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Old 07-20-2011, 04:36 PM
 
6 posts, read 166,561 times
Reputation: 18

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Me and wife are going to move to Dallas from bay area soon and wondering how it would be for an Indian couple to live in Dallas,TX and raise a family.

We've lived for nearly a decade in the San Francisco Bay Area but I got too good an offer to resist and my wife too seems like landing a nice job, so we both decided to transplant to Dallas for good.

Several issues I want forumnites to comment on:

a) Social life: Here we have as many White & Asian friends here as Indian.. people here seem not just "tolerant" but also "accepting" of cultural and racial differences... am sure the culture is too different down there and lot of racial segregation, but how bad is it ?? particularly in the desirable Plano/Frisco/ Richardson suburbs ?

b) Diet: A bigger issue is that we both are vegetarian, though we eat eggs.. maybe "eggetarian" is the right word..hehe.. how easy is it to survive on eggetarian options in Dallas say if we've to eat out everyday for lunch ?

c) Religion: We are both Hindus and religious type too.. a bit apprehensive about the aggressive Christian reputation of Texas.. do they teach creationism or bible in public schools there ? any choice is given to students to opt out of such classes ?

I did spend a couple of days in Dallas after accepting my job offer and found the following:

a) People want to talk to the point unlike in N. Cali where people are friendly and more relaxed.. not rude, but clearly unfriendly and distant... also, was feeling a bit invisible the way people act as if they dont like to notice your presence.

b) Younger people with southern accents are surprisingly much nicer & friendly - and have rosy notions both about cali and India/Indians (maybe due to bollywood, etc).

c) Though there is a huge Indian community in Irving, Texans dont seem friendly towards Indians. The Indian community seems to stick together and cut off from rest of society, either out of fear of being rejected or not willing to move out of comfort zone.

Its a huge step for us to move out of our racially integrated, comfortable bay area abode, so any honest input is highly appreciated !
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Old 07-20-2011, 04:47 PM
 
213 posts, read 757,310 times
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As far as food is concerned, you will find a lot of Indian restaurants where you can go for a vegetarian food. Plus these restaurants are spread all across the DFW area so no matter where you live, you will never be far from one.

I have been here for an year now and found Texas to be courteous and friendly. Even my friends from Baltimore and San Jose thought people smiled more here.
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Old 07-20-2011, 04:50 PM
 
Location: Junius Heights
1,245 posts, read 3,125,027 times
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Well if Richardson is a desirable area for you - as it should be if you prefer suburbs - you are very in luck.. There is a big middle eastern and Indian community there, including a strip mall @ Spring Valley and 75 that has a variety of Indian owned shops catering specifically to that ethnic group. Markets, restaurants, clothing, etc. Richardson also had dozens of Indian restaurants , so eating out would be no issue. I particularly recommend Pasand for sit down or Buffet, and Masala Wok for a more fast food option. Some of my best friends for over a decade were once residents of that area, now they have moved to Frisco. The Muilicks were a blended family, the father was Hindu, the mother Zoroastrian.

Throughout Dallas there is a sizable Indian and middle Eastern population, and several social networking groups such as the Network of Indian Professionals. They are; however, by no means an isolated group. Before moving to LA to continue his career, my good friend - the youngest son - of that family was a respected actor, Theatrical director, children's educator, and an active member of several Indian cultural and professional groups. Any time I saw him (which was probably a hundred times a year) his friends would cover all ethnic spectrums, and in all the hundreds of place we went together over 15 years of friendship, I can never recall an issue. He has often said he has more issues over being Indian in LA than he did in Dallas. We are good friends, and were often co-workers in the Dallas theatre community.
Oh and Creationism is NOT taught in public schools.

Welcome to the Metroplex.
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Old 07-20-2011, 05:07 PM
 
Location: Dallas
578 posts, read 1,319,863 times
Reputation: 639
Quote:
Originally Posted by movin2dallaz View Post
Me and wife are going to move to Dallas from bay area soon and wondering how it would be for an Indian couple to live in Dallas,TX and raise a family.

