I am probably going to become a citizen very soon, because I think now I am vested here.: Becoming Minnesotan

Nirupama Misra, c.2006.
  • Name - Nirupama Misra
  • Gender - Female
  • Generation - First Generation American / Immigrant
  • Date of Interview -
  • India Association of Minnesota Oral History Project 3 Celebration.


    Asian Indian, Citizenship

    Essential Question

    Becoming Americans: What does it mean to be an American?

    Assimilation: Does a person have to give up part of his/her culture to become more American?

    Words to look for


    Background Information

    It is very important to these first generation immigrants that they work to maintain the language, food, music, and other cultural practices from their home in India - and they want their children to keep up with these traditions. However, most immigrants become more Americanized as they are in the U.S. longer, and begin to adapt their way of thinking and their cultural traditions. All immigrants face the tough challenge of finding balance between maintaining their home culture and adopting certain aspects of American culture that will allow them to be more successful in the U.S.  Complicating matters is the fact that many immigrants, including Indians,  hope to someday return to to their native country.

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

    • Chapter 1

    Download Nirupama Misra 3
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    Narrator: Nirupama Misra (NM)

    Interviewer: Polly Sonifer (PS)

    NM:  I'm actually still an Indian citizen. When my parents became American citizens, I chose to wait. They tried to convince me otherwise, but I - one of my independent streaks coming out again. I wanted it to be my decision, and I have really gone back and forth, because there, in the past, up until recently, have been advantages. If you want to go back and work in India, it helps to be an Indian citizen. And I did have hopes and ideals of eventually doing, of maybe doing that.

    PS:  Do you have any concerns about the changes in immigration law, that you might be exported against your will at some point?

    NM:  Because I'm not a citizen?

    PS:  Mm-hmm.

    NM:  Well, I think I am probably going to become a citizen very soon. I think that's a decision I've made now because of the changes, partly because of the changes, but also because I think now I am vested here. You know, once you have children, I think things change in so many ways, so many ways. And I realize, my husband, my parents, my children, are all American citizens and this is my home, and I think it's probably a good thing that I kept my citizenship this long, because it did what I wanted it to do. It made me examine why do I belong here and what makes me belong here.

    Related Glossary Terms


    Noun:  1. A person that is a legally recognized as a member of a state or country, with associated rights and obligations.  2. A person that is a legally recognized resident of a city or town.  3. A resident of any particular place to which the subject feels to belong.


    Noun:  The status of being legally recognized by a country as one of its citizens.


    Verb:  To send or transport abroad.  (exports, exporting, exported)


    Verb:  To place or settle.  (vests, vesting, vested)


    Noun:  1.  A document describing a person's intentions for his or her property and money after death.  2. One's intention or desire.


    Minnesota Historical Society. Becoming Minnesotan: Stories of Recent Immigrants and Refugees. September 2010. Institute of Museum and Library Services. [Date of access]. http://www.mnhs.org/immigration
    nid: 613