Asian Immigrants To America

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Their homeland has the second largest population in the world, yet in America they form one of our smallest minorities. Americans were influenced by their beliefs long before the first immigrants arrived, and an important interchange of ideas has continued to the present day. Although many came to America as early as the turn of the century, they were denied citizenship until a congressional act granted it in 1946. Now they are students and teachers in our universities; they are artists and writers, musicians and scientists. Their contributions to industry, commerce, and agriculture have been valuable to America and to the world. Who are these people? They are the East Indians in America. They have supplied innumerable contributions to the…show more content…
Those Asians who choose to follow traditional customs stand out even more readily. The earliest Asian Indian immigrants to North America were singled out as strangers because of their turbans. Today, the customs of Asian Indian Americans continue to make them vulnerable to racism. Since they were denied the right to own land until 1947, property ownership is a matter of pride to East Indians (Daniels). In San Francisco East Indians own or lease more than 50 hotels, forming the second largest Indian community group in America. Most of the hotel owners from Gujarat, a state on the west coast of India. East Indians have been assimilated into their country and city surroundings. Their children are marrying Americans. Their enthusiasms have transferred from cricket to baseball. In addition, East Indians are owners of machine shops, photo studios, restaurants, and many other successful businesses, including import-export firms and gift shops (Handlin). Some of the new comers were less prosperous and less educated than their fellow immigrants who were the professionals. Instead of entering law, medicine, or teaching, many of them turned to…show more content…
Much of the conflict between old and new revolves around family life, the roles of women and children, and marriage-areas that in Indian culture are closely governed by tradition. Many young people aggravate at the rules imposed by their parents, who seem much stricter than other American parents do. Perhaps the single most troublesome issue between parents and children in Asian Indian American families has been dating. In traditional Indian culture, dating is unheard of; boys and girls have very little contact with one another before marriage, which is arranged by their parents. Dating is completely foreign to traditional Indian ideas about the proper relationship between the sexes. The East Indian culture is one of the most diverse and traditional of the world. Old and new customs conflict with one another in the realm of marriage. Among traditional Indians, marriages are arranged by families and are based upon such ideas as the social status and the wealth of the bride's or groom's family. In North America, on the other hand, marriage is regarded as a personal choice based on love. (Hess) In addition, the children of immigrants, who have grown up in two different worlds, face the special challenge of searching for their

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