Masala Chat Project - Ms. Hena Banerjee

Ms. Hema Banerjee

Full Oral History Interview

Birthplace

Description

Hena Banerjee, 80, is an accountant and one of the first Indians to move to the United States in the late 1950s. The interview includes discussion of her early life in Mysore and Calcutta, traveling by boat to New York from Bombay in 1958, for her husband’s fellowship in engineering at Penn State University. She discusses being trust into the work world during the recession of 1971-72, and gradually adapting through adversity and innovation to become a medical billing specialist. Even though there was not much of a community to welcome her to the US, Hema devoted herself to helping others, especially at-risk youth whom she took into her home. Other topics discussed include: the importance of looking after the elderly, opening your arms to others, daily Hindu worship practice, and the partition of India.

Identifier

oh611

License

Creative Commons License (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)

Date Recorded

January 12, 2017

Interviewer

Amita Banerjee

Extent

01:26:39

Date Of Birth

1937

Place of Birth or Hometown

Dhaka, Benjal Province, Britsh India

Date of Immigration

1958

Reason for Immigration

Marriage

Port of Entry

New York, NY

Occupation

Seamstress; Accountant; Medical billing specialist

Occupation of Parent(s)

Homemaker (mother)

Number of Siblings

2

Family's Religion

Hinduism

Languages Spoken

Bengali English

Schooling

Kamrunnessa Girls High School; Malleswaram Girls High School; Maharani's College, Bangalore
Residence In United States Other Than Chicago State College, PA

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