Relationship: Child of im/migrant

My object is not a wand, stick, baton, nor needle, but it is a … chopstick. Don’t mix it up. This chopstick isn’t just a regular wood stick, but it is something that symbolize the hardships of immigration for my parents. The history behind this chopstick originates back into the 1990s. As a memory of my mother, my grandma handcrafted and carved this chopstick into an elaborate design and gave it to my mother as a leaving gift. This simple piece of handmade eating utensil is very important to my mother because of its connection to family. While in her possession for 26 years, it still clings on to her tight, constantly reminding of her mother in China.  The elaborate design—dyed by my grandma—represents vines with blue gourds and red flowers blooming from it. It was carved to represents the sadness spilling out and pouring from the gourds. This is a signifier of separation and sacrifice. The red flowers also symbolize luck and the hope for a better life. As a whole, both the gourds and the flowers together symbolizes a chance of better life in America in replacement for separation and sacrifice.  That’s why, this simple chopstick, is something greater than a simple chopstick; however, this chopstick is a signifier of family.


Place(s): China

– Edwin C.

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