Masala Chat Project - Mr. Mafat Patel

Full Oral History Interview

Transcript (Document)

Birthplace

Description

Mafat Patel, 72, is an entrepreneur and the owner of two businesses catering to the Indian community in Chicago. The interview includes discussion of his frequent desire to return to India after he came to the United States for an MBA in 1968, but has never been able to move back because his life has changed substantially. He discusses the tight kinship networks and small Indian community of 350 families in Chicago, which supported one another. Rather than returning home to India, Mafat invited his family to join him, and together they started a grocery, Patel Brothers, because there was not enough Indian, especially vegetarian, food in the city. Later they also opened a travel agency, another way of maintaining connections with their homeland. Other topics discussed include: employment discrimination, farm life in India, and the importance of being welcoming to everyone no matter their religion or walk of life.

Identifier

oh627

License

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

Date Recorded

April 18, 2017

Interviewer

Marina Labarthe

Extent

0:32:34

Date Of Birth

January 1945

Place of Birth or Hometown

Bhandu, India

Date of Immigration

1968

Port of Entry

Occupation

Grocery and travel business entrepreneur

Occupation of Parent(s)

Farmers

Number of Siblings

5

Family's Religion

Hinduism

Languages Spoken

Gujarati English

Schooling

Master's of Business Administration

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