It takes three days to go from one part of India to the other.: Becoming Minnesotan

Prasanna Mishra, c.2001.
  • Name - Prasanna Mishra
  • Age at interview - 50
  • Gender - Male
  • Generation - First Generation American / Immigrant
  • Date of Interview - 01.28.1999
  • Devotees at Dakshineswar Temple, Kolkata, India, 2010.

    The Journey

    Essential Question

    Coming to America: What did coming to America symbolize for this person?

    The Journey: How did this person get to the U.S.?

    Words to look for


    Background Information

    Because India is such a huge country with so many different ethnic groups, there has been a lot of competition for the few jobs that there are.  People sometimes have to move far away from family members in order to find a job.  Traveling home to visit is difficult so they end up not seeing family very often.  In India, extended families are normally very close.  Family members support one another, and have a lot of respect for what it means to be part of the family.  Because of these tight-knit families, it is a very difficult decision to move away from important family support systems to come to the U.S. 

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

    • Chapter 1

    Download Prasanna Mishra 2
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    Narrator: Prasanna Mishra (PM)

    Interviewer: Polly Sonifer (PS)

    PS:  How did your family in India feel when you accepted the position in America, in Pittsburgh?

    PM:  My father kind of accepted that we'll do things the way we want to do, but my mother always liked that we should have stayed in India. But staying in India, you don't stay in the same state. You stay somewhere else. Just staying abroad is probably much easier, where you can go back to India, much easier than coming from one part of India back to your own state.

    PS:  And why is that?

    PM:  Because you get a train, and come by train, it takes three days to go from one part of India to the other part. From here, you just fly. In twenty-two hours, you're back at home, wherever you want to go in India. It is much easier from United States than from one end of India to the other.

    Related Glossary Terms


    Adverb:  Beyond the borders of a certain country; in foreign countries.


    Minnesota Historical Society. Becoming Minnesotan: Stories of Recent Immigrants and Refugees. September 2010. Institute of Museum and Library Services. [Date of access].
    nid: 606