Yuba City area began to transform around1880 as Sikhs from Punjab, India immigrated and married Hispanics.
Until World War II, only men could immigrate, and were forbidden from marrying white women.
Named for its five rivers, the Punjab's rich, arable land has fed the Indian subcontinent for millennia and remains a vital farming region today, in both India and Pakistan.
Northern California's own bountiful agricultural land and river systems reminded the South Asian newcomers of the land they left behind.
Ladies and Gentlemen, let me say first that I very much appreciate the invitation to address this audience and to join with you in celebrating the Centenary of the first gurdwara in North America.
A float bearing Guru Granth Sahib is followed by a procession of floats and devotees winding through the streets of Yuba City along a 4 1/2 mile loop.
I had driven from Syracuse University, in upstate New York, in a U-Haul van that contained all my possessions.
My first stop in Yuba City was the recently constructed Sikh temple on Tierra Buena road, where the granthi graciously welcomed me, and where I was a guest of the community for nearly two weeks.
ust to the north of Sacramento, California's state capital, in the fertile Sacramento Valley, is one of the largest Punjabi communities in North America.
Immigrants from South Asia's Punjab region began to settle in California more than a century ago.