Friday Night Lights in the Dallas

A cricket batsman and bowler looked at each other across a brown grass field as the ornate spires of the Karya Siddhi Hanuman Temple anchored the skyline behind them in Frisco, Texas (AP). Players waiting to bat intently observed from nearby bleachers amid blustery winds. This does not take place in India, where cricket became a national obsession under British colonial rule. Try North Texas, where weekend afternoons on the pitch have replaced Friday Night Lights in the Dallas

Welcome to the new Solitary Star State, where cricket coordinates, a Hindu sanctuary, and Indian supermarkets coincide with Christian chapels, steer farms, and Jerry Jones’ Dallas Cattle rustlers domain. The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, located in the nation’s fastest-growing state, has experienced the highest Asian growth rate of any major U.S. metro area after more than a decade of expansion. Census Bureau. Frisco, a Dallas suburb, has seen growth that rivals that of Seattle and Chicago.

While certain Texans actually drain football, nowadays a developing number drain cricket.

I arrived in the United States in 1998, at which point I stopped playing cricket due to a lack of opportunities. Kalyan “K.J.” Jarajapu, a temple volunteer who was attending the Frisco-sponsored cricket league match, stated, “I saw somebody playing cricket in Plano four or five years later.” I had no idea that there would be cricket or a cricket world like the one I saw in India and here in (metro) Friday Night Lights in the Dallas.

According to the American Community Survey, the proportion of foreign-born Americans who are Asian has increased recently, rising from 30.1% between 2012 and 2016 to 31.2% between 2017 and 2021, while the proportion of immigrants from Europe and Latin America has decreased.

Foreigners from South Asia accept they’ve tracked down the best of East meets West in Frisco and other Dallas rural areas. They’re residing in a better-than-ever American dream, with admittance to their favored places of love, credible food, and a local area radio broadcast. However, the reality of racism, the pressure to strike a balance between cultures, and the mental health challenges of navigating an unfamiliar world are also present in the dream.

It started out as an agricultural hub and a train stop. It is now a major technology player in World News Spot Live. Toyota, FedEx, and Goldman Sachs are just a few of the companies that have attracted job seekers from far away, including a pipeline of IT workers from Hyderabad, India, which is a tech hub.

The formula for growth is set: good jobs, reputable schools, reasonably priced housing, and warm weather.

In 2008, followers of Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji who were based in Texas came together to buy a 10-acre (4-hectare) plot in Frisco and construct a modest Hindu temple there. It was hosting hundreds of worshippers within three years.

According to Jayesh Thakker, a temple trustee and joint treasurer for the India Association of North Texas, they were able to raise sufficient funds in 2015 to construct a temple of 3,065 square meters and 33,000 square feet. In order to ensure that every component reflected Indian Hindu architecture, nearly 30 artisans came with special visas. Friday Night Lights in the Dallas

Thakker stated, “They built it first as an American structure and then they “Indianized” it.”

The trustee and temple secretary Laxmi Tummala is also a real estate agent. In order to live nearby, many of her customers will settle for less.

“It doesn’t matter if that other thing I wanted will take me 25 minutes or 30 minutes away,” he said.

Not all newcomers are immigrants. According to the Census Bureau, more than 17,000 people from Dallas County and more than 8,000 from Denton County moved to Frisco and the surrounding Collin County between 2015 and 2019.

Los Angeles and Orange counties in California, with 1,600 and 1,000 new residents, were the primary sources of new Collin County residents outside of Texas.

However, Asia was the source of nearly 6,000 new residents in the area.

Additionally, the Frisco Islamic Center has benefited. By 2024, its board intends to increase the mosque’s size by more than twice its current 1,672 square meters (18,000 square feet). In 2019, the board moved to acquire additional space because 460 children attended Sunday School and over 3,500 people attended prayers.

The president of the center, Azfar Saeed, recalls that nearly two decades ago, on any given day, only 15 people prayed in a 37-square-meter shopping center suite that was 400 square feet.

Frisco was unknown at the time. Individuals were like, ‘Where are you going?'” said Saeed, a Pakistani-born individual. “People just started moving right and left here” in the year 2010.

