The School Newspaper of Cherry Hill High School East


The School Newspaper of Cherry Hill High School East


The School Newspaper of Cherry Hill High School East


Edison provides a hub of South Asian culture

Sujata Choudhury (’25)
A crowd waits in line to enter the BAPS Hindu Temple in Edison, New Jersey.

The Indian diaspora is one of the largest in the world, leaving traces of India in all parts of the world from London to New York City. These mass populations integrate influences from the Indian subcontinent into these areas, from cultural nuances to cuisines. However, while one might think that larger urban cities contain most South Asian populations, Edison, New Jersey (just 40-45 minutes north of Robbinsville), claims the title of “Little India.”

“Any South Asian will recognize the name Edison. I guarantee that all of ushave at least one connection back to Edison, whether it be a distant relative or family friend,” said Anjali Sancheti (‘25), who travels to Edison frequently with her family.

“Whenever I meet another ‘brown’ person in another state and I mention that I’m from New Jersey, I’m always met with a ‘Do you live in Edison?’” said Tamanna Darji (‘24), who was born in and grew up in Edison for some of her life. With 28.3% of Edison residents identifying themselves as Indian American, according to the 2010 Census, it’s not surprising that the streets of Edison display apparent influences of Indian culture.

From the piquant aromas of its restaurants that line its streets to the bustling sari stores displaying traditional South Asian clothing in colorful fashion, visitors might believe that they were in India themselves.

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“You can’t find the stores in Edison anywhere else. I think that’s what adds on to its uniqueness,” said Sancheti.

And this statement rings true for many other South Asian students at East.

“Any time we go up to Edison, my parents will spend hours on end buying saris from Manyavar or buying spices and produce from Patel Brothers. I don’t blame them, though. You can’t find the same things sold at these stores anywhere else,” said Darji.

The selection of genuine Indian products only furthers Edison’s distinctiveness. These stores evoke a nostalgic connection to the homeland for many South Asians regardless of their age.

One significant attribute of Edison is Oak Tree Road. Nearly a mile long, it consists of Edison’s most iconic shops and numerousnationally ranked South Asian restaurants. Edison’s prominent diversity establishes restaurants of all different types of cuisines from Pakistani to Indo-Chinese fusion. These restaurants excel in creating a homely atmosphere, achieved through the authenticity of their food and the incorporation of cultural designs.

With its cultural vibrancies, it’s no surprise that Edison has coined the title of “Little India.” As a hub for numerous south Asians, its rich diversity and history only further demonstrates its distinctiveness and connection back to India.

“Going to Edison always feels like I’m going back to India,” said Darji. “It still
feels like home.”

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About the Contributors
Manar Hadi
Manar Hadi, Eastside Opinions Editor
Manar is a stubborn yet determined individual who loves to explore different cultures, communities, and perspectives. He is a junior and is arguably the best Eastside Print Opinions editor to have ever existed. Typically, you can find Manar staring at his Google Calendar, stressing over absolutely nothing, or laughing about nonsensical things. To him, anything that allows him to express his creativity and satisfy his endless curiosity is a thing worth pursuing.
Rachna Mohan
Rachna Mohan, Eastside Online Features Editor
Meet Rachna, Online Features Editor for Eastside. When she's not polishing articles, she's gracefully dancing the rhythms of Bharatanatyam, savoring the nuances of different cuisines in true foodie fashion and thriving on the beauty of a full-circle moment. Rachna aims to spark meaningful conversations, cherishing the beauty in life's little moments and diving into the challenging ones. Whether engaging in profound discussions or elevating untold stories, a cup of Earl Grey tea always helps, and decadent chocolate, too.

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