Indian immigrants celebrate their own form of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is just one of the customs immigrants embrace as they adapt to American society. KPCC's Adolfo Guzman-Lopez paid a visit to Artesia's Indian business district to sample the East Indian flavors of the holiday.

Adolfo Guzman-Lopez: Farm Fresh Market on Pioneer Boulevard is no different than most food stores big and small the last couple of days, explains owner Anita Hirani.

Anita Hirani: Since the weekend it has been busy, so you can tell that people are having friends over. They will be cooking.

Guzman-Lopez: Rice and lentils are popular. Susheel Wadhwani dutifully purchased everything on his shopping list.

Susheel Wadhwani: I bought a lot of Indian stuff – I mean, traditional stuff. This is traditional vegetables that we use; cilantro. I don't know if a lot Americans use this. Mints. We make a lot of sauce out of mints.

Guzman-Lopez: For many Indians in this country, Wadhwani says,Thanksgiving is just another day off. He says younger Indian-Americans born in this country are more eager to observe the day.

Wadhwani: But we, being the older generation, with our thoughts back home, we do not want to involve ourselves with that turkey and all that stuff. Because we have not been brought up that way.

Guzman-Lopez: Besides, he adds, many Indians are vegetarians, so a turkey's out of the question. His celebration will involve a few dozen relatives.

Wadhwani: It starts 6, 6:30, and goes on, people jabbering, talking, because they haven't met in a long time, it goes on 'til 10 o'clock.

Guzman-Lopez: That sounds a lot like a traditional Thanksgiving.