Her Bollywood dance routine before a national television audience won her a standing ovation.
The Christian Science Monitor reports 3.4 million people in the United States have family ties to South Asia.
80 percent of South Asians in America are Indian Americans. Most of the others originated from Pakistan, Bangladesh, as well as Sri Lanka and Nepal.
Nina Davuluri’s win is significant and a sign of mainstream acceptance in America.” said S. Mitra Kalita, author of Suburban Sahibs: Three immigrant families and their passage from India to America. “And it’s noteworthy that she danced to a Bollywood song because it’s an assertion of identity from another place. And yet that’s what makes her even more American.”
Indian Americans are also pushing their way into politics, both at the ballot box and their checkbooks with many of the wealthy in the community giving to their favorite candidates.
“So there is definitely an interest in being part of how policies are being shaped in this country, there’s an interest in wanting to enter government service and public service, and we’re seeing more South Asians enter fields of government, running for office, wanting to really give back to their communities in that way,” said Deepa Iyer, executive director of South Asian Americans Leading Together.
You can read more about the growing influence of Indian Americans in the Christian Science Monitor.