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Old 12-15-2013, 08:14 PM
Location: East coast
613 posts, read 844,470 times
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Are they pretty similar, or from the same general waves/time periods of migrants, in terms of the diaspora or were different waves influencing the two countries at different times?

I thought maybe the Canadian communities might have some older generations due to British colonial influence, such as the Sikhs of BC, but there are also at least a few old communities in the USA too. Then again, most South Asian communities are still so far young in either country and British colonial influence probably hasn't been around since a long time ago in Canada.

How about a comparison between the two culturally? How have they contributed to the cultures of the two countries respectively? I recall the singer Nellie Furtado saying she grew up with South Asian friends who influenced her. In the US, you have Kal Penn and the guy from the Big Bang Theory. Would you say images of South Asians in the media are different in the two countries?

One thing I've heard is that in Canada, there are more working class South Asians, so you have more different stereotypes, ranging from Punjabi street gangs in Vancouver to comedians like Russell Peters whereas in the USA, many people have the image that they work in Silicon Valley or are engineers, or are involved in the motel business.

One thing that's cool I think is the contrast between Canada being a cold country, and the vivid culture, or cuisine associated with immigrants from warm tropical areas, like South Asia. It would make an interesting fusion or blend of cultures the way it develops.
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Old 12-18-2013, 01:42 PM
Location: Past: midwest, east coast
603 posts, read 672,176 times
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I'm an American but I travel to Canada very frequently, notably the Vancouver area. I used to visit Toronto a lot as well.

Canada's Indian community is mainly Sikhs who immigrated from Punjab. Most of them are lower-middle class who operate small businesses, but there are also a good number who are very rich and successful. I'd say the former are more common though. Also, in Canada the Indian community tends to live close together. There are also more problems with gang activity and drug use among the youth in the Indian community in Canada.

In the U.S., the majority of Indians are educated immigrants who come with IT or engineering jobs lined up for them, or they come to complete their graduate studies then enter the work force. There are a few U.S. cities that have a high concentration of Indians (notably the greater New York area, Bay Area, Chicago). The Indians here are from all over India, not just Punjab. There are plenty of south Indians, Gujratis, and everything in between. The majority of Indians in the U.S. are Hindus.

I'd say that the Indian communities in both countries have their fair share of differences. Many Punjabis (Sikhs especially) are very exclusive and do not like to mingle with other Indians, especially south Indians. There's a religious and cultural divide that comes with that.
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Old 12-18-2013, 07:29 PM
Location: Jersey
2,162 posts, read 3,235,162 times
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^The majority of Indians in the US actually immigrate(d) here through family sponsored preferences(especially before the year 2000) chained off of a relative that arrived back in the 70s or 80s.
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Old 12-18-2013, 10:11 PM
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Seatown absolutely nailed it. There is more diversity in the Indian-American community than in the Indo-Canadian community.
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