Now we know all about the (over)active Desi communities in SF, NYC, LA, DC, H-Town, the Big D, Chi-Town, and a few others. But what about the brothers & sisters -in-arms in the Dakota’s? The Hindustan Times has a fun little article on this surprisingly active community -
Dakotas – comprising of two American States North and South Dakota – is at the bottom when it comes to Indian population. Of nearly 17 lakh Indians in the United States, as per 2000 census, North Dakota has 822 Indians, while South Dakota has even less 611. They are scattered all throughout the area, while the concentration is big cities like Rapid City, Fargo and Grand Forks.
Despite their small numbers, this humble seed stock is responsible for a
- Hindu Temple
- Cultural Association
- Cinema –
Fargo, is probably the only place in both North and South Dakota where a cinema hall screens Hindi films at regular interval. People from various parts of North Dakota come to see the popular Hindi films.
- Indian Students Association @ the S. Dakota School of Mines
Besides providing supportive and homely atmosphere for Indian students, the Club also celebrates Indian festivals with fervour and gaiety.
- and a Cricket Club
But the accomplishment I’m most proud of is this -
What could make any Indian proud is the performance of Venkataswamy Ramakrishnan in this Dakota land. Emeritus Professor of Civil Engineering at this mining school, State of South Dakota declared on Sunday, September 29, 2002, as Dr. Venkataswamy Ramakrishnan Day for his contributions to the state.
Toqueville would be proud. And I’ve marked my Calendar for next 9/29.