Auspicious Chinese Sachets

Relationship: Child of im/migrant
Two embroidered Chinese sachets
Two embroidered Chinese sachets

     Chinese culture is not very religious, but it is a very superstitious one. You will often find that adults and elders will go out of their way to avoid doing certain things that bring bad luck or doing other things to bring good luck. My father had always kept one of these Chinese sachets in the glove compartment his car. He told me he had brought it to America from China, and that it was supposed to protect him from getting into accidents or encountering bad fortune on the road. That is why, when I passed my driving exam and began to drive alone, he gave it to me to protect me on the road instead. Obviously, I needed it more as a rookie driver, but I recall believing in the magic of the little sachet so fervently that I was very concerned for his safety whenever he went out without the little red sachet in his car.
      The text reads “come and go peacefully” in Chinese, and both my ability to read the text and my personal superstitions surrounding the object have brought me comfort during the COVID-19 pandemic. It brings me a little joy to know that I can still read Chinese characters, which is a skill I learned when younger and living in China. It reminds me of times when I didn’t have to be an adult and face the difficulties of present times in the pandemic. The superstition part of it also brings me comfort. It sleeps beside me in the top drawer of my nightstand, and I hope that in this time when anti-Asian sentiment , police brutality, and political unrest, we can all “come and go in peace”.     

Place(s): China, New Jersey
Year: 1980

– Layow

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