"Generations fade, the traditions, culture, memory
But a residue
remains for generations."
A project to record
our ancestry is in the making.
Repository of Indo-American (including Canadian) Family Heritage is in the
making. This non-profit project aims at creating a web-based family history storehouse
of the people who primarily trace their roots to the Indian Subcontinent
(India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Afghanistan; also open to
others, especially generational Indian Diaspora world-wide). The Project is
conceptualized by a longtime Boston-area resident, Sudhanshu Misra. "An
effort will be made to include generations of Indian Diaspora settled in the
Caribbean and other settlements outside India," Misra says in a statement.
Once complete, the repository will likely be a leading
resource for Indo-American family history research and help the community
improve knowledge and understanding of their family and its place in history.
Defining the objectives of the project, Misra says, "...it intends to
serve as a cross-cultural clearing house. The portal will provide a one-stop
source for creating, researching, learning and exploring Indo-American family
lineage for people who trace their origins in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh,
Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Caribbean or elsewhere."
portal aims at providing a rich source of useful information to our descendants
through all future generations, " Misra continues, "Italians, Irish,
Armenians and other ethnic communities still relate to their parental
traditions. A historical perspective of one's heritage serves as a guidepost
about what we can expect in the future. Getting to know and trace one's roots
gives us a sense of belonging."
Misra says he had conducted
a mini survey of people hailing from some of the nations referenced above and a
few Indo-Caribbean. The sample included both the first and second generation,
and 5th-6th generation
Caribbean-Indians. The survey, albeit unscientific, gave useful insights. For
example, a frequently cited reason indicated that personal motivation
would be their utmost driving force for such a project. To the question if
there is any real importance to it besides satisfying curiosity and seeking
some knowledge on their origins, an overwhelming majority of those responding
to the survey said proving lineage to their
children and grand, great-grand children will give them a sense of rootedness.
Misra adds, "The responses indicate that people have a basic desire to
know where they came from and how they got to where they are now. Although the
Indo-American community is fairly new; one can imagine the state of intensity
for this longing two-three generations hence. Caribbean-Indian societies still
relate with the wider India many generations later, and so do Irish, Italians,
Scotts, Germans, and others with theirs. Thus, in some ways, we are the final
end product of the many generations that came before us; as generations fade,
the traditions, the culture, the memory also fades. But
a residue remains for many generations." The project
is conceptualized to help forge that link with our past, the present and
the future. It is hoped as a journey of many lifetimes woven together from the
past, the present and (from our perspective) the future. The project,
therefore, lies at the heart of our human condition.
Those interested to learn and participate in the project are invited to contact Sudhanshu.email@example.com