Interview with mom

Recorded November 29, 2017 Archived November 29, 2017 30:03 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: APP420480


I understand that was born in and experienced her childhood in different country. I want to ask her about how her everyday life was back then and how she might compare it to her present life in the U.S.


  • Thaniat Junaidi

Interview By





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00:00 My name is Daniel. I'm conducting this interview with Amina. A deal AKA my mother. This is happening in Chicago, Illinois, November 26th, 2017 on a Sunday.

00:17 So Mom, where were you? Born?

00:19 I was born in India. Was your childhood like in India?

00:25 Can you recall some of your experiences?

00:29 I used to stay with my grandparents.

00:34 I used to stay with my grandfather. He loves me a lot and then my grandparents took care of me, and I love my school. I used to go to a convent school, our school for you.

00:53 It was great. I still love you. Yeah, it was great. I love it has so many friends. We used to have lots of lots of fun. I love playing baseball there.

01:10 Baseball is an American sport. How is it popular in India? Who came? They had come from Europe and all that.

01:28 It's a Catholic School. It was Catholic School.

01:35 So, besides baseball, what was like the name?

01:40 These just run around. That's it. Yeah, we used to run around play tag.

01:50 We just have lots of fun. You have a lot of friends. I had lots and lots of the anime, most of them. Two of my friends live in USA, won in London. And and I think two, three in India, I don't know whether I start, I just am in touch with almost four, five of my friends. That's it. Long time in 1997. I visited India.

02:34 We came to us and 1993.

02:42 And then the last time I visited was 97.

02:47 How would you compare your life in the US to your life in India?

02:52 My it feels completely different since my two kids with very small. I just took care of them.

03:00 And then when we came here.

03:04 Then.

03:05 I used to work for some time. And then after that, my other two kids was born and then I was just a homemaker. That's it. I just stay home. Take care of all of this for kids.

03:27 So, going back to your childhood. What were some of your favorite memories?

03:32 Favorite memories.

03:34 We had a very big house and every weekend all my cousins, everybody that used to come, visit to play their enjoy and then the elders used to cook.

03:47 We used to have lots of fun. We had so many mango trees which we used to climb up and pluck. Mangoes.

03:58 Guava trees.

04:02 How is your life as a teenager? What did you do? Most?

04:07 As a teenager, not much because because my school was almost an hour drive from my home.

04:18 So it just to take time back and forth, please to take a bus.

04:24 The regular local buses. So it is to take a lot of time, almost 1/2 hours. Sometimes sometimes, one and a half hour that you guys have a car. No, we didn't.

04:40 I didn't have a car.

04:43 I used to go by bus.

04:46 Then.

04:48 My son has my dad used to drop us off on his bike.

04:57 As a teenager, what did you do for fun?

05:01 4 fun ways to play around mostly climbing trees and bees. And then, before in the house, will be had no permission to go out. Like nowadays, the kids go out.

05:20 Because in India during allow us to go out especially girls after coming from school. We used to always be at home.

05:31 Doing homework or helping her mom in the kitchen or something like that, but we didn't go out anytime. Yeah, because my school was so far away and going outside to have fun in a year. Every always ways to see one movie in theaters, action movies.

06:06 Can you give me the titles of some over there? Be used to see only Indian movies?

06:14 Can you name some for me? Sure, it was my favorite movie of us. Want to see? Don't even remember those times.

06:26 And then my McAllen.

06:32 Who is your favorite actor? In those days? It was Amitabh Bachchan and Samantha Parker, very nice hero. And heroine of that.

06:46 Miss love, miss you see them.

06:50 Do you like movies from back then? Or do you like the movies? You see today? They don't have any story. Nothing vulgar seems stupid dances.

07:10 Those those those movie the one which we used to see, had lots of what you say stories. It has my story over there.

07:22 So what are there? Any American movies at all that? You like?

07:28 Yeah, I used to see a lot of those funny movies with my kids. Usually I don't remember the names but when we came here my kids that used to watch those movies and I used to watch with them already, D Mosley.

07:47 I used to wash your ass to that time. It was switch. Sure. What was that show? The General Hospital? I love that Siri. What do you say?

08:04 Oh,. Yeah. Drama the General Hospital and then, yeah, it was. I used to come back from my job and I used to watch the movie there a shows that you watch today. Yeah, I know I do.

08:21 I like scandal.

08:24 And then I like the beach. What was the one that Priyanka Chopra was there?

08:33 Mom.

08:35 Quantico.

08:39 Is it because she is an Indian actress?

08:43 I was just seeing I like that cereal and then,

08:48 This way towards sometimes.

08:52 But shows that you watch in India.

08:55 Mostly dramas.

08:58 Most most dramas and movies.

09:08 Almost similar, but the movies are completely different before the movies, had some stories, but now these days, no story, this some violence or some dances and all that stuff. I don't like it.

