Golden Earrings

In Attire
Relationship: Child of im/migrant
The earrings on a white background.
The earrings on a white background.

My object is a pair of golden earrings that belonged to my mother, Adelina Paunescu, who gave them to me. My mother received these earrings on her eighteenth birthday and my grandparents had gotten them specially made for her. During this time, Romania was under Communism. So, it was hard for anyone to afford anything because the salaries were low and the items were expensive. Yet, my grandparents worked for months and eventually were able to buy the pair of earrings. My mother knew how difficult it was for my grandparents to get this expensive gift for her. This was a turning point in her life and one of the reasons she immigrated to America to build a better life for herself. For thirty years, my mother never took the earrings out. She felt like wearing the earrings was like carrying her parents with her. This feeling of how much her parents struggled back in Romania, pushed her to be hardworking and determined. I am very honored to get to wear the earrings because they hold such significance in my family and represent the struggle my family faced. My mother and grandparents have shown me what it is like to work hard and what you gain from that work, which has made me the person I am today. For me, the earrings tie me to my grandparents and my willingness to work hard and never give up under any circumstances.  

Place(s): Romania, America
Year: 1996

– Maria

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