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A Sikh IN USA 1950's
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A SIKH IN USA - 1950's


International Students Office arranged annually for the foreign students to stay with families in a small town Pine Grove. This was fun and in many cases developed into long term friendships. Swarn's hosts (Gensemers) were very affectionate and generous, even traveling long distance to celebrate his birthday and graduation with gifts. If one did not write for some time they would telephone to check if all was well. They even sent money for Swarn's Easter holiday to Florida and sent .A gesture of over generosity but they even sent gifts to Swarn's relatives in India. The latter created piquant situation as the recipient had to pay heavy import duty. On hearing this, Swarn's hosts mailed Dollar bills as compensation in an envelope to his sister, who of course, returned the money the same way - all illegal.

The University encouraged the faculty to attend professional gatherings to develop networking with the industry. Foreign students were warmly welcomed.

Turbans attracted attention whether one was on a stop over to get a car repaired or on business visit. At times it was hilarious to see the small town peoples' reaction. A waitress to whom one talked in good English but just to tease her we started reading the menu upside down only to be told that the Americans read English other way around. The waitress serving would be questioned in detail by others as to who we were. Our behaviour would be reported in minute detail. Children would come to shake hand feeling very happy thereafter. Every where one visited; people went out of their way to be helpful and friendly...

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