Punjabi American Heritage Society launches Sikh Pioneers Digital Archive

Punjabis immigrated to the United States nearly a century ago. Many had settled down in the western state of California. Their stories of bravery and heroism are unknown to the rest of the rest of the world. Now, the Punjabi American pioneers’ memorabilia will be housed in a digital archive to be launched jointly by the University of California, Davis, and the Punjabi American Heritage Society.

The Punjabi American Heritage Society was founded in 1993 with the purpose of promoting friendship and understanding with other communities and helping our younger generation getting connected to their roots. The Punjabi American Heritage Society is a nonprofit, non-political and secular organization. Sutter County is comprised of a significant number of residents having Punjabi roots. The Punjabi American Heritage Society tries to work towards meeting the diverse needs of our local community. One of our primary annual events is the Punjabi American Festival during Memorial Day weekend at the Yuba Sutter fairgrounds. People of all cultural backgrounds come to perform and take part in the festivities from many areas across California.

The archive – called the Pioneering Punjabis Digital Archive – draws upon private collections of letters, diaries, interviews and photos from many Indian American families in the Yuba/Sutter County area of Central California, Nicole Ranganath, a curator and historian at UC Davis’ Middle East/South Asia Studies program.

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