Thursday, April 3, 2014, Noon to 1:30 pm
Multicultural Lounge, 161 Millett
This documentary is a multi-generational portrait of pioneering Punjabi-Mexican families who settled, a century ago, in Southern California's Imperial Valley. This film tells the touching and inspirational story of a community that grew out of a struggle for economic survival in the face of prejudice. By 1910, close to 5,000 men from Punjab found jobs in the American West. These men had journeyed across the ocean to earn enough money to return to their home country of India. However, poor wages and working conditions convinced them to pool their resources, lease land and grow their own crops. A number of the men settled in the Imperial Valley, just north of the Mexico border, where they used water from the Colorado River to irrigate the desert, a way of farming familiar to them from their homeland. As the men prospered, they wanted to marry and settle down, though immigration laws forbade importing brides from India. So the men turned to the Mexican women working in the fields who, much like the women back home, covered their heads and bodies from the blazing sun. The stories are told with affection and pride by their children and grandchildren.