'House of Cards' actress Sakina Jaffrey feels '100% New Yorker'

Editor's note: The UN estimates that around 17 million people born in India live outside its borders. The group is considered the world's largest migrant population. From the NBA's first Indian-origin player to the descendant of an indentured laborer, CNN spoke to a handful of people born to Indian parents who settled overseas.

 Sakina Jaffrey poses on the red carpet during the "House Of Cards" screening at NEWSEUM on January 29, 2013 in Washington, DC.
Sakina Jaffrey comes from a family of trailblazers.
    Her mother helped introduce Indian cuisine to the West, her late father was a high-profile actor and her adoptive father was the first African-American musician in the New York Philharmonic.
      "I believe that you can make anything happen," says the actress, who played White House Chief of Staff Linda Vasquez in the "House of Cards" TV series. "That's their gift to me."
      Sakina Jaffrey (first on left) with her sisters, cousins and her mother, Madhur Jaffrey (third from left) in Delhi, India.
      Her mother, Madhur Jaffrey, was born in India's capital New Delhi and her father, Saeed Jaffrey, hailed from Malerkotla in the northern state of Punjab. Jaffrey learned about the history of India through her mother, as "no Indian history is taught here (in the United States)."
      Her mother, born in the 1930s, was an involuntary witness to the deadly period of partition in August 1947, when departing British rulers divided India to create the Muslim nation of Pakistan. "I remember it just being particularly brutal and upsetting to her because she had lots of Muslim friends. And one day, they were gone."

        'My mother was a caged bird'

        Jaffrey's parents met in India and began acting there, before her mother moved to London to join the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. "I always think of my mother as being a caged bird, needing to fly out and do exactly what she wanted."
        She then joined Jaffrey's father who had moved to the US to pursue his own acting ambitions. They got married and eventually settled in Manhattan in the late 1950s.
        "There really wasn't work at the time," says Jaffrey, 57. Her parents worked odd jobs before they divorced when she was two years old.
        Her mother, Madhur, shifted from acting to hosting cookery TV programs and later became an authority on Indian cuisine in the US.
        Her father, Saeed, moved to England where job prospects were better for Indian actors.
        With roles across British radio, film and television, he became a household name and was the first Asian actor to be made a