NYC’s ‘Hidden’ Asian Communities

In the June episode of CUNY TV’s “Asian American Life,” get acquainted with four communities quietly leaving their mark in their respective corners of the tri-state area: the Nepalese, Filipino Muslims, Sikhs and Sri Lankans.

With 80 percent of Nepalese speakers having immigrated to NYC – Jackson Heights in particular – in the past two decades, the community is one of the city’s newer immigrant groups. At 1:20, hear from longtime residents on changes they have observed over the years and visit a nonprofit that teaches immigrants English and survival skills.

While most Filipinos in the U.S. are Christian, there is a small community of Muslims, some of whom live in the New York area. At 7:05, meet one organization that strives to preserve its culture and religion.

Sikhs are not necessarily a “hidden” community in the U.S. but they are included in the episode because they “have been quietly integrating” into the mainstream. Learn more about their history and how they preserve and spread awareness of their heritage in metro area, at 13:02.

Finally, at 20:55 it’s off to Staten Island. Hear from the 19-year-old who started the first Sri Lankan art and cultural museum outside of the country as well as one of the first Sri Lankan residents of the borough, and find out how Staten Island became home to the largest concentration of Sri Lankans in the U.S.

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