South Asia Community

General Information

History

The South Asians living here, mostly from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, now include over 3000 families, excluding international students, and are quite diverse. They are multiethnic, multilingual, and multi-religious. They are widely scattered over the six counties in and around Pittsburgh. The majority of the South Asian families in the Pittsburgh region are from India. They are mostly professionals (physicians and surgeons, industrial researchers, management professionals, and university teachers) and entrepreneurs (IT, high technology, and traditional manufacturing).
South Asians started arriving in the United States (including Southwestern Pennsylvania) in the mid 1960s as university students, post-docs, and healthcare professionals. After their studies and internships, many decided to settle down here. The major national and ethnic groups from South Asia have organized active community associations.

Arts (film, dance, music)

The South Asian arts scene in Pittsburgh is vibrant. Many high-caliber musicians and dancers routinely give recitals in mainstream auditoriums, universities, and religious centers. 

  • Dance and Music: The Center for Performing Arts of India (www.univ-relations.pitt.edu/india3/)
    Center for the Performing Arts of India
    University of Pittsburgh
    559 Salk Hall
    Pittsburgh, PA 15261
    Phone: 412-648-8582
     
  • Dance: Srishti Dances of India (www.srishtidances.org)
    The rich traditions of the ancient classical dances of India are celebrated by this acclaimed dance company.  Srishti is renowned for its moving classical presentations which are based in the sculptural and liquid Eastern Indian Odissi style and angular and staccato Southern Indian Bharatanatyam style. Founded in Pittsburgh in 1995, Srishti is now based out of Ann Arbor, Michigan.  The company still plays regularly in Pittsburgh, and tours its critically acclaimed works nationally as well as in India.  Vested in propagating and preserving the ancient temple dance traditions, the company has far reaching educational and outreach programs, giving the company a prominent presence in the Southwestern Pennsylvania region as an artistic and cultural resource.
    Pitt Arts: Srishti Dances of India
    414 South Craig Street, #280
    Pittsburgh, PA 15213
    Phone:  412-805-3057, 734-223-5615
     
  • Film: New Ray Films (www.newray.com)
    Based in McMurray, PA, New Ray Films makes movies with Indian themes. The last film was The Journey, directed and produced by Harish Soluja. The next production is called Chasing Windmills. The story is set in the Himalayas.
    New Ray Films
    P.O. Box 1335
    McMurray, PA 15317
    Phone:724-969-2565
     
  • Radio: 'Music From India’ (http://www.wduq.org/music-from-india.html)
    Sundays, 7-9 pm. WDUQ 90.5 FM.
    Music from India is one of DUQ's longest running programs and the only Indian music program in the tri-state region; hosted by Dr. Vijay Bahl and Harish Saluja. Both hosts bring a unique artistic perspective to the program.  The station airs some of the best Hindi film songs, and occasionally airs classical Indian music.
     
  • Asian Arts and Culture: Silk Screen (http://www.silkscreenfestival.org/)
    Silk Screen's goals include educating communities about Asian and Asian-American history, culture, experiences and issues, fostering understanding across lines of race, ethnicity, religion, age, and region, and sustaining growth and encouraging excellence in Asian American culture.
    In May 2006, Silk Screen held its first annual Asian-American Film Festival. This was the first event of its kind in the Pittsburgh region. The Festival has continued as an annual event; information about the past and upcoming festivals can be found on Silk Screen’s website.
    Silk Screen: Asian American Film Festival
    424 South 27th Street, Suite 203
    Pittsburgh, PA 15203
    Phone: 412-322-4872
     
  • In addition to these resources, local temples such as S.V. Temple organize Indian dance, yoga, and music classes throughout the year.  (www.svtemple.org)
     
  • Information about South Asian cultural activities may also be found in the Pittsburgh Patrika, and English language quarterly. (http://www.pittsburghpatrika.com/)
     
  • A website that provides links to many other resources on South Asian life in Pittsburgh. (http://www.PittsburghIndian.com)

 

Professional Associations

Network of Indian Professionals- Pittsburgh (NetIP) (http://netip-pittsburgh.org/)
NetIP-Pittsburgh is a non-profit organization and a chapter of The Network of Indian Professionals of North America. The organization is dedicated to the overall achievement and advancement of South Asian professionals. NetIP’s primarily focus is to help South Asian professionals in the communities in which they live and work via:

  • Political Awareness
  • Cultural Awareness
  • Community Service
  • Professional Development

Over the years, the NetIP has become a leading international organization for young professionals – one that has been recognized by political, civic, and community leaders around the country. It has become the unequivocal voice for an emerging group of South Asians that are excelling in every aspect of society.

