About Us Contact Us Help


Archives

Contribute

 

In Conversation With Meenal Pandya

Nirmala Garimella
05/09/2019

Meenal Pandya has been writing about India and its culture for more than two decades, observing the lifestyle and issues that face the Indian diaspora. She has written five books, including The Indian Parenting Book, Vivah and Pick a Pretty Indian Name for Your Baby. She has published dozens of articles in magazines such as India Today and World International touching on issues about the Indian community in the United States. She received an MBA from Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut, and worked as Assistant Vice-President of Multibank International. Currently she works as a financial communications consultant. She has been living with her husband for more than thirty years in Massachusetts, where they raised two daughters.

When did you first conceive of this idea of writing this book?

 Ever since I came to America,(1976) I knew that  at some point this story should be documented. I had a vague idea that it should be recorded for our future generations. But the actual idea took shape a few years ago, when my own daughters kept asking these questions and were curious to find out why we made this journey, what we missed, and how the community that they see today has  come about which has now impacted two largest democracies of the world. The idea took roots the more I saw these changes happening in front of my own eyes. 

  What are some of the key points that came out of your conversations with people?

A few: Everyone that I spoke to was very welcoming, opening their homes and hearts to share their journey. Another, very striking attribute I noticed was how strong cultural values have remained intact despite tremendous achievements by many.

It felt that though there were lot of difficulties that the early immigrants encountered, they were excited to meet all the challenges with creativity, personal sacrifices, and with a  sense to build something more than themselves. For example, almost all the first institutions (language schools, temples, organizations) were started in the basements of people who had worked very hard all day and yet had found time to do something for the community. 

Thirdly, for most people, imparting their own cultural heritage to their children was on top of their minds and hearts. This was the beginning of many institutions and classes that are thriving today.

Lastly, it was truly heart warming to see how members of our community are now contributing - not just financially but also culturally, technically, economically - to their host country America, to their home country India and many other countries in the world and how our younger generation is now succeeding in many new fields.

  Why do you think it is important to document some of these narratives?

Oh I think it is very important to document these narratives not only for our future generations and for the newcomers from India today who have very little idea how much hard work was put in by this earlier generation but also because the first-wave immigrants are now getting into their twilight age and it is essential that we capture these narratives while the memory is still alive. In fact, I saw how the light in their eyes lit up when they talked about their journey and their memories of those days!

 One extra point I want to make is that almost every one I talked to felt that in earlier days when our community was very tiny, the connection was much stronger amongst community members despite their differences of languages, religious practices,  and definitely above caste and creed. Now that our community is getting much bigger, the fear is that people may find comfort in their own groups and may not extend outside of their groups.

 Where is the book available?

The book is available in all major bookstores as well as on sites like Amazon.com You can also get it from Arcadia Publishing directly.



Bookmark and Share | Share your Comments

Comments :
Post a new message

In this Issue
Raj And Prem Goyal Award For Rising Star In Medicine 2019


Goyal Family Charitable Foundation and Lokvani.com invite applications for the 'Raj and Prem Goyal Award for Rising Star in Medicine'. The Award in the amount of $1,000 will be given to two talented sophomore or junior college students who have received an offer for a summer research position.
[more]

Raj And Prem Goyal Award For Rising Star In Medicine 2019
VERVE 2019 – Festival Of Performing Arts


The Center for Arts and Wellness is excited to announce its Annual Program - VERVE 2019 - on June 8th at Southborough Middle School.
[more]

VERVE 2019 – Festival Of Performing Arts
Chal Seva Kariye


Over the span of many months, the Khalsa School Film team, Bow and Arrow Production came together for the production of the film ‘Chal Seva Kariye’.
[more]

Chal Seva Kariye
Significance Of Mother's Day In Hinduism


Unlike others, Hindus honor, respect, worship, celebrate, and give highest recognition to five mothers in their everyday life: 1) Mother Earth, 2) The cow, 3) The religious texts, 4) The Divine Mother, and 5) The biological mother. These have been considered as the sources of life that provide sustenance for the continuity of humanity, and hence, offering admiration, reverence, worship, and making provisions for their continuity are a few of the duties of their earthly children.
[more]

Significance Of Mother's Day In Hinduism
Samarpanam: A Tribute To The Gurus


Spandha and Sanskruthi schools of dance come together to present Samarpanam: A Tribute to the Gurus on June 1, 2019. We look forward to seeing you !
[more]

Samarpanam: A Tribute To The Gurus

You may also access this article through our web-site http://www.lokvani.com/




Home | About Us | Contact Us | Copyrights Help