Fù Lǜ Shòu Figurines

Relationship: Child of im/migrant

     These three little figurines represent so much of the Chinese background and mentality. When my dad immigrated from China to America, he bought these with him along with other little Chinese knickknacks to remember our identity and what we represent as Chinese people. The three figures were one of my first questions when he got to America. For some reason, I never really questioned his other Chinese trinkets: some monk figurines, Chinese embroidery, Chinese-patterned vases, Chinese New Year decorum (all year, even when it's far from the holiday), heaps of red envelopes everywhere, or even our mystical Chinese ghost- and spirit-buster outside our door. But I always wondered about these three seemingly weird things to hold so highly. My father definitely had a lot to say when I presented him with this question: "Why do these things look so funny and what do they even mean?" He quickly went into a deep and philosophical conversation, saying that these are our "Three Stars of Wealth, Status and Longevity." The left one is called our "Fu Ye," or our Supervisor of Wealth, the middle one is called our "Lu Ye," or our Supervisor of Status or Superiority, and the right one is called our "Shou Ye," or our Supervisor of Happiness and Health. In direct translation, they are called our "grandpas," since they take care of us and they watch over us. They're also called the "Door-Gods." In hindsight, that makes a lot of sense, since they do face the front door of our home. 

Year: 2008

– Vivian Zhou

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