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Mani Batchu

Mani Batchu

Hindu Immigrant from India

Born: India
Heritage: Indian

Respect your parents. Whatever they say, do. Have patience with them. Talk to them and be positive.

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HONOR SONG LYRICS

Peace Above, Peace Below

[CHORUS]
Peace above, peace below
Peace all around
Do the best you can in life
Don’t bring anybody down

My name is Mani Batchu
I was born in India
I came to the United States
Twenty-nine years ago (2x)

I come from the merchant class
A family of wealth
Who am I, if not for you
If only for myself (2x)

(Chorus)

I lived with my grandmother
And grandpa in their home
With cousins, aunts and uncles
I never felt alone (2x)

When you have relationships
With those who care for you
You are there, for them, as they
Are there to help me through (2x)

(Chorus)

At fifteen a family came
To ask if I might wed
Their son who I did not know
“Yes.” my father said (2x)

Gifts of gold from my household
To my chosen family
At the three-day wedding feast
My husband married me (2x)

(Chorus)

My husband he found work
In the U.S.A.
With my children, I came here
They help my life each day

As Hindu, my guru
Teaches love of God
Everyday, I do pray
At home in my Ashram.

(Chorus)

Music by LARRY LONG
Words by LARRY LONG with Kent Carlson’s 5th grade class of Oak Point Intermediate School (Eden Prairie, Minnesota)

© Larry Long 2004 / BMI

Mani Batchu

Hindu Immigrant from India

My name is Mani Batchu. I was born in 1946. I am from India. I came to the United States 29 years ago when I was 28 years old. I grew up with my grandparents.

When I was little I didn’t work. We had maids to do the dishes. My grandparents had a cook to make the food. All I did was study and play. The tradition in India was for family and extended family to live together.

My family is vegetarian. The cow is very sacred in India. We won’t kill cows. It gives milk and cream, yogurt and cheese, butter and ice cream, ghee and buttermilk. The cow symbolically represents all other creatures to the Hindu.

We are of the Vaishya (visya) caste, which is business people. There are many castes in the caste system. Hindi is the national language. I am Hindu. Hindus believe in reincarnation. Once you die you will be reborn. Whatever good things you do in this life will affect the next life.

My husband’s family came to my family to ask them if they would give their oldest daughter to him. We didn’t know each other on our wedding day. There were 500 to 600 people at our wedding.

My husband was 23 and I was 15 when we married. He was done with engineering school. We had three daughters who were born in India. Our children were born at home. The doctors came to our house.

My husband wanted to work in America, so we moved to the United States in 1976. America is a great country. You have more freedom and opportunities. I did my undergraduate at Metro State University. I got a job and enjoyed working. In 2003 I retired. Now I spend more time with my grandchildren. Our daughters are now 38, 35 and 30. They married people from India. I have four grandchildren. I go to India every year to spend time with parents, brothers, sisters and relatives.

We chose to live in Eden Prairie. It is closer to work for my husband. He is an engineer for General Mills. My friends from India who now live in the United States don’t look at what caste you are from. You are simply Indian.

I pray each day. One of my teachings is: Unless you sing for your own joy, you cannot bring joy to others. I am pleased only when love is the keynote, when the melody comes from cleansed, God-loving hearts.