Whatever country you live in, be fit for that country.: Becoming Minnesotan

Abul Hasan Siddiqui, c.1995.
  • Name - Abul Hasan Siddiqui
  • Age at interview - 70
  • Gender - Male
  • Generation - First Generation American / Immigrant
  • Students playing cricket, SILC, Como High School, St. Paul, May 4, 2002.


    Essential Question

    Becoming Americans: What does it mean to be an American?

    Assimilation: Does a person have to give up part of his/her culture to become more American?

    Words to look for


    Background Information

    Most immigrants becocme Americanized as they are in the U.S.  longer, and begin to adapt their way of thinking and their cultural traditions.  For example, it is becoming more common for younger Indian-Americans to choose their own partner, instead of having their parents select a partner for them through an arranged marriage. All immigrants face the tough challenge of finding balance between maintaining their home culture and adopting certain aspects of American culture that will allow them to be more successful in the U.S.

    To learn more about Asian Indian history and culture, visit our Asian Indian Community page.

    • Chapter 1

    Download Abul Siddiqui 1
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    Narrator: Abul Siddiqui (AS)

    AS:  I'm happy with my life and all that I have done and with the present circumstances.  I'm very happy in the United States.  As soon as five years were over for immigrant visa, we became U.S. citizens. Well, I don't owe any allegiance to India anymore.  I am an American.  I honor the American flag.  One of the teachings of Islam: "Whichever country you live in, be fit for that country."  Wherever you are, people you will find they live in the United States, always they speak, "Oh, in India, in Pakistan..."  No, that is wrong!  Whichever country you are in, you be fit and for that country.  Faithful to that country! Otherwise, who is asking you to stay here?  Go back, go anywhere!  And be thankful to anyone who helps you in any way.  Be grateful.

    Related Glossary Terms


    Noun:  Loyalty to some cause, nation or ruler.


    Noun:  The conditions surrounding an event.


    Noun:  1. A person that is a legally recognized as a member of a state or country, with associated rights and obligations.  2. A person that is a legally recognized resident of a city or town.  3. A resident of any particular place to which the subject feels to belong.


    Adjective:  Loyal; following a person or cause.


    Adjective:  Thankful; appreciative.


    Noun:  A person who comes to a country to permanently settle from another country.


    Noun:  A monotheistic religion that originated with the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad having the same roots as Christianity and Judaism; its revelatory scripture is the Qur'an; its followers are Muslim.


    Noun:  A permit to enter and leave a country, normally issued by the authorities of the country to be visited.


    Minnesota Historical Society. Becoming Minnesotan: Stories of Recent Immigrants and Refugees. September 2010. Institute of Museum and Library Services. [Date of access]. http://www.mnhs.org/immigration
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