The Mexican-Hindu Connection: In a look for Their Roots, Descendants find a going story of loneliness and Racism

The Mexican-Hindu Connection: In a look for Their Roots, Descendants find a going story of loneliness and Racism

For a time that is long Sylvia and Yolanda Singh wondered about their history.

Raised in a Catholic home in Santa Ana where they talked Spanish and English, the siblings had been frequently expected about their final title, one typical to all the male people in the Sikh faith from India’s Punjab province.

Although not until Yolanda had been doing study that is graduate training at Stanford and opted for her father as an interest for an ethnographic task did your family history started initially to unfold, and she discovered the 67-year-old construction worker is just a Mexican-Hindu.

Mexican-Hindu? Even though the combination may seem odd, the tale regarding the Singhs of Santa Ana and lots of thousand individuals like them for the United states Southwest represents an anomaly of America’s melting cooking pot. Additionally, it is a almost forgotten story about how exactly history and culture made bedfellows that are strange joining together two immigrant teams in fairly brief marriages of convenience.

Today, with intermarriage away from their tiny group, the Mexican-Hindus are growing more indistinct with every generation, quickly reducing them to a footnote of Ca history. But as a result of Karen Leonard, a UC Irvine teacher of anthropology who has got written almost a dozen articles about the subject and it is doing work with a guide, Sylvia and Yolanda will have an extensive family members tree and understand much more about their history.

During the early several years of this century, based on Leonard, between 2,000 and 6,000 Sikh, Muslim and Hindu agricultural employees were imported to Ca and Arizona from Northwest India. Many Californians referred to all the among these males as Hindus–India ended up being then popularly referred to as Hindustan–despite the undeniable fact that significantly more than 85% of them had been Sikhs.

A number of the Punjabis had been previous soldiers and police who’d offered with Uk colonial forces; these people were respected as recruits within the arid Southwest due to irrigation in their home province to their familiarity, sometimes called “the land of five streams. Read more