Yuba City’s Rai Family on Punjabi-Mexican Heritage

By • Aug 2nd, 2012
Category: Featured, India, Life

Rais of Yuba City - Copyright The Kamla Show 2012Meet Mary Singh Rai and her children David and Leela of Yuba City in Sutter County, California.

Mary’s father Bishan Singh came to America in 1909 and married Ernestine Zuniga. They settled in Arizona and raised their 5 children. Their daughter Mary, a first generation Punjabi-Mexican married Lal Rai and lived in Yuba City.

In this interview Mary, David and Leela share their story about growing up in this small farming community. Yuba City is one of the early towns where Indian immigrants, mostly from Punjab put down their roots in California.

Note: The reference to Isabel in the interview is to Mary’s sister Carmen Isabel Singh.

Photo: Mary Rai with her children David and Leela.

Related Links:

David Rai: A Farmer’s View on Shortage of Food (podcast)

Dave Teja of Yuba City (podcast)

Desis in California - Dave Teja (video)

Desis in California: Prof. Karen Leonard

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2 Responses »

  1. I loved the interview with Mary! My daughter is half Mexican, half indian and it’s so interesting to see this was something that was happening so many generations ago. Nowadays we meet many couples who are Indian and Latin and it’s always so neat to see how many years ago, this happened too.

  2. Thanks Jennifer for listening and sharing your comments. Mary Rai had an interesting heritage and had so many stories to share. You may want to listen and watch the interviews with Mary’s children – David and Leela.


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