Community Conversations – July 2023

July 4th is always a great reminder of our intertwined identity – Indian and American. We IAGBians look at ourselves as the stewards of our community. Hence, we are taking this opportunity to express our thoughts on the inherent qualities of our Indian American community: 

Pallavi Datar

Pallavi Datar:

To me being Indian-American means celebrating Thanksgiving with the same spirit as Diwali; and rejoicing on July 4th as well as on Aug 15th. It also means trying to integrate into American society, fighting for some of the rights that have been threatened with the recent political turmoil. While we will always be impacted by events in India, the decisions and events happening in America have a much larger impact on our day-to-day life. It also means ensuring our children have some Indian roots and values but letting them live their lives as mainstream Americans. It’s the ‘land of the free and the home of the brave’ after all!


Nilesh Agrawal:

To me being an Indian-American means adapting to American culture without sacrificing my Indian identity. It’s important that my children get to know about their rich background and culture. This thought has always made me a part of the Indian community, and I make an effort to support both Indian culture and Indian-American values by participating in organizations such as IAGB, Shishu Bharati, and Hindi Manch. It makes me happy to see our Indian culture taking its own roots in this land. 

Tanu Phoenix (1)

Tanu Phoenix:

I am the one who was embraced by my adopted country, as is, the broken me. I am the one who was given the warm embrace to heal my soul and gain the strength to mold myself and find the new me; I am the one who was empowered to rise from the ashes; I am the one who was given her dues of hard work and honesty; I am the one who wasn’t judged or stereotyped; I am the one who was taught to love people of all kinds; I am the one who was given the free will to leave the well and swim in the ocean; I am the one who was lauded for her strong roots of the country of her birth and strong branches of her adopted country; I am the one who was given wings to fly high soaring the sky but not to let sky be the limit… in nutshell, I AM A PROUD INDIAN AMERICAN. Living in my home of the brave, in the land of the free. And that’s what makes me, ME!

Lohith Nagaraj

Lohith Nagaraj:

Being an Indian-American is a multifaceted experience, encompassing the richness of Indian culture and the opportunities and challenges of living in America. It means honoring and preserving the traditions, values, and beliefs passed down from Indian ancestors while embracing the American ideals of diversity, freedom, and pursuit of dreams. Indian-Americans contribute to the tapestry of American society, bringing their unique heritage, talents, and perspectives to create a harmonious blend of cultures. Being an Indian-American is a source of pride, a bridge between two worlds, and a constant reminder of the strength and resilience that comes from embracing one’s dual identity.