The value of hard work cannot be substituted with anything in this world.: Becoming Minnesotan

Deepak Nath, c.1999.
  • Name - Deepak Nath
  • Age at interview - 23
  • Gender - Male
  • Generation - Second Generation American
  • Date of Interview - 03.20.1997
  • Class, School of India for Languages and Culture (SILC), April 13, 2002.

    Class & Work

    Asian Indian, Education, Family

    Essential Question

    Life in the Old Country: What makes a country a person’s homeland?

    Class & Work: How important is work in defining a person’s identity?

    Words to look for


    Background Information

    India’s economy has often struggled over the past 100 years.  Under British rule, they lost much of their wealth as the British destroyed the local economy to fuel its Industrial revolution.  Even after gaining its independence from Great Britain in 1947, it took many years for India to build up its economy. 

    Because India is such a huge country with so many different ethnic groups, there was a lot of competition for the few jobs.  Indian people have had to work hard in order to succeed in school and find work to support family.  Some Indians have also made the difficult decision to move away from family to find better jobs.  In the U.S. they have had to organize their own communities that can provide a support system, since they don’t have their important family support system that they would have had in India.  For all of these reasons, Indians are known for being highly motivated and hard workers.  

    To learn more about Asian Indian history and culture, visit our Asian Indian Community page.

    • Chapter 1

    Download Deepak Nath 3
    1:52 Minutes | 1.79Mb


    Narrator: Deepak Nath (DN)

    Interviewer: Polly Sonifer (PS)

    PS:  When you think about your own future, what are the values that your parents held dear that you want to continue to embrace for yourself personally?

    DN:  Personally? The value of hard work, I think, cannot be substituted with anything in this world. I think that's the biggest deficiency in most people's - in the majority of the world, the lack of ability or desire to work hard, especially in this society where immediate gratification is so stressed and so desired that no one realizes what hard work even means.

    I think those are the two most important words in my vocabulary. I've seen that both by being taught and by example, not just my father, but specifically and most importantly my father. You put a hard day's work in, you do feel better about yourself. And it's a lot easier to complain than to actually go out and change your life or change your situation by working hard.

    I think the value of family and the core of family values and the love there and that whole system is another value that I definitely would like to continue in my personal life.  That family system really gave me a lot of strength, and that's another value that I'd like to keep to go in my life.

    education, of course, is going to be a strong part of my life from here and to my kids and hopefully to their kids, too, that there's no substitution, because we're all in one big learning cycle, because that's never going to stop. But your education has to continue, and if you become lackadaisical at any point, you're going to lose touch.

    Related Glossary Terms


    Noun:  Inadequacy or incompleteness; missing something.


    Verb:  To accept fully.  (embraces, embracing, embraced)


    Noun:  The act of pleasing the mind or the appetite; that which affords pleasure; satisfaction; enjoyment; fruition: delight.


    Adjective:  Happening quickly with no delay.


    Adjective:  Showing no interest or enthusiasm.


    Verb:  To emphasize as important; to highlight.  (stresses, stressing, stressed)


    Noun:  A replacement for something else.


    Noun:  The quality that makes something desirable or valuable; the degree of importance one gives to something. 

    Verb:  To regard highly; think much of; place importance upon.  (values, valuing, valued)


    Noun:  A collection of guiding, usually positive principles; what one deems to be correct and desirable in life, especially regarding personal conduct.


    Minnesota Historical Society. Becoming Minnesotan: Stories of Recent Immigrants and Refugees. September 2010. Institute of Museum and Library Services. [Date of access].
    nid: 594