India erupted in joy, as India defeated Sri Lanka to win the Cricket World Cup 2011. A the same time, more than 7000 miles away, a huge roar was also heard inside Microsoft’s building 121, which houses a cafeteria.
Over a 1,000 cricket fans, tuned in to a live broadcast of the final match, which started at 2 a.m. Seattle time on Saturday. This did not deter Microsoft’s large contingent of Indian developers, engineers and managers from turning out in force. They sipped tea and snacked on Indian treats like pakoras and samosas while watching the match. The excitement was palpable!
Cricket is not understood by most Americans. But in India, and for those who have made their way to the U.S., it is a passion. The state government had given a half-day’s holiday and many private offices remained closed for the latter half of the day.
It is not uncommon to see cricket played on the many sports fields at Microsoft or at nearby Marymoor Park. The game’s popularity here is tied directly to Microsoft’s growth, which has steadily hired Indian software developers and engineers over the past two decades. In 2007, it was estimated that roughly 15 percent of the company’s 35,000 workers in the Seattle area were of Indian descent.
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