Wrong Kind of Doctor

One Immigrant Story: Becoming the Wrong Kind of Doctor

A famous immigrant stereotype is the Indian doctor. Doctor usually means medical physician, not 18th century French historian.

The Guardian has a feature: how did you get here? Recognizing that the 11% of Americans who are foreign born have unique and interesting backgrounds and stories of how they came to the United States, the site’s feature allows individuals to share their unique stories.

Mita Choudhury’s parents left India for London in 1961. Her parents would not have been able to immigrate to the United States in 1965 because of the Reed-Johnson Act (Asian Exclusion Act), which had effectively banned immigration from Asian countries in 1924. They arrived in the United States in 1970, which would make them part of the first wave of Indian immigrants after the Asian Exclusion Act was superseded.

Dr. Choudhury ends her piece by writing:

I make the 18th century my home. In theory, 18th century society had no place for someone like me except to be gazed upon as an exotic other.

Nevertheless, the same period also fostered a spirit of critical inquiry that demanded you interrogate your own society like an outsider. It rejected the boundaries that undermined individual dignity and common humanity.

The education I received and work to pass on to students upholds these values, which are also the core principles of the US, a country established in the 18th century. Now I must ask: are these principles being compromised by a fearful nationalism that discourages outsiders with its angry rhetoric of borders and walls?

Immigrants Made American Fashion

Immigrants and American Fashion

Some of the most popular American fashion icons – Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, and Ralph Lauren – were children of immigrants from Eastern Europe whose parents worked in New York City’s garment industry. Calvin Klein, DKNY, and Ralph Lauren are among the most recognizable global clothing brands. Levi Strauss, founder of Levi’s and blue jeans, was an immigrant from Germany. Levi’s, of course, popularized the iconic blue jeans, which are synonymous with American.

The fashion baton has been passed onto Asian-Americans and Asian immigrants. This Fusion article showcases the creativity and innovations of Asian Americans and Latino Americans who are becoming the icons of fashion.

Refugees Go to Tim Horton’s

Welcome to Canada: Refugees Go to Tim Horton’s

The issue of Syrian refugees has caused legislators and voters in the United States to push the boundaries of immigration law in preventing their resettlement. States have written legislation in selective prevention of resettlement, and they have sued the federal government over the issue.

In Canada, this was the scene for Syrian refugees at a Tim Horton’s, Canada’s iconic doughnut and coffee shop.

Click here for CBC video.

Colbert in the Kitchen

Colbert in the Kitchen: Stephen Learns How to Cook Indian Food

Stephen Colbert, who is in the first season as host of The Late Show, paid a visit to Yamini Joshi. Colbert went to Ms. Joshi’s kitchen as part of League of Kitchens. The League of Kitchens aims to connect people who are learning how to cook with skilled immigrant cooks of all cuisines. The organization has an educational purpose to share culinary and cultural knowledge because if they are not passed down, they might be lost. Director Lisa Gross explains an adulthood sorrow of not being able to cook Korean food like her grandmother. That feeling of longing launched the idea for League of Kitchens. Someone like Lisa may be bridging the gap to her heritage, or like Stephen, trying his hand at something new out of interest.

Yamini taught Stephen some basics of Indian food. Stephen made the segment delightful and funny with his usual antics, witty remarks, and cultural observations. As Stephen puts, “There are no cultural differences that cannot be bridged by a giant stick of butter” (referring to ghee).

There are two parts.

Part 1

Part 2