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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 >>

Regret for the loss of traditional culture among second-generation Indian Americans

Dalal expresses her regret in bring her children to the United States. As they integrated into American culture, she believes her children became distant from traditional Indian customs, making them outcasts both in America and in India.

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:
So-, last question-, going back to my question I earlier asked, you know-, if you had to make this decision-, again, coming to United states, would you do it again?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
What I've—. I give that advice (to) people. If you come in this country, and if you feel (that) you lost your children in this culture, go back (to) India.
ANDREW JILANI:
Uh-huh.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
Don't stay in this country, if you want to lost your children in this culture—. I don't care how much money you-, dollar(s) makes, or facility and luxury in this country, but lose your culture, your religious, your traditions, go back in your country, and keep it.
ANDREW JILANI:
Do you think you will go back to India?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
I can't go. My both daughter(s) stay here. I have to stay with them. Because now, they can't go and get education in India, because one daughter finished three years, (in) one and a half years she graduates here. She can't change the education now. The other one going in India, she don't admission in college there, because she don't know Gujrati, Hindi, Sanskrit, anything. It is hard for them to go.
ANDREW JILANI:
To India and study there.
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
I want to send them, but my brother say(s) it is so hard for them to adjust with culture, with food, for weather, for education too, because they don't know any language. Not Gujrati, not Hindi, not Sanskrit. If you go in college, you have to-, just one paper-, exam-, you have to give for Hindi or Gujrati, or Gujratu or Marathi, or Hindi and Marathi, or something. And they can't learn that
ANDREW JILANI:
They can't learn that. That's true. Yeah. Okay, in the end, I want to thank you, Chandrika, for your time-, and-, do you want to recite a mantra, for the last time-, for the-, to end the interview?
CHANDRIKA DALAL:
"Shri Krishna Sarnam Mumma". I belongs to Shri Krishna. So, I pray (to) my God, I belong to you—. [begins to weep]
ANDREW JILANI:
Okay. Thank you. Thank you very much, Chandrika.