Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Indian-Americans clash with cowboy town over proposed center

The Southern California city of Norco markets itself as “Horsetown USA,” and it’s not unusual for cowboy hat-wearing residents to head out for lunch or run errands on horseback in its Old West-styled downtown. Local leaders celebrate that rural, equestrian lifestyle and are protective of it. Those who build must ensure their property includes Western architectural features such as a metal roof or overhang. But some Indian-Americans are questioning the sincerity of that standard after the City Council rejected a proposal for a hilltop Hindu cultural center on a hilltop partly on grounds that the large, domed building wouldn’t fit in. They think the decision — which came after residents urged the city to keep its culture and questioned why proponents chose the site — is discriminatory. The controversy over the proposed cultural center has focused attention on how Norco can keep its Western theme and rural lifestyle while incorporating newcomers, and how those who arrive in the city can adapt to their surroundings while retaining their culture...more

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