The marginality of many Asian Indians was expressed in personal names and manner of speech. Frequently, names were changed by the children:
This is. . . very common behavior among children, for their names are often mispronounced in school and they do not want to seem different. Thus they will use their anglicized names when they are in school with white playmates and their Indian names when they are among Asian Indians . . . . [With reference to an 11- year-old girl] when she is with her Indian friends, she speaks English with an Indian accent, and when she is in school she speaks English with an American accent. She unconsciously switches back and forth with ease. . . . 155
Aggarwal observed a time factor at work in renaming: "Second generation Indians start to feel 'back-to-India' sentiments once they reach the college level. . . . Many drop the Americanized versions of their names in favor of their given names. For example, Roger reverts to Raj. . . .' 156 When D. S. Saund, an Indian who had become a naturalized citizen in 1949, ran for Congress in 1956 as a Democrat, his name was advertised as "D.S. Saund." His Republican opponent, however, referred to him in newspaper ads as "Dilip Singh in big letters and Saund in small letters." 157 Saund was elected and reelected for a second term. (He was a farmer with a Ph.D. in mathematics from Berkeley.)
The easiest way for a group to succeed in the United States is to have succeeded elsewhere first. This was the case for most contemporary Asian Indians. In 1990, nearly four out of five of them were immigrants, the majority having entered the country since 1965. Their greatest assets were advanced education and capital resources, both originating in India rather than the United States. All the Asian Indians in the United States constitute less than one tenth of 1% of India's population, a most unrepresentative sample, far more so than the Punjabis of pre-World War I times.
In general, little can be learned about Asian Indian school experiences because the schools rarely publish separate materials on them. Also, Asian Indians are the most scattered geographically of all sizable minorities and thus are least likely for that reason alone to constitute concentrations of schooling problems.
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: Asian-American Education:Historical Background and Current Realities. Contributors: Meyer Weinberg - Author. Publisher: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Place of publication: Mahwah, NJ. Publication year: 1997. Page number: 307.
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