Oral Histories

Interview of Anjana Kamdar

Immigrant from India.
South Asian Women in Los Angeles
Asian American History
Community History
Biographical Note:
Immigrant from India.
Hampapur, Veena
Kamdar, Anjana
Persons Present:
Kamdar and Hampapur.
Place Conducted:
Kamdar'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. Kamdar 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.
Birth—Culinary treats in Calcutta—Relationship with grandparents—Memories of Calcutta—Calcutta specialties—Parents' backgrounds—Bombay residence—Special schooling—Relationship with neighbors—Childhood activities—New Bombay residence—Radio—Studying for school—Household responsibilities—Elite education—English skills—High school—Arts activities—Dance competitions—Painting—College--Medical school ambitions—College costs—Medical school—English literature—Entertainment--Reasons for immigration—Knowledge of U.S.—Traveling to Sri Lanka—Traveling by train—Preparing to move—Plans for America—Issues traveling to U.S.—Visiting Europe—U.S. open to professionals—Pushing for career—Impressions of New York.
Immigration patterns—Traveling Europe—Exploring New York City—Living in Baltimore—Difficulties in Baltimore—Differences in medical care—Questions about India—Escaping to D.C.—Accessing Indian goods—Indian population—Learning to purchase—Remaining vegetarian—Wearing saris—Communicating with family—Decisions about marriage—Learning about U.S. poverty—Married life in Boston—Indian products—Enjoying residency—Husband's culture shock—Differences from husband—Impressions of L.A.—Changes in L.A.—Comfort of diversity—Working at USC—Conflict over remaining in U.S.—Debt cycle—Visiting India—Raising children—Teaching children Indian culture—Involvement in Indian community—Staying in L.A.