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Doing Time With Nehru

Voices of Deoli


Parallel Experiences Between The Chinese-Indian Internees and the Japanese-American Internees

Posted on September 24, 2012 at 7:35 PM Comments comments (0)
September 24, 2012.

This is the first time I'm writing a blog. I decided to do this now that my memoir is published. October 2012 will be the fiftieth anniversary of the internment of Chinese-Indians in India. I feel that this is very auspicious time. Coincidentally, this month is the sixtieth anniversary of the Japanese-American internment. There have been several events this month held in local libraries in the East Bay where a number of internees have shared their stories during those dark days when they were interned.

My husband and I attended a couple of these talks, one on September 7 with Delphina Hirasuna talking about her book on "Gamon —The Arts & Crafts from the Japanese Internment Camps." The other talk was on September 13 with a panel of four internees who shared their stories with us — the "Effects of the Evacuation Order 9066." It was the first time I heard, first-hand, what happened to Japanese-Americans when they were suddenly taken from their homes and relocated into internments camps.

It was quite a revelation for me, when I discovered my story was so parallel to those of Japanese-Americans. They went through the same kinds of emotions as I did when my family was arrested in 1962. For example, like them, I also felt ashamed for being put into an internment camp.I was humiliated, angry, and disappointed with the government, and with people in general. The Japanese internees, like me, didn't talk about their experience for three or four decades, not even to their own children. When talking about the internment camp they referred to it as "the camp". This is how my brother and I always referred to our time in the internment camp as well.