Chicago, Illinois, is one of the most culturally diverse cities in the United States. One of its best-known ethnic neighborhoods is Devon Avenue, the heart of the city’s South Asian community. For producers Ade Astuti and Susy Tekunan, VOA’s Jim Bertel takes us to this multicultural landmark in the American heartland.
Devon Avenue is a boulevard rich in culture offering many of the sights and sounds of South Asia. Abdul Sataar is President of Chicago’s Muslim Community Center explains. “Back in 1965, [or] around ’64, a lot of Muslims from India and Pakistan started migrating to the United States of America,” he said. “And, because of the fact that Chicago is one of the largest cities, most people came to Chicago. There was no Devon Avenue [Muslim community] at that particular time. And since the majority of the people settled on the north side of Chicago, eventually Devon Avenue [community] came into being.”
Today, Devon Avenue boasts the largest concentration of Muslims in the U.S., and the neighborhood’s atmosphere reflects that.
There are supermarkets that sell products prepared in accordance with Islamic law. Devon Avenue Stores cater to their residents’ needs. There are Islamic books, Bollywood films, and South Asian music and clothing for sale. (MORE)