SACRAMENTO – Last night, the Punjabi American Heritage Society held a book release reception for “California’s Pioneer Punjabi’s: An American Story” at The California State Library and Courts building. The event was co-hosted by Assemblyman James Gallagher (R-Yuba City), who was joined by several other Assemblymember’s including Dr. Jasmeet Bains (D-Delano), Ash Kalra (D-San Jose), and Jim Patterson (R-Fresno).
Assemblyman Gallagher and other members of the California State Assembly praised the book for shedding light on the important contributions of Punjabi Sikh immigrants in California’s history and present-day society.
Gallagher said, “I feel a personal connection to the Punjabi Sikh community in the Yuba-Sutter area and this book truly resonates with me. It highlights the contributions and sacrifices made by the Punjabi immigrant community in California. It was an honor to be a part of this event and celebrate their legacy.”
Dr. Bains stated, “The importance of sharing Punjabi Sikh stories cannot be understated. The history of Sikhs in California is one of sacrifice, determination, and perseverance that resonates to this day. I am incredibly proud to be the first Sikh American elected to the State Legislature and thank the Punjabi American Heritage Society for their work in amplifying our stories.”
The book, written by Lea Terhune, recounts the struggles and achievements of the Punjabi immigrants who arrived in California at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. These immigrants labored in farms, fields, and orchards, facing low wages and racial discrimination, but still managed to put down roots in their new home.
The book also highlights the current contributions of ethnic South Asians in every trade and profession in the United States. Descendants of the first Punjabi Sikh immigrants from Yuba City to the Imperial Valley continue to farm and add to the rich tapestry of the Central Valley.
California’s Pioneer Punjabi’s: An American Story is available for purchase at www.pahsbook.com.
A photo of Assemblymember James Gallagher, Assemblymember Dr. Jasmeet Bains, and Assemblymember Ash Kalra with members of the Punjabi American Heritage Society including President, Dr. Jasbir Kang, is available here.