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Faces in the Crowd: Gulshan Gachoke

When a Barack Obama campaign volunteer offered to help Gulshan Gachoke attend the Sikh Inaugural Ball in Washington, her response was: What is an inaugural ball?

Although it has been more than 30 years since Gachoke and her husband left their village in India's Punjab province for Northern California -- and 18 years since she became a U.S. citizen -- the 63-year-old speaks halting English, doesn't know how to use the Internet and almost never ventures beyond her Fremont neighborhood's Indian shops, lest someone mistake her for a Muslim and insult her.

But after a volunteer, Reena Johar, who shares Gachoke's Sikh religion, explained that the ball will be the first-ever inaugural gala sponsored by Indian Americans, Gachoke eagerly signed on.

"I think the moment is going to be holy, because this man is good," she said.

Read the rest of this entry in The Post's ongoing series.

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  |  January 12, 2009; 11:21 AM ET  | Category:  Faces in the Crowd
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