Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation, is a groundbreaking exhibition showing at the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) from February 27, 2014 to August 16, 2015.
The exhibition explores the heritage, daily experience and numerous, diverse contributions that Indian immigrants and Indian Americans have made to shaping the United States.
In this digital exhibition, you will find some of the key items featured at the NMNH exhibition, as well as some digitally-exclusive pieces.
In the western imagination, India conjures up many things: elephants, saris, and spices; gurus, gods, and goddesses; turbans, temples, and a billion faces drawn from ancient history, modern-day Slumdog Millionaires, and the pulsating energy of Bollywood movies.
But in America, India’s contributions stretch far beyond these stereotypes.
Our story starts with an Indian sailor who landed on the shores of Massachusetts in 1790, just 14 years after the Declaration of Independence.
It includes workers who built railroads out west throughout the 19th century and families who form the backbone of California’s farms.
And a lawyer named Gandhi, whose quest for Indian independence inspired one of America’s greatest social revolutions: the Civil Rights Movement.
Today, one out of every 100 Americans traces his or her roots to India. India’s fingerprints here range from flavorful food and flamboyant fashion to yoga studios, sites of worship, and breakthroughs in medicine, science, and technology.
From Silicon Valley to Smalltown, U.S.A., the lives and stories of America’s 3.3 million Indian Americans are woven into the larger story of this nation—and have shaped it to be what it is today.
This exhibition is made possible through the generous support of the following individuals and organizations.
Rick & Sadhana Downs
Kanu R. & Daksha K. Shah
Gautam & Varsha Chandra
Umang & Ruth Gupta
Asian American Hotel Owners Association
Haresh & Alpa Bhungalia
Amita & Purnendu Chatterjee
The Enfranchisement Foundation
Goldman, Sachs & Co.
Girish & Indu Jindia
Robert N. Johnson
Rohit & Joy Kirpalani
Anil & Sonjui Lal Kumar
Sunita & Dan Leeds
Network of Indian Professionals Foundation
Dr. Mahinder & Sharad Tak
C2 Technologies, Inc.
Sharda & Satish Cherwoo
Curtis Cox & Dolly Oberoi
Dhansukhlal & Anjana Desai
Ronak D. Desai
Dr. Rita & A.J. Gupta
Simi Singh Juneja & Tarun K. Juneja
Pradman & Sunita Kaul
Dr. Navin Mehta
David & Priya Menachery
Victor & Tara Menezes
Dr. Supratik Moulik
Shekar & Charu Narasimhan
Network of South Asian Professionals - DC Chapter
Udayan Shah & Barbara Ziv & their children
ST Paper, LLC
Bala Sundar & Lakshmi Bala
Almex USA, Inc.
Dr. Manohar & Beryl Bartakke
Stephen G. Baxter & Roshna Kapadia
Kiran R. Bhutani, Ph.D. & Ravi Bhutani
Boccasam Family Trust
Sushil & Kamla Chandra
Desai Family Foundation
Dr. Barin & Heide Desai
Drs. Jagdish Dhingra & Meera Mahalingam
Avinash & Vandana Ghanekar
Ashok Y. Gore, Ph.D. & Manisha A. Gore
Ranjay & Anuradha Gulati
India Forum Inc.
Radha Devi Joshi Family Foundation
Dr. Hemant Kanakia & Prof. Sonalde Desai
Banu A. Karimi-Shah & Rahul Shah
Ajay P. Kothari, Ph.D.
Law Office of Rupal G. Kothari, P.C.
Harsha Krishnappa & Smita Basak
Arvind Kumar, M.D. & Chitra Kumar, M.D.
Sanjiv & Rajika Mahan
Ketan & Juliet Majmudar
Ajay K. Ojha, Ph.D.
Maulik Pancholy & Ryan Corvaia
Nayan & Asha Parikh
Tushar Patel & Monica Shah
Shilpa Pradhan & Douglas E. Wilson
Gautam & Anjali Prakash
Rahul & Sujata Ranadive
Bhupen & Surbala Randeria
Saurashtra Patel Cultural Samaj - DC Chapter
Jigar & Khushali Shah
Shreedhar & Sonal Shah
Suresh & Neena Shenoy
Shri Yoga Vedanta Ashram, Inc.
Jayant & Yogini Shroff Family Foundation
Hakumat & Bindu Shroff
Dr. Rajesh & Chitra Shrotriya
Spice Tech Group
Vandana & Ravi Tilak
Ranvir & Adarsh Trehan
Deodatt Wadke, Ph.D. & Rupa Wadke
Jhamandas Watumull Fund
Curated by — Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center
With Support from — Smithsonian Under Secretary for History, Art, and Culture
With Support from — Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
With Support from — Smithsonian Office of Exhibits Central
With Support from — Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service
With Support from — Smithsonian National Museum of American History