The Foundation of Indian Studies (FIS), a non-profit organisation which promotes India's contribution to the world, held its first India Heritage Day to mark the achievements of the Indian-Americans, and to celebrate its 10th anniversary.
The event was themed 'Our Roots, Our Voices, Our Heritage'. "It all began with the launching of the India Studies programme in 2006. In 2011, we undertook the Indo-American Oral History Project as there was no adequate record or documentation of the experiences of the first-generation Indian immigrants."
Founding Director Krishna Vavilala said. Steven G Craig, Interim Dean of the College of Liberal Arts Social Sciences at the University of Houston, explained how the India Studies program provides students with a minor and opportunities of studying abroad.
The 50 video interviews were conducted in partnership with Houston Public Library (HPL) and Houston Community College (HCC).
About 100 guests had the opportunity to view a short documentary of the achievements of the Indo-Americans and a selection of video clips from the 50 oral histories.
Dignitaries at the celebration included Indian Consul General Parvatheni Harish and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, who represents the 18th District. Sam Merchant, South Asian Liaison, presented a proclamation on behalf of Congressman Al Green of the 9th District.
Consul General P Harish congratulated the FIS on its achievements and promised continued full support and cooperation from the Consulate for "preserving the social, cultural, literary and artistic heritage of the community.
"Houston has become America's most ethnically diverse city, a model for the 21st century," Klineberg explained, where it will be possible to be more American by remaining Indian." The programme, which initially began with Hindi language courses and classes on Hinduism and Jainism, was expanded to 12 courses and is now funded by the university.