Monday, August 23, 2004

Immigrant Patterns-Edison

Immigrant patterns are such that newly arriving immigrants often flock to locals in which many of their former country-men have settled. As a result, various ethnic ghettoes are created--Chinatowns, Little Italies, and of course Little Indias. One of the more well known Little Indias is in Edison, NJ, the home of Oak Tree Road, Sukhadia Sweets, and the Subzi Mandi grocery store that my mother drives three hours to frequent. Anyway, somewhat along these lines, The New Jersery Star Ledger has run an interesting peice on the desi community in Edison.

The Asian population in Edison climbed 1,175 percent over two decades: from 2,245 residents in 1980 to 28,634 in 2000. In Woodbridge, the number of Asian residents increased by 1,025 percent over the same time frame, from 1,251 to 14,078 residents, according to the 2000 U.S. Census. Magan Patel, a 64-year-old Edison resident who immigrated to New York 33 years ago, trekked home after the parade yesterday with an Indian flag swinging beside an American flag. Patel said he carried both flags to signify the synthesis of his Indian values with the job and educational opportunities he has discovered in America. "I am a U.S. citizen since 1978," Patel said. "My family's here. We live good here. I consider (myself) American."


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