Oral Histories

Interview of Savita Viradia

Immigrant from India. Discusses experiences as a refugee.
South Asian Women in Los Angeles
Asian American History
Community History
Biographical Note:
Immigrant from India. Discusses experiences as a refugee.
Hampapur, Veena
Viradia, Savita
Persons Present:
Viradia and Hampapur.
Place Conducted:
Viradia'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. Viradia was then given an opportunity to review the transcript but made no corrections or additions.
3.5 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.
Life in Karachi—Partition—Survivors' strength—Property in Karachi—Gujarati roots—Bombay neighbors—Tolerance of diversity—Refugee housing—Relatives in Bombay—Father's stroke—Reading magazines—Caring for father—House responsibilities—Lack of sibling rivalry—Managing financially—Catholic school—Languages in school—School activities—Becoming extroverted in college—Friends in New Jersey—Entertainment in Bombay—Son's difficulties—Love of music—Movie premieres—Acceptable marriages—Importance of education—Courting customs—Working as a designer—Marriage—Husband's immigration—Marriage proposal—Issues with in-laws—Working in New Jersey—Knowledge of U.S.—Choosing to stay in the U.S.
Starting over in U.S. —First apartment—Learning to drive—Accessing Indian goods—Learning from neighbors—Being a minority—Relationship with Italian neighbors—Involvement with school—Raising her son—Move to Southern California—Visiting India—Founding India Cultural Society—Preserving heritage—Relationships with non-Indians—Celebrating American holidays—Helping children 'fit in'—Vegetarianism—Raising teenagers—Dating—Changes in Indian population—Siblings in U.S.—Opening a restaurant—Indian accent—Jobs—Moving to Los Angeles—Life in L.A. —Feeling at home.