The Indus Entrepreneurs-Pittsburgh Chapter (TiEPgh) (http://pittsburgh.tie.org/)
TiE-Pittsburgh is a not-for-profit network of entrepreneurs, corporate executives and senior professionals dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship in the Pittsburgh region.

 

Religious Information

Buddhist

The Pittsburgh Buddhist Center (http://www.pittsburghbuddhistcenter.org)
The first Theravada Buddhist temple in western Pennsylvania, the Pittsburgh Buddhist Center (PBC) was established in 2006 to serve the needs of Buddhists and friends of Buddhism in the greater Pittsburgh region.
The Pittsburgh Buddhist Center welcomes people of all religions and faiths. You are welcome to visit us whenever the monks are available at the center. Because their schedules occasionally require their presence elsewhere, please call 724-295-2525 before planning your visit.
111, Route 908
Natrona Heights, PA 15065

Christian

Asian Indian Christian Church of Pittsburgh (http://www.aiccp.org/)
The primary focus of this church is to allow people from the Indian subcontinent—India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Singapore, and other neighboring countries— to gather and worship God and grow and mature in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. The church, however, welcomes all people. In fact, the church has begun to assume a multi-racial and ethnic identity.
Worship services are held every Sunday at 4:30pm.
1630 Greentree Rd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15220

Hindu

Sri Shirdi Sai Baba Temple (http://www.baba.org/)
Shirdi Sai Baba Temple was the first Shirdi Temple in the United States, started in the 1980s by Sri Panduranga Rao Malyala and his wife Mahalakshmi.  A 5’3” marble murthi of Sri Shirdi Sai Baba sits in the sanctum.  The Temple offers many Hindu services and sacraments, listed in the service section of the website. 
1449 Abers Creek Road
Monroeville, PA 15146
Phone: 412-823-1296

Sri Venkateswara Temple (S.V. Temple) (http://www.svtemple.org/)
Located in the Penn Hills suburb of Pittsburgh, S.V. Temple is one of the earliest Hindu temples to be built in the United States. Several types of religious services are performed at the Temple: Archana, Abhishekam, Sathyanarayana Puja, Kalyana Utsavam, Homa, and many others which are published under "Services", "Programs & News" menu items in the website.
1230 South McCully Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15235
Phone: 412-373-3380

Jain

Hindu Jain Temple (http://www.hindujaintemple.org/)
In response to the social and religious needs of a growing population of followers of Hinduism & other Indic religions, a 7-acre parcel of land was purchased in April 1973. Original idea was to build a center of worship, which can be shared and supported by all. The goal remains to provide for the Religious, Social, Cultural & Humanitarian needs of the community.
615 Illini Drive
Monroeville, PA 15146
Phone: 724-325-2054

Muslim

The Islamic Center of Pittsburgh (http://www.icp-pgh.org/)
The Islamic Center of Pittsburgh is the area's largest Mosque, providing services to Muslim and Non-Muslim communities in Western Pennsylvania, Eastern Ohio, and North West Virginia. Everyone is welcome at the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh. We hold regular prayer services five times a day. We also hold monthly dinners, lectures, and many classes that teach about Islam, Arabic, and understanding the Quran.  The Center was established in 1992, and is located in Oakland.
4100 Bigelow Boulevard
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Phone: (412) 682 5555

Muslim Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh (MCCGP) (http://www.mccgp.net/)
Founded in 1986, the MCCGP is a non-political organization which aims to serve the religious, cultural, and social needs of Muslims in the Pittsburgh area. It provides Sunday school for religious education of Muslim children, along with a mosque which is open every day for prayers. It is also a center which meets the social and recreational needs of families.
233 Seaman Lane
Monroeville, PA 15146
Phone: 412-373-0101

