Kids grow independent very quickly.: Becoming Minnesotan

Lincoln Gada, c.2001.
  • Name - Lincoln Gada
  • Age at interview - 26
  • Gender - Male
  • Generation - First Generation American / Immigrant
  • Date of Interview - 12.14.1998
  • Indian American family at the SILC Family Fun Fair, St. Paul, July 24, 2002.
    Indian American woman and baby at the Minnesota Sikh Gurdwara, Fridley, 2002.

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    Essential Question

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

    Problems in America: What could have helped this person’s adjustment in the U.S.?

    Words to look for


    Background Information

    In India, extended families are normally very close.  In fact, it is common for grandmothers, grandfathers, aunts, uncles, and cousins to all live together in the same house.  The children all grow up together more like brothers and sisters than cousins, and all of the adults work together to take care of all of the kids.

    In the United States most families live separately from their extended family, sometimes thousands of miles away from other family members.  Because they are so isolated, American parents have to care for their children on their own, or else hire someone to help.  Indian immigrants have had to adjust to these changes in family life, and have also worked hard to create their own communities that can provide support for one another.  

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

    • Chapter 1

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    1:36 Minutes | 1.54Mb


    Narrator: Lincoln Gada (LG)

    Interviewer: Diana Kenney (DK)

    DK:  Do you think that child-raising practices are very different here, from what you observe, than they are in Bombay?

    LG:  A lot. I would say the sense of independence is given to the kids — it's very early here, I think. It's very soon, even three, four months after they're born. The baby's kept in the crib. They're made to live on their own for the whole night. It's a slow training, but that’s the intention that they should be on their own. More and more women are working so the kids are more and more going to day care centers. I think rather than the social part, it's also an economical part. The women have to work. Just a single earning family is not so much viable here. So that's how the kids get more and more independence, a sense of independence. They grow independent very quickly.

    In India, I don't think social culture doesn't let them grow so much independently so quickly. There is always somebody to take care. Grandparents are living with you, so you always have a sense of family. Somebody is always around you. So there is no hurry to make you think independent.

    Related Glossary Terms


    Noun:  The arts, customs, and habits that characterize a particular society or nation.


    Noun:  Freedom from dependence and reliance on others.


    Adjective:  Free; not reliant on anyone or anything else.


    Noun:  Goal; purpose; plan; desire.


    Verb:  1. To follow the custom, practice, or rules (especially of a religion).  2. To notice or view.  (observes, observing, observed)


    Noun:  1. A customary action, habit, or behavior; a manner or routine.  2. The observance of religious duties which a church requires of its members.

    Verb:   To perform or observe in a habitual fashion.  (practices, practicing, practiced)


    Minnesota Historical Society. Becoming Minnesotan: Stories of Recent Immigrants and Refugees. September 2010. Institute of Museum and Library Services. [Date of access].
    nid: 584