Smithsonian Exhibit Details History and Achievements of Indian-Americans
Houston, TX (Law Firm Newswire) May 5, 2014 – The Smithsonian Natural History museum has opened a new exhibit detailing Indian-American accomplishments and history in the United States.
“Beyond Bollywood: Indian-Americans Shape the Nation” showcases the major cultural, economic and historic contributions Indian-Americans have made to the United States. The ground-breaking exhibit examines more than 200 years of Indian immigration, and it also suggests that debates over immigration are nothing new in this country.
“Throughout American history, the demand for foreign-born workers has been satisfied by immigrants from India to a significant extent,” detailed Annie Banerjee, a leading Texas immigration attorney. “Whether it was the need for more physicians in the wake of the introduction of Medicare and Medicaid, or the need for skilled and educated workers in the technology sector, Indian citizens have long helped to fill the demand for workers in this country.”
The exhibit, which opened on February 27, introduces visitors to the compelling experience of the first Indian immigrants to arrive in the United States to help build the nation’s railroads and farms in 1790.
Its curators also discuss, explore and defy the stereotypes and anti-Asian immigrant sentiments that have surfaced repeatedly since then. The offerings sometimes present a less attractive side of American history, but the exhibit handles the subject matter deftly.
Some of the inventions of Indian-Americans in the United States that are highlighted in the exhibit are now familiar icons of technology: Hotmail, the Pentium chip and fiber optics. These inventions were developed after the United States introduced H-1B visas to entice skilled engineers stateside. But the exhibit goes beyond marquee technology items and their inventors to include other contributions from writers, entertainers, athletes and even the fashion designer favored by first lady Michelle Obama.
“Displays of items like the NFL helmet worn by Brandon Chillar, the first Indian-American to win the Super Bowl, speak volumes about the shared experience that Indian-Americans have had with fellow Americans,” Banerjee indicated.
The exhibit runs at the Smithsonian through Aug. 16, 2015, then tour 15 cities through 2019.
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