Deaf South Asian Americans: Karthik’s First Days in America

Karthik_FirstDaysKarthik Sethuraman was born in Madras, and moved to Oklahoma City at the age of 20. He has also lived in Las Cruces, NM and most recently, Los Angeles, CA. Currently Karthik works as an IT Specialist in Washington, DC. He grew up communicating in Tamil and English with family and friends in India. He learned American Sign Language after moving to Oklahoma City, when a pastor used to drive him to church to meet other deaf folks in the community. He has incredible stories, for better or for worse, from his experiences in India and as a new immigrant in the US. You can learn more about Karthik in this previous interview.

This is another video in a series of stories I’m collecting, documenting the experiences of the Deaf South Asian American community in Washington, DC. These stories are a part of the permanent collection with the South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA). While these interviews do not represent the entire community, they certainly offer some insight.

This story is part of SAADA’s project launch, “First Days” in which South Asian Americans describe their unforgettable experiences upon arriving and settling in the US.

In this video, Karthik describes an unforgettable but funny experience he had at O’Hare airport in Chicago, barring some tricky advice from his aunt back home.

Check out his story:

And more on Karthik’s personality:

Name: Karthik Sethuraman

Where are you from? : Los Angeles, CA by way of Southwest US and Madras, India

Madras born and bred. Came to the states at 20 yrs old and have been here since. My foot is nailed to this ground ;)

What do you do?

Following our glorious desi tradition of trying to mint lots of money quickly, safely, and most of all lazily. (IT Specialist)

Why do you feel these interviews should be included in SAADA’s permanent collection?: I am desi too yo!

**Special thanks to: Robbie Sutton for his help with this project!