My name is Seetha Poovaiah.

"We went to the Empire State Building, that was the tallest building at that time. It was very interesting to see the whole of New York City."

Coorg, India

East Lansing, Michigan


Pullman, Washington



Hello, it's Naina! When did you move here?
I moved here in 1970.

Okay, now, tell me about... when did you come... in the area here?
We flew all the way from India through Europe to Michigan.

What was the very first day like? What did you do on that very first day?
Before we flew into Michigan we were in Boston and for the very first time in my life I saw snow everywhere. And that scared me! It was very, very cold just looking at it. And when we landed in Michigan it was snow and a lot of snow. I was very, very cold and we were not prepared for it.

How was the first place lived? How did it feel like in the first place you lived?
Well, after we landed in Detroit, Michigan, we had some problems with the immigration people, but the airline people were very nice to us. They helped us a lot. And then we had somebody to pick us up. We went to East Lansing. That's where Michigan State University is. And we lived there in Michigan state for two years.

And, um... did your friend pick you up? Who picked you up?
A professor from the University came and picked us up.

What were some new things in America that were interesting?
It was a cultural shock coming from India. The first problem I had was even though I spoke very good English I had a problem accepting American accent. Watching news I couldn't understand them in the very beginning. But then I got accustomed to listening more and more I knew what they were talking about. People were different, because in India before we moved we saw only Indians, but here only American people.

What were the first American foods that you had? And, did you like them?
Probably Kentucky Fried Chicken. I liked it. We never ate beef... so we never tried beef.

What were you thinking America would be like? Was it the way you thought it would be?
America is a really really big country, I realized. It's just...

Did you miss India?
Yes, I did miss India and coming away for the first time from family. My husband and I were just married and he made me very comfortable.

What were some of the fun things you did when you came?
Walking around in the snow! That was a fun thing to do.

What was your favorite thing and what was your favorite place that you saw?
When we were in Michigan we traveled quite a bit in Michigan and saw a lot of interesting places. We traveled to Macninac Island which was very nice. We traveled from Michigan all the way to Florida and saw a lot of places on the way. To Washington D.C., Pennsylvania.

What was it like there in those places?
It was interesting. I heard about all of these places while I was in India, but seeing it was a different experience. It was really interesting. We also went to New York City.

And what was it like in New York City? What was it like for you?
Tall buildings. We went to the Empire State Building, that was the tallest building at that time. It was very interesting to see the whole of New York City.

When did you finally get to go back to India?
From Michigan we stayed two years and then we moved to Indiana where my husband was working at Purdue University. From there we went after five years we went to India.

What was that first visit home like?
It was exciting to see all of our relatives.

What's the best thing about living here now?
The best thing is seeing all of the places in this country, making new friends. So, this has become like home for me.