Oral Histories

Interview of Asha Devaraj

Immigrant from India.
Series:
South Asian Women in Los Angeles
Topic:
Asian American History
Community History
Interviewer:
Hampapur, Veena
Interviewee:
Devaraj, Asha
Persons Present:
Devaraj and Hampapur.
Place Conducted:
Devaraj'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. Devaraj 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.
Length:
2.25 hrs.
Language:
English
Copyright:
Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
Audio:
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.
Siblings—Parents' background—Delhi residence—Visiting Mysore—Differences between Karnataka and Delhi—Traveling across India—Relationship with neighbors—Knowledge of South India—Household responsibilities—Servants—Television and radio—Karnataka association—Dance and music classes—Marriage qualifications—Childhood games—Religious upbringing—Traveling in Karnataka—High school—Importance of education—Expectations for college—College life—Desire to leave India—Learning German—Working at the Reserve Bank—Living in Bombay—Going abroad—Knowledge of America—English movies and television—Getting married—Husband's program—Immigration process.
Immigration preparations—Journey to the U.S.—Initial surprises—Adapting to L.A.—Homesickness—Ignorance about India—Lack of Indian friends—Entertainment activities—Exploring California—New skills—Getting a job—Changes in L.A.—American television—Making Indian friends—Activities with Indians—Attending temples—Indian associations—Increase in Indian goods—Visitors from India—Visiting India—Concerns raising children in U.S.—Positives raising children in U.S.—East/West traditions—Returning to work—Retirement—Becoming citizens—Staying in L.A.—Changes in India.