WASHINGTON, Feb. 26 -- Rep. Ami Bera, D-Calif. (7th CD), issued the following news release:
Congressman Ami Bera, M.D. participated in the Smithsonian's new Beyond "Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation" exhibit ribbon cutting this evening and presented the Smithsonian with a framed entry into the Congressional record recognizing them for their support of the Indian American community. The exhibit, on display at the National Museum of Natural History, and presented by the Smithsonian's Asian Pacific American Center, opens to the public on February 27.
"As a first-generation Indian American born and raised in California, I am here today largely because of the Indian Americans of my parent's generation who paved the way with their dedication to hard work, education, and family," said Bera, who is the only Indian America in Congress. "Indian Americans have become integral to the fabric of American life, and I'm so glad that the Smithsonian is recognizing this remarkable community's contributions to our country."
The new exhibit examines the daily experiences of Indian Americans, and highlights the impacts they've had on our nation, from breakthroughs in medicine and technology to the election of Dalip Singh Saund, the first Asian-American member of Congress elected in 1956. It is the first exhibit of its kind to explore the Indian American experience and celebrate the history and achievements of this community's political, professional, and cultural contributions to American life and history. Highlighted artifacts include a dress worn by First Lady Michelle Obama designed by Indian American Naeem Khan; the 1985 National Spelling Bee trophy awarded to the first Indian American winner, Balu Natarajan; and Mohini Bhardwaj's 2004 Olympic Silver Medal for gymnastics.
"Beyond Bollywood" is the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center's largest exhibition and will be on display on the second floor of the National Museum of Natural History for at least one year. It will then travel around the country to libraries, museums, universities and community centers as a part of the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service beginning May 2015 for up to five years.
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