WBEZ | indians http://www.wbez.org/tags/indians Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Chicago, Cook County must offer ballots in a new language, but which one? http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-cook-county-must-offer-ballots-new-language-which-one-94116 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-November/2011-11-16/forOdette.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Election officials in Cook County and the city of Chicago are rushing to comply with the latest elections-related mandate from the U.S. Department of Justice: to provide bilingual assistance to Asian Indians in time for the 2012 election.</p><p>“We need to get moving and get this process rolling,” said Kelly Bateman, Assistant Executive Director of the Chicago Board of Elections.&nbsp;“The election’s March 20, so you go back a good six weeks before the election, if not more,” added Bateman, referring to the Republican primary voting date in Illinois.</p><p>Bateman and her counterparts at the Cook County Clerk’s office have just a few weeks to translate all written materials and publicity pieces for the election. They also need to find bilingual poll workers and interpreters for election day to assist Indian immigrants who are registered voters. This assistance is currently available to Spanish-speaking and Chinese-speaking minorities, which qualify under <a href="http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/vot/sec_203/activ_203.php">Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act</a>.</p><p>The <a href="http://www.census.gov/rdo/pdf/PrescribedFlowFor203Determinations.pdf">federal formula</a> to determine which language groups get bilingual assistance depends on the number of voting age citizens with limited English proficiency, and the portion with less than a fifth-grade education. Until this year, the U.S. Census Bureau considered the data every ten years. Going forward, the determinations will be made every five years, based on data from the <a href="http://www.census.gov/acs/www/">American Community Survey</a>.</p><p>Bateman says her office is well-versed in providing this assistance, but accommodating Indian Americans may present some different challenges. “There could be 50-plus different types of languages or dialects in the Asian Indian language,” said Bateman. “So we need to narrow it down to one language that is recognizable and understandable by the community.”</p><p>The three most common languages spoken for Indians in Cook County are Hindi, Urdu and Gujarati, but there are dozens more, including Tamil, Punjabi, and Telugu, to name a few. And they’re not all united by a common written script, as with Chinese. So Bateman and officials with the election office in Cook County are getting knee-deep into the data to learn which precincts Indian Americans live in and which languages they speak.</p><p>Bateman says even though the written materials will only be translated into one language, poll workers and interpreters can help with others.</p><p>Bateman’s office and the Cook County Clerk’s office were surprised that Indian-Americans were the next group to qualify for language assistance. Based on numbers from the 2000 population survey, they expected Korean to be the next language.</p><p>“People can see that influx of Korean-Americans. If you go to Glenview and Northbrook, and also the Niles area, a lot of Korean businesses are booming in that area,” said Sik Sohn, Executive Director of the Korean American Resource and Cultural Center. “So that’s why I think that we expected that the Korean language would be added.”</p><p>Sohn is happy for his Indian-American counterparts, but he’s disappointed that Korean-Americans did not qualify for bilingual voting assistance. Sohn wants to see the latest data, and says based on that, he might appeal.</p><p>South Asian organizers say language access will overcome an important barrier that many Indian immigrants face when voting. But Chirayu Patel said there’s a bigger obstacle. “I think there was a lack of connection in terms of my voting, how does that affect the issues that I’m facing?”</p><p>Patel registered South Asian voters on Chicago’s far North Side for the 2006 midterm elections. He said many of them cared more about politics in India than what was happening in their congressional district.</p><p>“I think the biggest thing that we did was make that connection in terms of why voting, even if it’s at the local level, why that matters in terms of addressing the issues that you have,” Patel said.</p><p>Patel says it’s great that the feds are giving Indian-Americans a better chance to voice their opinions at the polls. The question is, will they use it?</p></p> Thu, 17 Nov 2011 11:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-cook-county-must-offer-ballots-new-language-which-one-94116 Niagara Falls draws Indian tourists and businesses http://www.wbez.org/content/niagara-falls-draws-indian-tourists-and-businesses-0 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-November/2011-11-15/blown up.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>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. &nbsp;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.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: center;"><object height="404" width="614"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"><param name="movie" value="http://www.vuvox.com/collage_express/collage.swf?collageID=042b5eb2d4"><embed allowfullscreen="true" src="http://www.vuvox.com/collage_express/collage.swf?collageID=042b5eb2d4" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" height="404" width="614"></object></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>“Welcome to the Maid of the Mist Boat Tour and the Niagara Falls State Park, the oldest state park in America.”</p><p>“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.”</p><p>“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.”</p><p>“You’re like calm for about two or three minutes just trying to listen to that music of the water, again, and again.”</p><p>“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.”</p><p>“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.”</p><p>“In India everyone speaks about, whenever you talk about America, they only speak about Orlando, Florida, and Niagara.”</p><p>“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.”</p><p>“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.”</p><p>“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. “</p></p> Wed, 16 Nov 2011 13:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/content/niagara-falls-draws-indian-tourists-and-businesses-0 Ugandan Asians recall 1970s exodus http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-10-14/ugandan-asians-recall-1970s-exodus-93158 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-October/2011-10-14/ugandan asians.gif" alt="" /><p><p>In August 1972, the dictator Idi Amin announced that all Asians in Uganda had 90 days to leave the country. Amin claimed to have had a dream in which God ordered the expulsion.</p><p>The British Empire brought Indians to sub-Saharan Africa to do clerical work. Many South Asians in Uganda worked in the banking and clothing industries.</p><p>For the BBC World Service program <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p004t1hd" target="_blank"><em>Witness</em></a>, exiled Ugandan Asians talk of their traumatic exodus. Many were stripped of their wealth and struggled to come to terms with life in exile far from home.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 14 Oct 2011 17:21:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-10-14/ugandan-asians-recall-1970s-exodus-93158 Chicago scientist dates artifacts that may rewrite ancient history http://www.wbez.org/story/anthropology/chicago-scientist-dates-artifacts-may-rewrite-ancient-history-84190 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-March/2011-03-24/P1000205.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Archaeologists have hard evidence that humans lived in North America much earlier than previously thought, and a Chicago researcher played a key role in nailing down the dates.</p><p>The earliest North Americans were long thought to be the Clovis people, who lived about 12,000-13,000 years ago. Now archaeologists have dug up stone tools and debris from underneath a Clovis site in central Texas.</p><p>Steven Forman brought samples back to his lab at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He used a technique called optical dating to determine when the sediment around the objects was last exposed to sunlight. The artifacts turn out to be about 15,000&nbsp; years old, from millennia before the Clovis people. And they appear to provide a missing link in understanding how some Clovis technology developed.</p><p>It&rsquo;s not the first evidence of cultures older than Clovis, but Forman said it may be the strongest.</p><p>&ldquo;It appears to be that this might be kind of watershed piece of science in which people say, yes, there is really compelling evidence for pre-Clovis occupation in North America,&rdquo; said Forman, a professor of earth and environmental sciences at UIC. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s no longer a red herring.&rdquo;</p><p>The new find will likely overturn the history of ancient humans in North America. The results are out today in the journal, Science.</p></p> Thu, 24 Mar 2011 15:33:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/anthropology/chicago-scientist-dates-artifacts-may-rewrite-ancient-history-84190