09:26 Stop going back to your school life. You said baseball was your was what you played there. Most of the time was that the most popular. What was the most cricket cricket?

09:43 Yeah, but back then I used to like it.

09:52 Because the tickets are expensive that in those days on the TV.

10:03 Yeah, it was Imran Khan.

10:08 Imran Khan in Kapolei.

10:11 As a routine.

10:14 Do you like any sports over here? Oh, yeah, I like basketball. And then

10:24 Was that ice skating hockey. Hockey ice hockey?

10:30 And then, what else? I like? Yeah, yeah.

10:38 Why are some what are some of your favorite teams?

10:42 Chicago Bulls, Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers. And then what is the name of the Curry's team? Golden State Warriors?

10:57 Do they have these Sports in India? Because they have it.

11:07 Yeah, maybe no.

11:09 Because,

11:12 Back then. I don't remember playing basketball or not. You like this Sports better than Cricket. Do you like this American Sports better than you like? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

11:26 Why is that?

11:27 I like basketball more than I like Cricket now.

11:33 Who's who are some of your favorite players. If you recognize LeBron, James, Stephen Curry, and it was a truth about his injury is done.

11:59 So what like what were some of the first thing with what year did you come to America in 94? What were some of the first things you did? Like, where did you live at first? I will be there in Houston and after who did you live at in Houston maybe within a week or so. Where did you work was your first custom made jewelry?

12:32 And then I used to work. There. Was that your first job. I was it? I loved it. So lovable. I never worked in my life. That was my first job. We had to box jewelries.

12:53 And then Melody has taught me how to put in the orders in the computer system and all that.

13:01 How are computers near to you at the time? That was the first time I ever used, you didn't have access to computers in India.

13:14 So, how did it feel to being exposed to this technology?

13:20 A little nervous.

13:22 But so happy to see the computers and all that compared to technology today because we have a smartphone and those days and this time it's completely different lots of change.

13:43 But still, I feel when we were little when they used to it, when it is to rain, then we used to make paper boats and make it float on in the sink drain.

14:07 Do you feel like we're using technology too much today? And we should like, go back to simpler times because most of the time, my kids did on the smartphones. So you think they should be doing? I feel after coming from school. Nobody should have their phones.

14:35 They should be.

14:38 What do you have? What should I say? They should be more into the old times.

14:45 Going outside and do some taking a walk. This plane.

14:52 So being more social in real life then yeah, they don't talk too much. They are always on their phones.

15:04 And,

15:08 BS. Kids, we had lots of fun, but nowadays, you guys don't have fun.

15:15 Do you do you do you have sports in school that a lot of us plane?

15:23 And yeah, so going back to when he first arrived in the United States, like what was the first big change for you?

15:34 Hold the big change was seeing the big skyscrapers.

15:40 Then how is it in architecture in India and the city? Which we live didn't have so many tall buildings. No expressways. No Highway the huge Adventure. I came first. I came to Houston so they had was flyovers.

16:07 I love those.

16:09 Even you don't see you're in Chicago's.

16:12 That's,

16:14 They were nice freeways.

16:17 The loops and everything. Would you like to see any better in Houston or did you like it better than India, Houston?

16:26 After you came here to the US. Did you miss a lot of your family? My mom?

16:33 I miss my mom and dad.

16:38 My grandparents.

16:44 How old are you when you can do us?

16:48 I was 24 years old.

16:51 Was that before or after you were married?

16:55 After I was mad at my two kids were born. When did you get married?

17:03 In 1986. I was 16 years. I was in my 10th grade then.

17:13 Okay, so let's take a break here and we'll be back in a few.

17:18 So Mom, I heard you love cooking.

17:22 Yeah, I did love cooking but not anymore. Why is that?

17:29 Why is that tired of cooking them?

17:35 What were your favorite? Some of your favorite dishes are? No way better yet? How was like the food in India? It was good. That time. My mom used to make. Then after I got married, I started making and I used to get help from my mate. Also after my marriage. And then when I came here,

18:00 I used to go by myself and then most of the time because I used to work. I didn't get time to cook a lot then when we came to Chicago.

18:13 Then when did you come to Chicago 99? We came to Chicago?

18:19 And then after that,

18:21 I used to cook a lot and then started baking cookies and this and that and that I'm Indian stuff. I used to make a lot of Indian stuff that I made lots of friends. And sometimes my friends used to call me up. You still have a party, and sometimes I would call them. And then, to make Indian biryani.

18:50 So what were some of your favorite dishes to cook in India because I didn't eat that much. So what are your favorite Indian dishes? Brioni?

19:08 It's spicy Martin with rice. And then I used to cook chicken, kabobs, beef, beef, kabobs, and I used to fry beef, and then I used to make beef Curry.

19:25 Chicken curry, mutton Curry and then make lots of sweets to carrot, sweet bread. Sweet.

19:39 Do you like the food over here?

19:43 And I like, I like going to McDonald's Burger King.

