry very young based on Western standards, and men have total control over their wives, which are considered to be property of their husbands. This idea of an arranged marriage helps Indian couples to stay within the Indian cast system, which means that you cannot marry someone below yourself. It also has to do with the wealth of the bride or groom"tms family. Fortunately, Indian kids raised in the United States understand that love is a very important determining factor in marriage. They do not learn this in their family homes, but when they go to school, their ideas of authority and making one"tms own decisions are questioned.
In East India, property ownership is a matter of pride. Unfortunately Indians were denied that simple right until 1947. Presently, Asian Indians own upward of 40 percent of all the motels in America with rooms of 150 and less. Asian Indians are following in the tradition of other immigrants, entering occupations or businesses that involve the entire family, said Bruce Stave, chairman of the history department at the University of Connecticut in Storrs. No figure exists, he said, yet stereotypes persist because when
Boston is a very good example of a city that attracts immigrants of different nationalities. Boston universities attract many bright students from around the world, and the booming high-tech industry attracts a well-educated immigrant population. Foreign-born residents - 13 percent of the state"tms population of 6 million - say that software, the Internet, and biotechnology provide a discrimination-free arena in which they are judged, by what they can do. And they do a lot, either through tenacity or with advantages of being educated in school systems superior to the American system. Also many bright students, who were denied acceptance to prestigious Indian schools, come to America and are easily accepted to top-notch colleges, including Harvard.
Another major problem Asian Indians faced came from the white population. Many people felt threatened by the increasing multi-cultural population. Many Indians had limited opportunities to