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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Chandrika Dalal, July 22, 1999. Interview K-0814. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Barriers of culture and language for Indian immigrants in America

Dalal relates her negative experiences as an Indian immigrant in the United States. Her family's cultural and language differences resulted in increased harassment and disrespect from Americans.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Chandrika Dalal, July 22, 1999. Interview K-0814. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

ANDREW JILANI:
Okay. Chandrika, tell me you early memories of United States. When you came here, how did you feel? What did you experience here?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Not good!
ANDREW JILANI:
Tell me about it.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Gradually. You know, they don't like your skin, they don't like your dress. If you speak in your language, they don't like. They make jokes on you.
ANDREW JILANI:
Uh-huh. Who are "they"?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
American people.
ANDREW JILANI:
American people.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
If you talk with two Indian people. If they heard, they make jokes and laugh on you. You know, they don't respect-, our culture, or our language-, you know. They say it is a free country, but I don't think-, they treat as a good person to us. Because—. When-, when we move in Pittsboro-, they always-, police follow my husband.
ANDREW JILANI:
Uh-huh. Why?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Because of-, he has a California license plate, and they-, just make-, trouble! Every time he drive, police just come-, go after him, and make him upset and mad. Because, you know, we are out-of-country people and Pittsboro is small town. They don't like outside people. But we come here and we take this business on the lease. So, make him so mad! And-, he don't find out jobs, so we-, we have a one Indian friend. One day my husband go in that-, er…. Motel/Hotel Association meeting, and-, er… one Indian people there— they are from Marora, and they have a business on Hillsboro, Economy Motel—and-, they ask my husband how much he want. He say eight hundred, nine hundred dollar-, I can make in-, that's good for me. So, we take business on the lease.