Since the first Punjabis emigrated from India to California at the turn of the 20th century, this population has carved out a prominent role in the economy, culture and identity of Yuba City, despite decades of laws that prevented immigration, citizenship and land ownership for Indian Americans. The Yuba-Sutter area boasts one of the largest Sikh populations in the U.S., estimated to be over 15,000. Back in Punjab, Yuba City is a desired destination where Punjabis of all religions know they can find friends and family thousands of miles away from their homeland. This city, rooted in agriculture, is an unassuming place where the American Dream, elusive to so many, is alive and well.
Written and read by Sena Christian