Oral Histories

Interview of Meena Garg

Immigrant from India.
South Asian Women in Los Angeles
Asian American History
Community History
Biographical Note:
Immigrant from India.
Hampapur, Veena
Garg, Meena
Persons Present:
Garg and Hampapur.
Place Conducted:
Garg's office.
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. Garg 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 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.
Younger sister—Government housing—Father's position—Mother's role—Extended family—Childhood games—Sports—Walks with grandfather—Aunt as older sister—School competitions—Sister's death—Learning from father—Parental expectations—Government school with neighbors—Teachers as role models—Science track—Importance of English—Self-motivation—Push for professional schools—Medical school professors—Post-Independence period—Community tensions—Reserved seating in medical school—Women in medical school—Rural placement—Working in Zambia—Desire for further education—Indian community—Marriage—Birth of career—First woman in pediatrics—Gender segregation in hospital.
Expectations of U.S.—Immigration preparations—Arriving in Los Angeles—Embracing California—Familiarity with Indians—Daily adjustments—Different attitudes towards doctors—Changes in L.A. in last 30 years—L.A. hotspots—Beach--Cultural diversity—Homesickness—Plans to move to India—Struggle for survival—American opportunities—Cultural differences—Separation from family—Neonatal medicine—Medical partnerships in India—Busy professional schedule—Passing on family values—Cultural activities—South Asian network—Visiting India—Increasing familiarity with South Asian culture—Second generation—First generation survival instinct