Where do I find first-generation tech immigrants?
October 24, 2007 2:54 PM   Subscribe

Looking to do a story on first-generation South/Asian immigrants in the South Bay area. Where do I start?

I'm a better photographer than a journalist, so I'm clueless as to where to start on this project.

My coworker came to this country working for a tech-company back in '96 with pretty much nothing more than $100 and a month's free rent. I'd like to meet up with people who are in similar situations, but in 2007.

Where would I start? I've asked my coworker if he knew of people, but considering he's been in the country for 11 years, he's pretty well assimilated, so that's probably a dead end.

Another issue is the approach. It'd be nice to have someone introduce me to them vs. me cold-calling them. I ride the BART from Fremont in the mornings, and there's a ton of immigrants there, but they don't seem approachable.
posted by hobbes to Society & Culture (4 answers total)
Why do they not seem approachable, do you think?

Most South Asian immigrants have visas and are more than willing to talk about what they are doing in the US. I would start by going to a temple, mosque or gudwara and asking if there were people who are interested in taking part in your project. You should learn where young, single South Asian men congregate together and then go there and pass out business cards, some of them will be interested and some will not.
posted by parmanparman at 3:16 PM on October 24, 2007

You could try geotargetted Google text ads.
posted by delmoi at 3:51 PM on October 24, 2007

I definitely think getting a South Asian person to accompany you (or even do the "subject finding" for you) is a good idea. A South Asian immigrant would be even better than a South Asian American (i.e., an American-born person of South Asian descent).
posted by Rykey at 6:49 PM on October 24, 2007

My husband is a south asian immigrant, and loves to talk about his experiences and background, especially with North American natives, who generally aren't very interested. His friends do too. Good places to find him and his buddies from home as a group (and we're not in the bay area) might be Bangladeshi fast food restaurants; those small offices that do visa applications, notary, photocopies and a million other things; city parks with their families on public holidays; halal butchers; Bengali barber shops. Those are typical "Saturday morning with some free time" places, obviously they all scatter for work. You could also try placing an ad in some of the ethnic newspapers, of which there are many.

And my husband has lived in N.America for 18 years now, and is still very plugged into the Bengali communities in Toronto and NYC, so don't dismiss your friend so easily.

Their female peers, in my experience, are a little harder to pin down as they're always busy.
posted by jamesonandwater at 6:54 AM on October 25, 2007

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