This book has been a long journey and therefore has accumulated many
debts. While it is impossible to thank all those that have helped to make
it possible, I will mention a few here. The research for this book has been
generously supported by the Department of Anthropology, University of
Pennsylvania, the American Institute of Indian Studies, the Fulbright-
Hays Fellowship Program, the National Academy of Education Postdoc-
toral Fellowship, a grant from the University Research Foundation at the
University of Pennsylvania, and The Trustee’s Council of Penn Women
Summer Research Award from the Alice Paul Center for Research on
Women, Gender and Sexuality at the University of Pennsylvania. The
writing of this book has also been supported by the Spencer Foundation.
I have been greatly helped during the writing process by Kathy Chetko-
vich, Karen Seriguchi, Laura Helper-Ferris, and Ken Wissoker.
I am deeply indebted to N. Shasidaran and the S.N. Trust for initially
facilitating this research and to all the students, teachers, and adminis-
trators who so warmly and generously gave of themselves and their time.
Many of the students and my hostelmates have become good friends over
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