An Exchange of Letters

Relationship: Child of im/migrant
An Exchange of Letters
An Exchange of Letters

These are an exchange of letters between my parents when my dad just arrived to America and my mother was still residing in Bangladesh. These letters were the only form of communication my parents had at the time. They are physical documents of the feelings my parents were feeling at the time. These feelings and moments have been preserved for over 25 years in these hand-written letters. While reading these letters which were written in Bengali, it occured to me that in order to actually live in America, my parents had to leave Bangladesh behind. My parents had to transition from writing and speaking in Bengali to writing and speaking in English. They had to assimilate to westernized clothing which meant my mother had to leave behind her sarees and begin wearing shirts and pants. Lastly, my parents had to transition from being two intellectual and successful people to being portrayed as two uneducated immigrants.This is what my parent’s American dream consisted of. The American dream was not for them, but for my sister and I. It was for us to be able to be born in America and gain opportunities they were unable to attain, to ultimately live a better or an American lifestyle. These letters explain the countless sacrifices my parents have made for my sister and I. Seeing these hand-written letters creates this small connection between my parents and I, that even though our lives differ greatly, I, just like my parents, have a hunger to live the “American dream” as well, my American dream. 

Place(s): Bangladesh
Year: 1995

– Aniqa

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant