Oral Histories

Interview of Kamala Bhaskar

Immigrant from India.
South Asian Women in Los Angeles
Community History
Asian American History
Biographical Note:
Immigrant from India.
Hampapur, Veena
Bhaskar, Kamala
Persons Present:
Bhaskar and Hampapur.
Place Conducted:
Bhaskar's home.
Supporting Documents:
Records relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library's Center for Oral History Research.
Interviewer Background and Preparation:
The interview was conducted by Veena Hampapur; B.A., anthropology, minor in South Asia studies, UC Berkeley; M.A., anthropology, UCLA. Her research focuses on conceptions of citizenship and identity in the South Asian American diaspora.Hampapur prepared for the interview by reading about the waves of South Asian immigration to the United States. As a graduate student in anthropology, she has conducted research on the South Asian diaspora in the United States which shaped the direction of her inquiries. Veena Hampapur gained access to the participants through her personal and academic networks. Before each interview, she reviewed her previous knowledge of the participant (if any) in order to tailor the interview for each woman's personal experiences.
Processing of Interview:
The transcript is a verbatim transcription of the recording. It was transcribed by a professional transcribing agency using a list of proper names and specialized terminology supplied by the interviewer. Bhaskar was then given an opportunity to review the transcript and make corrections and additions. Those corrections were entered into the text without further editing or review on the part of the Center for Oral History Research staff.
2.25 hrs.
Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
Series Statement:
The South Asian Women in Los Angeles series documents the lives of a number of women who are first generation South Asian immigrants and who lived or currently live in the greater Los Angeles area. This project was generously supported by Arcadia funds.
Family background—Father's occupation—Brahmin community—Changes in Bangalore—Garden city—Relationship with neighbors—Neighbors' backgrounds—Servants--Household responsibilities—Food shopping—Religious activities—Celebrating religious festivals—Children's Day—Patriotic activities—British influence—Radio--Movies--Extended family—Going shopping—Attire—Available cuisine—Traveling out of Bangalore—Modes of transportation—Necessary languages—Schooling—Extracurricular activities—Importance of education—High school—College requirement—Attending college—Marriage—Knowledge of U.S.—Immigration paperwork—Preparing to immigrate—Owning a car—Foreseeing immigration.
Permanence of move—Immigration preparations—Traveling to U.S.—Neighborhood in New Jersey—Knowledge of India—Lifestyle changes—Familiarity with neighbors—Indian goods—New American products—New skills—Homesickness--New technology—Accents--Visiting New York—Indian community events—Finding employment—Work friends—Immigrant population—Impressions of Los Angeles—Indian community—Attending the temple—Indian groceries—Getting a job—Enjoying L.A. life—Traveling around U.S.--Visiting Cerritos—Renting Indian movies—Adopting American customs—Switching jobs—Visitors from India—Visiting family—International phone calls—Raising children in the U.S.—Creating cultural opportunities—Ethnic diversity—Daughter's activities—New customs with daughter—Changes in L.A.—Changes in India—Changes in L.A. Indian population—Differences/mixing in Indian community—Power in Indian community—Art of Living—Generational differences—Increased knowledge of India—Challenges for first generation—Citizenship—Staying in L.A.