She looks and dresses like a traditional Indian woman, yet she speaks with an American-Italian Brooklyn accent.
Maria Provenzano Singh is also one of the few women cab drivers in New York City.
Recently, a young man pulled out a gun at the end of the ride in Harlem. She sped away, the cab’s door slammed closed by the speed, and then continued working all day. “You can’t be afraid and do this job,” she says.
The 57-year-old emigrated to the US with her family when she was a toddler, but she has not spoken to her relatives for years after falling in love with, and marrying, a Sikh man from the Punjab.
“If they can’t accept him, they can’t accept me,” she says with a calm smile.
She loves her husband, likes his religion and enjoys cooking Indian food. In August, she and her husband will leave New York to run a gas station in the Midwest state of Indiana.
In this First Person account Maria explains why Italian and Sikh culture have a lot in common.