Niagara Falls draws Indian tourists and businesses

November 16, 2011

Audio and photos by Chaela Herridge-Meyer with collage by Maham Khan

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Niagara Falls, like most Rust Belt cities, has fallen on hard times. Even its tourist attraction, which once made it America’s honeymoon capital, has not saved it from economic woes.  But there seems to be hope in Niagara Falls, thanks to a rising current of East Indian tourists. East Indians are visiting the falls by the bus load—many after flying thousands of miles—and new businesses are opening up on nearly every street corner.

 

 

“Welcome to the Maid of the Mist Boat Tour and the Niagara Falls State Park, the oldest state park in America.”

“My name is Jagdeep Singh. I own Maharaja Restaurant. For an Indian, coming to Niagara Falls, you would feel right at home. You know, it almost feels like you’re in India, you see so many Indians.”

“I have no words to describe it. Beautiful is not enough to describe the Niagara. I got married ten years back, and from the day of my marriage he is telling me you must see Niagara, you must visit Niagara, and today that day’s come. It is a place you feel the most happiest moment in the life, while watching this Niagara Falls.”

“You’re like calm for about two or three minutes just trying to listen to that music of the water, again, and again.”

“My name is Padmini and I’m a tour guide. I come from India, from a place called Mumbai. Niagara River is formed by five different lakes; first is Heron Lake, second is the Ontario Lake, third is the Michigan, fourth is the Erie Lake, and fifth is the Superior. These great lake five lakes make the Niagara River, and the river takes the falls from there.”

“My name is Micky Singh. I’m the owner of the Punjabi Hut. The influx of Indians is just increasing, and increasing, more, and more. That’s why the amount, there’s like ten restaurants in like a mile block, and they’re all successful.”

“In India everyone speaks about, whenever you talk about America, they only speak about Orlando, Florida, and Niagara.”

“We have to tick it off like OK we’ve been there, been there, done that. And of course, it is one of the wonders, so it’s always, everybody wants to visit it.”

“We have seen in the Hollywood pictures maximum, it’s OK, it’s US, it’s New York, it’s Niagara Falls. We can’t believe that we are here. Very much full of happy my heart, to see the Niagara Falls.”

“The water flows, like that sound was so like amazing, so energetic. You feel like touching that water. You want to go into that water and play. I was so amazed. It is so beautiful, the nature is so beautiful, you can see the example here. No man can make like this. “