Culturally Appropriate or Cultural Appropriation? A Few Thoughts

Sep 30, 2013
Culturally Appropriate or Cultural Appropriation?  A Few Thoughts

by Priya Chhaya In early April, pop star Selena Gomez incited media buzz when she appeared in public wearing a bindi. She is not the first celebrity to wear something Indian, but I have to ask: Should I feel offended that someone has chosen to appropriate a piece of Indian cultural identity for entertainment? Or […]

Amar Gopal Bose — An Audiophile Ahead of His Time

Jul 18, 2013

By Nimita Uberoi and Kalyan Venkatraj, Summer 2013 interns Have you ever heard a piece of recorded music so clearly and vividly that you felt you were at a live concert?  Chances are that this came about due to the refinement of speaker technologies by Indian American inventor Amar Gopal Bose.  Bose (b. 1929) passed […]

Intern Update: 2013 Indiaspora Inaugural Ball

Jan 24, 2013

By Sara Schreck, Spring 2013 intern The Indiaspora Inaugural Ball was a success and a chance to highlight Indian American accomplishments and presence in America under a long-deserved spotlight. Various VIPs glided along the red carpet and spoke into waiting microphones. It was a great debut party for Indian Americans, who—at 3 million strong—are becoming […]

Walking Through an Open Door

Dec 17, 2012

by Priya Chhaya Being the first at anything is always a challenge, especially when it involves breaking glass ceilings. This January when the new members of the House of Representatives are sworn into the 113th Congress there will be something new, when the first Buddhist in the Senate and the first Hindu in the House […]

IAHP Co-Sponsors Screening of Play Like a Lion

Dec 14, 2012

Curator Masum Momaya welcomes guests at the film screening for Play Like a Lion at the Embassy of India, Washington DC. Click here to download a PDF of the November 2012 issue of India Review featuring the Smithsonian Indian American Heritage Project.

Ami Bera: Another Indian American Elected to Congress

Nov 20, 2012

By Lavina Melwani All photos are from Ami Bera’s website. Indian Americans finally have a presence in  the US Congress – Ami Bera, MD, is the new Congressman-Elect from California’s 7th Congressional District. I had interviewed him some months back when he was running a hard-fought race against the incumbent Congressman Dan Lungren, who conceded […]

Diwali in the U.S.

Nov 13, 2012

Happy Diwali from the Indian American Heritage Project! Diwali is an auspicious and vibrant holiday for Indian Americans, marking the New Year and reminding us of the philosophical triumph of light over darkness. Here is a selection of images commemorating Diwali in the US. Some will be featured in our upcoming exhibition, Beyond Bollywood: Indian […]

Has the Census Evolved?

Nov 2, 2012

by Emily Vallerga, Fall 2012 Intern As part of my research for the upcoming Indian American Heritage Project exhibition Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation, I have been looking at how Indian Americans in the U.S. have been categorized and counted by the official U.S. Census.  I started in 1890, when the first critical […]

2008 Indian American Medalist Raj Bhavsar Reflects on the Olympics

Aug 10, 2012

HomeSpun Curator Masum Momaya caught up with Indian American medal-winning gymnast Raj Bhavsar, four years from his Olympic experience. MM: What got you started in gymnastics?  Was your family supportive of your interests? RB: I was an active kid, I climbed furniture and broke things in the house so my parents enrolled me in gymnastics at […]


Aug 6, 2012

The history, art, and culture of Sikh Americans are part our mission.  Sikhism in the U.S. will be part of HomeSpun: Smithsonian Indian American Heritage Project, the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program’s initiative to create an exhibition chronicling the story of immigrants from India and Indian Americans.   While details continue to emerge, we remain profoundly […]