Sikh

Pittsburgh Sikh Gurdwara  (http://www.pittsburghsikh.org/)
The Pittsburgh Sikh Gurdwara serves the Sikh Community in the Tri-State Region of South-Western Pennsylvannia, South-Eastern Ohio, and Northern West Virginia. The Pittsburgh Sikh Gurdwara is located in Monroeville, PA.
4407 McKenzie Drive
Monroeville, PA 15146
Phone: 412-372-8890

 

Cultural Organizations

Indian

The geographic and linguistic subgroups within the Indian context - Bengalis, Gujaratis, Kannadigas, Maharashtrians, Malayalees, Pathans, Punjabis, Sindhis, Tamils, Telugus, and others - have their own social associations. Even with their strong sub-ethnic identities retained from ancient times, their "Indian-ness" helps them to come together socially, culturally, and also "culinarily."

  • Pittsburgh Chapter: Association for India's Development (AID) (http://pittsburgh.aidindia.org)
    AID is a voluntary non-profit organization committed to promoting sustainable, equitable and just development in India, by working with grassroots organizations and movements in India. AID supports and initiates efforts in various interconnected spheres such as education, livelihoods, natural resources, health, women's empowerment and social justice. AID raises awareness on developmental issues and supports many community development efforts in India.
    The Pittsburgh chapter of AID was started in 1995.  Today, the Pittsburgh chapter has about 30 active volunteers participating in various activities ranging from project coordination to planning fund-raisers.
     
  • Bengali Association of Pittsburgh (http://www.bengali-pitt.org/)
    A non-profit cultural organization of the Bengalis in and around Pittsburgh. The goal of the association is to preserve and practice the rich culture of Bengal among its members and others.
     
  • Gujarati Samaj of Greater Pittsburgh (http://www.gsogp.org/)
    Gujrati Samaj is a non-profit organization that engages in activities and cultural programs that promote Gujarati heritage, its rich culture, language and literature.
     
  • Maharashtra Mandal of Greater Pittsburgh (http://www.mmpgh.org/)
    Maharashtra Mandal, Pittsburgh, is a non-profit organization that represents and supports the Maharshtrian and Marathi community in and around the greater Pittsburgh region.
     
  • Pittsburgh Area Telugu Association (PATA) (http://pata.epata.org/)
    The Pittsburgh Area Telugu Association holds picnics, activities, and fund-raisers to support the Telugu community in the Pittsburgh region.
    P.O. Box 871
    Monroeville, PA 15146-0400
    Pittsburgh.telugu@gmail.com
     
  • Sangama - Kannada Sangha of Pittsburgh (http://sangama.110mb.com/)
    Sangama supports all Kannadians throughout the Pittsburgh area.  They host annual picnics, events, and fund-raisers.

Pakistani

The Pakistani Community in the Pittsburgh Region is well-established. In the 1970's the first group arrived. They were predominantly in the medical field since Pittsburgh, with its premier healthcare organizations, offered medical professionals many opportunities. But the corporate headquarters in Pittsburgh also attracted corporate managers, engineers, physicists, financial analysts, consultants and marketers who joined the growing community, which constitutes about 400 families.
Today, these individuals are active contributing members of the community. They are active in politics, humanitarian and charitable causes, and giving back to the community in which they live in various ways. Members of this group are parents and grandparents, and their children also have become established members of the community.

Demographically, the majority of the Pakistani community is in Monroeville and the North Hills and the others are dispersed in between. The community is predominantly Muslim and celebrates two major holidays-the holiday of Eid ul Fitr, following the month of Fasting (Ramadhan), and Eid ul Adha, marking the end of the pilgrimage of Hajj. Ethnic foods, music and parties are all part of the Pakistani heritage. This Community also established The Muslim Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh, in Monroeville, where many of the cultural and religious activities take place.

  • Pakistan American Association of Greater Pittsburgh
    A cultural organization for the Pakistani community. We get together frequently to celebrate various Pakistani holidays and sponsor various musical programs. For further information, contact the current committee:
    Qamar Baloch, President, 412-562-1647
    Sara Minhas, Secretary, 724-933-6004