In Attire
Relationship: Child of im/migrant

My mom worked in a family business with her aunt making hanbok, traditional Korean clothing usually worn at special occasions like weddings. They traveled to and from Japan selling the clothes they made by hand.
My mom was happy in Korea, but her sister begged her to move to America. She visited LA, but wasn't very fond of it. Later she moved to Hawaii with a friend. It was clean and reminded her of Japan. There she met my father. They divorced three years after I was born, and instead of moving back to Korea, my mom and I moved to New York City. We didn't have any family there. The first few years were okay, but in my elementary school years, my mom had to work two jobs. I stayed at an after school program run by a family friend. There were days I'd see her for less than an hour, and there were days she'd only sleep for four hours. By eighth grade, though we were still a low income family, my mom had found a stable job.
Now, I could barely pass a first grade Korean language test, and my mom doesn't own any hanbok. She still cooks Korean food, something I'll take with me for the rest of my life. The most of the Korean traditions I know are through food. I'm okay with not being a great Korean; my mom fought so I could live in this city, and I love to embrace other cultures.

Year: 1998

– Nicole Shin

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