Oral Histories

Interview of Veena Rangappan

Immigrant from India.
South Asian Women in Los Angeles
Community History
Asian American History
Biographical Note:
Immigrant from India.
Hampapur, Veena
Rangappan, Veena
Persons Present:
Rangappan and Hampapur.
Place Conducted:
Rangappan'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. Rangappan was then given an opportunity to review the transcript but made no corrections or additions.
2.5 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.
Growing up in the North—Parents' backgrounds—Early Delhi memories—Hindi skills—Convent school system—Enjoying Bhopal—Meeting Indira Gandhi—Learning dance—Jaya Bhaduri—School events—Professor's Colony—Cultural Arts Center—Interest in cricket—Radio programs—Going to movies—British influence—Patriotic activities—Responsibilities—Childhood games—Boating—Religious festivals—Relationship with brothers—Hair cutting ritual—Visiting Bangalore—Traveling by train—Activities in Bangalore—Modes of transportation—Family in Bangalore—Language abilities—College expectations—Extracurricular activities—College life—Eating out—Servants--Friendships—South Indian population—Knowledge of regions—Stereotypes—Hindu Brahmin acquaintances—Republic Day parade—Religious celebrations—Attending temple—Refrigerator and television—Buying milk—Degrees in sociology—Purpose of college—Higher education.
Life in Pune—Differences from Delhi—Friends in Pune—Making clothes—Brothers--Hopes for doctorate—Post-graduation—Life in Bangalore—Getting married—Husband's background—Feelings about immigration—Knowledge of U.S. —Servant culture—Permanence of move—Immigration preparations—Plane ride to U.S. —First impressions of L.A. —Friends—Buying clothes—New skills—New American sights—Meeting Indians—Exploring L.A. —Questions about India—Changes in ethnic groups—Accessing Indian goods—Indian associations—Attending temple—Moving to Torrance—Raising children in the U.S. —Passing on Indian culture—Taking children to India—Visitors from India—Activities in India—Children's Indian friends—Expansion in Indian population—Changes in Indian community—Hobbies--Volunteer work—American education—American customs—Changes in L.A. —Changes in India—Keeping in touch with Indian friends—Awareness of Indian culture—Generational differences—Remaining in L.A. —Adjusting to homesickness—Negatives/positives of U.S. —Third generation—Getting citizenship—Perceptions of Indians—Challenges for Indians.