Smithsonian eyes influences of Indian-Americans

Feb 26, 2014, 5:41 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) – Indian-Americans are doctors, engineers, motel owners and spelling bee champs, based on a few takeaways from a new exhibition at the Smithsonian.

Looking closer, though, curators are examining the history behind certain cultural stereotypes of this population of 3.3 million Americans. “Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation” is the Smithsonian’s first major exhibit to examine the history of Indian immigrants to the United States.

For more than a year, curators worked to borrow a dress made by Indian-American designer Naeem Khan for first lady Michelle Obama. The exhibition also includes an Olympic medal, NFL helmet and many stories of barrier-breaking Indian-Americans.

The yearlong exhibit opens Thursday at the National Museum of Natural History. It’s the largest program from the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center since its founding in 1997.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Smithsonian eyes influences of Indian-Americans