Monday, September 5, 2011
Houston Oral History Project
Houston's Indian immigrants telling their stories. (Houston Chronicle, 9/4/2011)
Excerpt: When then-Mayor Bill White announced an oral history project capturing the stories of prominent Houstonians a few years ago, Krishna Vavilala noticed one group missing: Indian immigrants who have shaped the city's demographic landscape in subtle but influential ways.
So Vavilala, also chair of the Foundation for India Studies at the University of Houston, decided to start one himself.
"If someone else won't write our history, we will write it," said Vavilala, a native of India who came to Houston in 1981 after entering the U.S. through New York in 1974.
In coordination with the Houston Public Library, the foundation started its first interviews this summer to capture the stories of early Indian immigrants' lives prior to moving to America, as well as their struggles to adapt and their contributions to the city, which have gone largely unrecorded.