Chinese Baoding Balls

Chinese baoding balls
Chinese baoding balls

You ever wonder about your ancestry? My background is fairly diverse. Nationality wise I’m from Barbados, Trinidad, Turkey and the U.S. along with my ethnicity being that I am white, black and Native American. Being that I am multiracial, I always wanted to know about my different nationalities and races. Yet, I am quite familiar with all of them. However, I know more about my Caribbean/black roots and American roots than I do my Turkish roots. My Turkish ancestry dates back to my maternal grandparents. This had brought up numerous questions as my grandfather was actually born in China, but was said to be Turkish. His stories were that his parents were on a business trip in China when he was born. However, the story became more intricate when he said he was adopted, which left blank spaces open for where he was really from. He always kept Chinese baoding balls around for meditation that he gave to me to help calm myself down in times of need. It held deep significance to his past and how he grew up. He kept them to remind him that he might not literally be Chinese, but not knowing too much about his own past, he could make anywhere he went his home as long as it felt right to him. When I turned 10, he gave them to me to know that even though I’m fairly mixed I’ll never have to make one specific place home or use one specific race to identify myself. Rather to embrace all that makes me who I am and be identified for myself, my actions, and the choices I make in life.

Place(s): China, New York
Year: 1963

– Halim Greenidge

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant