Gold Buddha Pendant

Relationship: Child of im/migrant
The pendant with my necklace.
The pendant with my necklace.

In Myanmar, a branch of Buddhism called Theravada is followed by about 90% of its people. The object I have chosen is a gold Buddha pendant that represents the importance of Theravada in my family. During a war in Hong Kong, my mother’s parents fled to Myanmar, where they eventually settled. My mother’s parents practiced the Chinese form of Theravada in Hong Kong, but switched to the Burmese version in Myanmar. My grandfather’s family on my father’s side came from India, Thailand, and Lao. My grandmother’s family on my father’s side came from Mongolia and settled in Myanmar. The pendant was first given to my great-great-great grandmother from her husband when they lived in India. According to my parents, our ancestors have all been strong believers of Theravada. From the pictures I have seen, I started wearing the pendant before I could even walk properly. Before I had the pendent, my father had it, but my grandfather told my parents, before I was even born, he had a vision that said my father would have a baby girl and it was important that I should be the one to wear it. This was quite shocking to me because in Myanmar, the religion of Thervada is very controlling of the people’s mindset and causes them to favor boys over girls. I wear the necklace almost everyday and find comfort in it during times of hardship. I love that it has been passed down to me and as difficult as it may be letting the pendant go, I can’t wait to pass it on to my child.

Place(s): Myanmar, Hong Kong, India
Year: 1983

– JB

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