Gold Ear Pick

Relationship: Child of im/migrant
Golden ear pick
Golden ear pick

This gold ear pick was passed down from many generations. My great grandma’s family was extremely wealthy, but unfortunately much of their wealth was taken away by the government during the Communist Revolution. Everyone was forced to turn in their valuables to the government or throw it out because the idea was to make everyone “equal". Most people were too afraid to hide any of their family treasures because if the government found them, their family would be locked up in prison. However, my great grandma was able to hide the gold ear pick because it was so small. My great grandmother then passed it on to my grandmother. When my mother was younger, she used to lay in my grandmother's lap while my grandmother would pick her ear. It was a way for my grandmother to show her motherly love. My mom found it extremely comforting almost like a massage. After my parents immigrated to America, they struggled to obtain the American Dream and assimilate in their new environment. They faced discrimination especially because they could only speak broken English. My mom treasured the gold ear pick because it reminded her of her mom and China. When my sister and I were younger, my mom made a point to use the ear pick like her own mother did. And until this day, the gold ear pick remains as a family treasure, passed down from possibly more than 5 generations, surviving the Communist Revolution and the move to America. In our family, the gold ear pick symbolizes our families resilience. 

Place(s): China
Year: 1995

– Angela Chi

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