American Subcultures: Indian-Americans

World to the Wise Podcast

If you’ve been listening for any length of time to this podcast, you know it has a decidedly international flavor, and unapologetically so! Today, however, I’m excited to announce a new series that comes closer to home — to my home, that is — the United States. The American experiment is comprised of dozens and dozens of ethnicities, we all know that. It is also a vast nation, each region with its own distinct flavor. But the effects of globalization are being felt even at home, as our media-driven culture takes us more and more toward homogeneity.  Is this is a good thing? Or should we work to preserve the things that distinguish each particular group. Today we begin a look into the different subcultures of the United States. A subculture, by definition, is “a group having social, economic, ethnic, or other traits distinctive enough to distinguish it from others within the same culture or society.” ( So we’re not just talking about ethnic or geographic subcultures — there are lots of other things, such as common interests and passions, that bring people together. You might be surprised by some of the subcultures we’ll visit.


Today, we begin this learning adventure with a glimpse into the Indian-American subculture. No, I don’t mean Native American, I mean Indian as in from India. (The US Census Bureau uses the term "Asian Indian" to distinguish this group from the indigenous peoples of the Americas, but we’re trying to encourage the move AWAY from calling Native Americans Indians.)

There are over 2 million Indian-born immigrants who now call the US home, and in 2014 they were the largest group to immigrate to the United States with over 147,000.

I’d like you to meet Pravin Philip Cherukara, a senior software engineer, and his wife, Fiona Dsouza Cherukara, a freelance bookkeeper. I sat down with them this week via Skype to hear their story and learn a little about the US through the eyes and experiences of an Indian couple. You'll hear them tell of their initial impressions of life in these United States, as well as debunk some common misconceptions about their homeland and the Indian people.

As always, your feedback is welcome. Just email us at, including any suggestions YOU might have of a specific subculture in the United States that you think we should learn more about.