A Seattleites Guide to India

The chasm between Seattle and India is growing smaller by the day. New Delhi is one of the farthest cities to travel from Seattle, yet despite this great distance, more people from India are making the US home.

In 2016, India and China totaled 82% of the United States’ H-1B visas; India held 126,692 of those visas compared to China’s 21,657. The majority of the visas went to employees in STEM fields. With Seattle being a hotbed for STEM employers, the stories of Seattle and India are now inextricably linked.

Recently given the chance to travel to India, I jumped at the opportunity. Romance and allure are a few words that first came to my mind when thinking about India, but nothing I had read or heard about really prepared me for what India would be like in the flesh.

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Pike Place & The Hmong Florists

If you find yourself standing at 1st and Pike, cobblestone street beneath your feet and facing the iconic ‘Public Market Center’ sign, just to the right you’ll see another, more unassuming sign: ‘Meet the Producer.’ Most people don’t give this second sign a thought (even though it’s in the same number of selfies as the first sign) but it’s this second sign, and what it represents, that gives Pike Place its magic.

Pike Place opened in 1907, making it one of the oldest continuously operated public farmers’ markets in the US. It’s also ranked as Seattle’s most popular tourist destination and ranked 33rd in the world. The market is filled with the typical things: flowers, crafts, fruits, veggies and seafood (albeit it’s flying); what makes Pike Place special isn’t just what’s being sold, but who is selling it.

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