Folk Beliefs

Hum Honge Kaamyab

Informant Description: My friend is an Indian American; her parents immigrated here, but she was born and brought up here. Her primary connection to her Indian heritage and family history is through her grandparents.

Interviewee: Umm stories so my grandparents were in the partition of India and they all were Hindus who lived in Pakistan and then had to flee during the partition and so my grandma was the 5th out of 10 but the oldest girl so she was responsible for like taking care of a ton of the younger kids.

Me: So did she tell you this story all the time growing up?

Interviewee: Yeah. She used to say hum honge kaamyab which means we can overcome anything and it’s also a song that’s to the tune of “We Shall Overcome” and she used to sing it to me all the time when I was a kid.

Me: Do you remember the song?

Interviewee: I just remember the main chorus which was just “Hum Honge Kaamyab” repeated.

Conclusion (written by Interviewer): I had heard “We Shall Overcome” a lot throughout my childhood. To the best of my knowledge, it was quite an old song but became relevant to pop culture again during the Civil Rights Movement. Through this story, I see history repeat itself. When there was intense political and social stability during the partition, this song made its way to India and Pakistan. This song has spread and been translated in many languages, including Arabic and Hebrew. For the English, Arabic, and Hebrew version, see the following link:

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