Another change resulted from the pandemic. People from Chicago or California suddenly had the ability to live and work from anywhere. Houston saw a colossal flood of Asians somewhat recently, with the second-most elevated development rate after Dallas among major U.S. metros.

“It seemed as though people were thinking, ‘OK, I have a tiny house in California for $800,000 and I can buy a mansion here in Texas,’ the moment they went remote. Saeed said, chuckling, “Let’s go.”

Hate against Asians seems to be inevitable wherever there is a large Asian population in the United States. She struck them and threatened to shoot them as the unprovoked attack got worse.

Thanks to social media, people in India became aware of the incident.

The temple secretary Tummala commented, “It was very sad and surprising.” However, we absolutely do not accept that as proof that everyone in Texas is like that.

Some people have found ways to talk about their problems, like on the only South Asian radio station in the region.

Azad Khan founded Irving’s app-based Radio Azad in 2011, five years after he immigrated from Pakistan. The station plays music and talks about current events.

The number of people who listen to Radio Azad, which is in the hundreds of thousands, has increased with the population of the area.

CEO Ayesha Shafi started monthly mental health segments nearly three years ago, and listeners loved them. They have dealt with domestic violence, bipolar disorder, and assimilation.

Shafi stated, “You can talk about the issues you’re facing and actually hear somebody who is like you, who understands where you’re coming from and will actually listen.”

In April 2021, the murder-suicide of a Bangladeshi family in Allen, about 10 miles (16 kilometers) east of Frisco, brought depression to the forefront. Before taking their own lives, two adult brothers shot and killed their sister, grandmother, and parents. Since 2016, one brother had written about his struggles with depression on Instagram.

Shafi stated, “As parents, we find that anxiety has become so common, and it isn’t happening to just anybody’s kids.” They would realize, “Omigod, this is happening to our kids,” as we raised awareness and shared our shows.

Despite being born in the United States, Reena Yalamanchili struggled with a sense of alienation as a child. The 17-year-old, whose family lives in Coppell and goes to the Frisco temple, recalls children making fun of the lunch her mother made.

Yalamanchili stated, “It kind of made me feel embarrassed about my mom’s cooking, Indian food, or my culture in general.” Clearly, I no longer feel like that.

She believes that the majority of children develop out of those attitudes and that there is power in numbers.

She stated, “There are a lot of people in the same boat as me.” There are numerous cherished customs.”

South Asian cultures are blending into the Texas zeitgeist everywhere you look. At Tikka Taco in Irving, diners can order tacos stuffed with paneer tikka, lamb tikka, or tandoori chicken at the restaurant. The Frisco movie theater also shows films in Hindi, Tamil, and Telegu.

Indian politics occasionally spill over into the Dallas suburbs. This week, a large number of people demonstrated in front of Frisco’s City Hall on behalf of Indian Christians who claim that a group based in Frisco supports Hindu nationalists who are threatening their churches.

Holi, a Hindu festival also known as the Festival of Colors, is now celebrated jointly by Hanuman Temple and the City of Frisco. Powders of vibrant colors are applied by celebrants to one another. Additionally, the temple organizes health fairs, food donations, and other community services.

Tummala stated, “We don’t want to just be here and be isolated.”

You can track down a Diwali festivity in a few Friday Night Lights in the Dallas rural areas around October or November. The commemoration of light triumphing over darkness, India’s most important holiday, was observed by more than 15,000 people in Southlake’s town square. Even the police wrote a script for security officers to explain its significance to anyone who asked.

Shafi stated, “Five years ago, they would not have known what it was at all.”

Nearly half of the attendees, according to Southlake Mayor John Huffman, who spoke at the event in traditional Indian garb, were non-Asians. He attributes its success to the Southlake Foundation, a charitable organization established in 2019 by Indian immigrant Kush Rao. Cultural events and community service projects like cleaning up trash and providing city employees with free lunches are overseen by the organization.

According to Huffman, “I feel like they’re setting the bar in a lot of ways” and declaring, “We’re going to give back to the Public Works Department not because we’re getting anything in return but because we appreciate what they do for the city.” “They’re setting the bar in a lot of ways” They have made it a point to encourage their fellow South Asians to participate in the community.


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