Oral History Digital Archive

Ms. Hema Rajagopalan (At Risk Stories)

Hema Rajagopalan, 70, is an award-winning classical Indian dancer who became famous at age 6 for her talent. The interview includes discussion of her approach to dance as a physical form of moral education and...

Mr. Parthasarathy Rajagopalan (Masala Chat Project)

Parthasarathy Rajagopalan, 77, is a financial advisor and former railway circuit engineer. The interview includes discussion of the fifteen people who founded of the Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago in 1977, in which he played...

Ms. Sudha Rapp (Masala Chat Project)

Sudha Rapp, 73, is a world traveler and a luxury retail salesperson. The interview includes discussion of the fact that her family lived in the Middle East during her early life, but moved to India...

Mr. Rohinton and Ms. Roshan Rivetna (Masala Chat Project)

Roshan, 77, and Rohinton, 82, Rivetna, are pioneers of the Zoroastrian community in the US, having arrived in the mid-1960s. The interview begins with Roshan alone, and her husband Rohinton joins approximately halfway through. The...

Ms. Sujaya Rupani (At Risk Stories)

Sujaya Rupani, 66, is an ophthalmologist and active member of the Indian community in Chicago. The interview includes discussion of her successful work life and moments of culture shock as she adapted to the US....

Mr. Navinchanvra Sanghavi (Masala Chat Project)

Navinchanvra Sanghavi is a mechanical engineer who was among the first Indian Americans in Chicago, having arrived in the early 1960s. The interview includes discussion of his devotion to the Pushtimargiya religious practice and his...

Ms. Mridu Sekhar (Masala Chat Project)

Mridu Sekhar, 69, is a retired owner of a successful healthcare technology consultancy and active participant in Democratic politics. The interview includes discussion of how geopolitical history during the Cold War and the Indo-Pakistani war...

Ms. Tina Shah (Masala Chat Project)

Tina Shah, 39, is a designer and software developer who is working hard to ensure she keeps her Indian heritage alive for herself and the next generation. The interview includes discussion of her family's search...

Ms. Prem Sharma (At Risk Stories)

Prem Sharma, 77, is a pioneer member of Chicago’s Indian American community, the founder of Apna Ghar, a domestic violence support service for immigrant women, and has played a leading role in the Indian women’s community since the late 1970s. The interview includes discussion of...

Dr. Umesh Sharma (At Risk Stories)

Umesh Sharma, 81, is a general surgeon who retired as chief of staff at Silver Cross Hospital in Joliet, Illinois. The interview includes discussion of his childhood and decision to go to medical school, his...

Mr. Prabhakant Sinha (Masala Chat Project)

Prabhakant Sinha, industrial engineer, discusses the differences between Indian and academic culture. He reflects on how much more open conversation was for students at University of Massachusetts compared to his previous educational experiences. He enjoys...

Dr. Badri Das and Ms. Pramila Taparia (Masala Chat Project)

Badri, 75, and Pramila, 68, Taparia were among the first Indians to move to the United States in the mid-1960s. Badri is a retired obstetrician-gynecologist and his wife, Pramilla, raised their three children and helped in his practice.

Mr. Rishad Tobaccowala (Masala Chat Project)

Rishad Tobaccowala, 57, is an advertising executive and pioneering member of the Chicago Indo-American community. The interview includes detailed discussion of his successful career at the Leo Burnett Advertising Company, which was the largest advertising...

Ms. Naseem Umar (Masala Chat Project)

Naseem Umar, 64, is an educator and dedicated community leader. The interview includes discussion of the obstacles she faced in getting employment that matched her experience after arriving in Chicago, but how she eventually became...

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