South Asian

(Photo via Colorlines)

Another Take on the ‘Patel Motel Cartel’

Business, South Asian May 2, 2012 at 6:21 pm

In his new book, sociologist Pawan Dhingra examines the Indian-American dominance of America’s motel industry, where more than half of all motels are owned by Indian immigrants or their descendents, and 70 percent of those owners bear the Gujarati surname Patel.

Photo via News India Times

Skilled Worker Visas: Practical or Exploitative?

Immigration, South Asian May 1, 2012 at 6:18 pm

An investigation into alleged visa fraud at the Indian technology giant Infosys has stirred a debate on skilled worker visas. Some say that big companies are using these visas to bring in foreign workers at below-market rates, while others argue that companies are adjusting to the needs of doing business in a competitive globalized economy.

Rabin Kumar Biswokarma said he was underpaid as a kitchen assistant at Long Island's Masala Wok & Grill. (Photo via The South Asian Times)

Nepali Describes Harsh Conditions, Wage Theft at Long Island Indian Restaurant

Immigration, South Asian April 19, 2012 at 12:08 pm

A Nepali immigrant prep cook says that he was forced to work long hours for little or no pay, and was essentially imprisoned in group housing on Long Island while working at Masala Wok & Grill, an Indian fusion restaurant in Selden, Long Island.

Indian Americans remember 2002 Gujarat victims with rally.

Indian Americans Remember Gujarat Riot Victims a Decade Later

Politics, South Asian March 21, 2012 at 2:56 pm

Indian Americans held a rally to mark the 10th anniversary of the Gujarat riots that killed more than 1,000 people, the majority of them Muslim. They called for the arrest of Narendra Modi, chief minister of Gujarat then and now, who is accused of failing to protect his people, or even of orchestrating the riots.

Beyond the Mango Lassi

Food, South Asian, Video March 5, 2012 at 2:54 pm

There’s more to the Indian yogurt drink known as a lassi than the ubiquitous mango lassis served in Indian restaurants.

Two Views on Visa Situation for Indian Immigrants to U.S.

Two Views on Visa Situation for Indian Immigrants to U.S.

Caribbean, Immigration, South Asian March 2, 2012 at 5:06 pm

The Carib News reported on complaints from the Caribbean community that a proposed change to immigration rules would unfairly favor Indian and Chinese migrants, while News India Times aired concerns that Indians are being denied visas in increasing numbers.

Tailor to the Stars Donates Suits to Struggling Job-Seekers

Tailor to the Stars Donates Suits to Struggling Job-Seekers

South Asian March 1, 2012 at 2:21 pm

The New York-based tailor Mohan Ramchandani of Mohan’s Custom Tailors, known for dressing sports stars, has a new clientele for his bespoke suits: 17 men with troubled pasts who just graduated from a job training program.

Bronx Bangladeshis to Float a Council Candidate

Politics, South Asian February 23, 2012 at 5:26 pm

Bangladeshis from three Bronx neighborhoods where Bengali is so common that one street is known as “Bangla Bazar” are planning ahead for the September 2013 city council primary, banding together to float one Bangladeshi candidate that the whole community can get behind.

Desi Comics Bring Joke Diplomacy to India

Culture, South Asian February 22, 2012 at 11:18 am

Comedy and diplomacy intertwined during a recent State Department-sponsored comedy tour of India by three Indian-American stand-up comedians. Rajiv Satyal, Hari Kondabolu and Azhar Usman toured the country to bring some laughter to sensitive issues such as religion, politics, and the caste system.

Some Bangladeshis worry that the new Resort World Casino in Queens will attact young people to gambling.

Casinos, Crime and Corrupted Youth in Bangladeshi Community

Crime, Culture, In the News, South Asian February 16, 2012 at 5:16 pm

The Weekly Thikana has reported extensively of late on dangers facing New York City’s Bangladeshi community, and especially to its young people.

Portrait: ‘I Didn’t Plan to Become a Monk’

Culture, Education, Religion, South Asian February 16, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Feet in Two Worlds brought us this audio slide show portrait of Gadadhara Pandit Dasa, the first Hindu Chaplain of Columbia University, and now also of New York University.

In Soho, Sparkling Chocolates Infused with Indian and Global Flavors

Food, South Asian February 15, 2012 at 11:00 am

In case you didn’t get your chocolate fix on Valentines day, News India Times ran a mouth-watering writeup of Xocolatti, where the hand-crafted chocolates resemble jewels. The store’s 24-year-old owner, Shaineal Shah, comes from a family of Indian jewelers.

Homesick Nepalis Gather Around Love Poetry

Culture, Queens, South Asian, Video February 14, 2012 at 2:50 pm

In 2010, Binod Roka noticed his children trying to hide their Nepalese heritage in hopes of fitting in at school. To help them appreciate their roots, he co-founded a series of poetry readings, which have become gathering places for Queens’ Nepalese community.

The 37th Road pedestrian plaza has not been a hit with local business owners.

‘Mother Language Day’ May Bring New Life to Jackson Heights Plaza

Culture, Queens, South Asian February 13, 2012 at 11:32 am

Some Jackson Heights merchants have complained that the pedestrianized plaza on 37th Road has hurt their business, but it may become the site of a new city tradition, reported the Queens Chronicle: Bangladeshi groups in Jackson Heights are seeking the city’s permission to observe International Mother Language Day on Feb. 21.

Leno’s Remark Stirs Debate in Sikh Community

South Asian February 6, 2012 at 1:17 pm

The NBC host and comedian Jay Leno’s wisecrack last month, in which he showed a photo of Sikhism’s holiest shrine, the Golden Temple, while poking fun at the Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s millions, has met a mixed reaction from the American Sikh community.