19:49 So you like fast food? What's your favorite restaurant?

19:56 Fast food restaurant.

19:58 Ask for a password. I like KFC. I like McDonald's. And then in KFC I like the

20:18 Fried Chicken.

20:22 And then, we have lots of Indian restaurants here to Chinese. I go to Indian Chinese in the Chinese restaurant.

20:32 Are the restaurants that cook Indian food?

20:44 It's good. It's good to. Yeah, it's better because we didn't go to a lot of restaurants.

20:56 Maybe three four times. I've been to a restaurant in India, but not too much here.

21:05 If you aren't the one cooking, would you prefer home, cooked, food, or restaurant?

21:15 Restaurant food. It is good. Sometimes not always.

21:20 It's like everyday. You can enjoy the strong food home for you can enjoy it every day.

21:30 Outside of fast food. What's your favorite restaurants? Indian and Chinese into Chinese, Chinese food.

21:49 And then I like Mediterranean food, too.

21:53 So, where do you go to eat Mediterranean in Bridgeview? Dessert, restaurant, Carlisle body?

22:00 It has great food over there and then I love some. Do some of those.

22:06 What you said the Suites?

22:09 It's known as book, lava.

22:12 Australia code. Other forms, I think the food is the best food.

22:31 Even in India, had the Valley food is the best.

22:38 What restaurants near would you recommend the most that are Indian food?

22:44 Indian food.

22:47 Bombay Chopstick and then anmol. And then

22:55 Usmaniyah.

22:57 Sabri.

23:02 You said, you don't really I like vegetarian food to Mysore. Woodlands have good vegetarian food.

23:11 So you said that you don't eat at restaurants off tonight? So like, what special occasions were there that you go to eat at a restaurant special occasions like you pick when you people have your birthday, is sometimes my wedding anniversary or some days. Mostly when your uncles and aunts come, that time we go, right?

23:38 Speaking of your wedding anniversary. How is your wedding day? Like,

23:44 It was good.

23:49 Every, every everybody has a special day. That was my special day.

23:56 Authentic, sexy.

24:00 Not exactly. Because I know I knew your dad very well, right? Because he was my first cousin.

24:11 So, how would you compare weddings front in India? How would you compare to wedding supper. Things means, like notice weddings in India. And over here. They are doing a lavishly before, our wedding Feast simple.

24:35 We didn't have so much money spending on the weddings and all that decorations and the DJs and all that. We didn't have all those stuff that I'm

25:00 Yeah, if you have money, then that's okay, but spending too much money is not good.

25:08 I feel it. I don't know what it does. It's not good to have so much spending. Just one decoration another.

25:17 So besides it's better. You give it to somebody who needs it.

25:25 Is that one of your like family values? Giving to the poor lavish weddings and all that? These people should donate them?

25:41 Don't let the money. Yeah.

25:46 Like,

25:48 Outside of weddings, like what other cultural differences found out you

25:55 Besides the way like what other cultural differences, stand out to you between America and India?

26:06 Because in those days, usually girls, girls and even boys, they didn't used to go around too much.

26:16 I'm over here. Yeah, I always hear. They got a lot of partying the gomovies.

26:23 Operencia, our parents didn't take us that much. So, whatever we did is we did at home.

26:32 You think it's good that over here, like boys and girls that gets have more freedom or no?

26:43 You should.

26:46 You shouldn't have too much free time to, that's bad.

26:53 You have you should goats sometimes but not always.

26:59 One more time. I spend more time with the family.

27:08 With your brothers.

27:11 My other sister.

27:14 And then, what does deficiency?

27:20 Specially, I find.

27:23 In India, the kids were more well-mannered than over here.

27:32 So because in school so they didn't have what you say. They always very quiet as the teacher entered the class. They was they always used to be pindrop silence.

27:48 India. Yeah.

27:51 So you think they should imply that here? They should have respect. I don't see respect the respect, we have for our teachers. I don't see the respect nowadays, these kids have

28:04 You think that's the kids fault? Or is that just the school system spot? Maybe the system over here?

28:12 Because what they're it with David that Isabel is so strict and we used to get scared, even to talk to them. The kids over here. They're talking to the teachers. That's nice, but I think on the way to behave sometimes I don't like

28:35 So like what are some other things that are implemented in India that like you think we should have here in the US?

28:46 Well, I feel

28:49 I feel that they should have.

28:55 Joint family system. So what is that?

29:03 Cousin.

29:04 My uncles and my aunts all staying together. They had kids, envy, and all these Brave. In the big house. We all have feelings for them and then like sharing.

29:20 Notice kids over here. They don't have cousins or anybody, staying at the place.

29:26 Then.

29:29 We had whatever we have a little, we have to share with all our cousins and all the other kids. They don't stay with their new joint family system. Nothing. So they don't have any. So you think family should stick together.

29:51 Okay, so, thank you for your thoughts and feelings, and sharing experiences.

29:59 You're welcome.