We've lived for nearly a decade in the San Francisco Bay Area but I got too good an offer to resist and my wife too seems like landing a nice job, so we both decided to transplant to Dallas for good.

Several issues I want forumnites to comment on:

a) Social life: Here we have as many White & Asian friends here as Indian.. people here seem not just "tolerant" but also "accepting" of cultural and racial differences... am sure the culture is too different down there and lot of racial segregation, but how bad is it ?? particularly in the desirable Plano/Frisco/ Richardson suburbs ?
Dallas is a cosmopolitan city and sees all colors and types. You will not stand out like a sore thumb. Sure some suburbs/areas are more diverse than others. But lack of diversity does not necessarily mean intolerance.

Quite frankly I experienced more segregation and prejudice in the western suburbs of Massachusetts in the early 90's than since I have been living in tne south (14 years in Atlanta and 2 months in Dallas).



b) Diet: A bigger issue is that we both are vegetarian, though we eat eggs.. maybe "eggetarian" is the right word..hehe.. how easy is it to survive on eggetarian options in Dallas say if we've to eat out everyday for lunch ?
Dallas has a gazillion restaurants/eateries and you will find plenty of vegetarian options just about anywhere you go. You are moving to the 4th largest metropolitan area in the US..not an obscure little town.

I did spend a couple of days in Dallas after accepting my job offer and found the following:

a) People want to talk to the point unlike in N. Cali where people are friendly and more relaxed.. not rude, but clearly unfriendly and distant... also, was feeling a bit invisible the way people act as if they dont like to notice your presence.[COLOR="rgb(139, 0, 0)"]I have noticed people here to be very friendly and curious about those of us who are recently transplanted. [/color]

c) Though there is a huge Indian community in Irving, Texans dont seem friendly towards Indians. The Indian community seems to stick together and cut off from rest of society, either out of fear of being rejected or not willing to move out of comfort zone.
[COLOR="rgb(139, 0, 0)"]My husband is of Indian descent. Most Indians we have met in the US like to stick together, and yes they isolate themselves from the locals. Most Indians we have come across who fully assimilate and live amongst all other races are usually either in a multi-racial marriage, or have been raised in the US. My husband has only had positive experiences here in Dallas. But often is asked if he is related to the golfer Vijay Singh![/color]


Its a huge step for us to move out of our racially integrated, comfortable bay area abode, so any honest input is highly appreciated !

I tried to respond in red under your original questions so please refer to the text above. I think you are worrying needlessly...Dallas, like just about any major city, will have its share of both welcoming/friendly people and those that are a bit less so. As a minority in this country I have found that if I am friendly, approachable, a good neighbor, and involved in my immediate community then people become very accepting of you no matter where you are.
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Old 07-20-2011, 05:10 PM
 
6 posts, read 166,561 times
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Thanks abpat and Macbeth.. I hope reality meets what you said above. Abpat, i was talking about veggie options in non-indian restaurants like we've in bay area.

Macbeth, a small tidbit.. Not to go activist on you, but there used to be an Indian restaurant by the name "Pasand" in Berkeley, but it was shut down after the owner was accused of slave trade, child molestation and exploitation of poor restaurant workers... that guy was so rotten that he even tried to bribe the judge before the verdict. Hope its not the same person who transplanted to Tx and started this joint. You can google it and find out about the case.

Anyway, based on our initial impressions, we've decided to live in University Park area near SMU campus to be closer to younger population rather than stay in Irving among secluded Indian community.. lets see how it works out.
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Old 07-20-2011, 05:14 PM
 
Location: Dallas
578 posts, read 1,319,863 times
Reputation: 639
Quote:
Originally Posted by movin2dallaz View Post

Anyway, based on our initial impressions, we've decided to live in University Park area near SMU campus to be closer to younger population rather than stay in Irving among secluded Indian community.. lets see how it works out.
Hey I live in University Park! Very little diversity, but people are very welcoming and friendly. I hope you come to like the area as much as my husband and I do.
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Old 07-20-2011, 05:23 PM
 
6 posts, read 166,561 times
Reputation: 18
Default Re: befriend

Quote:
Originally Posted by mami2emily View Post
Hey I live in University Park! Very little diversity, but people are very welcoming and friendly. I hope you come to like the area as much as my husband and I do.
Hi mami2emily... wow we r gonna be neighbors.. we both dont care about having to live amongst indians, even though our food habbits and beliefs are very indian... me and wife are always looking to befriend decent, like minded ppl from multi-cultural backgrounds coz its more fun to hang out with different ppl... your experience and words definitely help ! thanks for sharing !!
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Old 07-20-2011, 05:23 PM
 
Location: Junius Heights
1,245 posts, read 3,125,027 times
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having googled the truly despicable case you mentioned, it seems as though Pasand in Dallas was open too long ago to be the same people. Thank goodness as I would hate to have given business to those people.
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Old 07-20-2011, 05:34 PM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
2,346 posts, read 6,224,965 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by movin2dallaz View Post
..am sure the culture is too different down there and lot of racial segregation, but how bad is it ?? particularly in the desirable Plano/Frisco/ Richardson suburbs ? ...
Those 3 suburbs have Asian populations of 16.4%, 7.8%, and 12.7%, respectively. A rough estimate would be that 1/3 of those are Indian/Pakistani/Bangladeshi. Are the Indians "set apart" from the other ethnic groups? Not in my experience.

I'm not sure what gave you the impression that DFW would be a racially segregated place. The northern suburbs certainly aren't - you'll find people of all races located throughout all areas of the cities.

For reference, let's take a look at the US cities (250K+) with the largest percentage of Chinese-Americans.

1. San Francisco, CA
2. Honolulu, HI
3. Oakland, CA
4. San Jose, CA
5. New York City, NY
6. Plano, TX
7. Sacramento, CA
8. Seattle, WA
9. Boston, MA
10. San Diego, CA

One of these things doesn't go with the other, wouldn't you say? Now, I don't have numbers for Indian-Americans, but rest assured - there are similar relative percentages of those around as well. My point is this: In the northern suburbs of DFW, you'll find a ethnic composition fairly similar to what you're coming from.


Quote:
b) Diet: A bigger issue is that we both are vegetarian, though we eat eggs.. maybe "eggetarian" is the right word..hehe.. how easy is it to survive on eggetarian options in Dallas say if we've to eat out everyday for lunch ?
Believe it or not, there's a word for that: ovo-vegetarian. Richardson and Plano have a huge number of Indian and Chinese restaurants that could serve your needs, and you could probably find something off the menu from most other restaurants as well, as long as you stay away from the BBQ joints.

Quote:
c) Religion: We are both Hindus and religious type too.. a bit apprehensive about the aggressive Christian reputation of Texas.. do they teach creationism or bible in public schools there ? any choice is given to students to opt out of such classes ?
That's a sticky wicket, with no single definitive answer. However, in the ISDs of the northern suburbs, the curriculum is designed to respect the fact that a sizable fraction of the students are from non-Christian households. Specifically for Plano ISD, they offer an elective "Bible as literature" class at the high school level (with few takers), and the science teachers do a very delicate dance around evolution/creationism, largely ignoring the subject to avoid sparks in the classroom. They aren't teaching creationism, but they aren't teaching evolution, either. I don't think that's anything you won't find in most other parts of the country.
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Old 07-20-2011, 06:23 PM
 
3,464 posts, read 5,569,842 times
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There is no where else in the US that is going to be as diverse/open as San Francisco, but you wont have any trouble in DFW.

Quote:
Anyway, based on our initial impressions, we've decided to live in University Park area near SMU campus to be closer to younger population rather than stay in Irving among secluded Indian community.. lets see how it works out.
Lovely area...though you did choose the WHITEST area of Dallas, if that really, truly matters to you. White doesn't mean unfriendly, though.
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