Handcrafted Fan

Relationship: Child of im/migrant

My grandmother’s handcrafted fan that she had made over fifty years ago. This object relates to my family’s story of immigration in a significant way. My father was born and brought up in India, where income and resources were usually low. My father has struggled in the farms, struggled in the heat, struggled with a house that was in a poor condition. My grandmother encouraged my father and always told him to never give up. Back home in India, electricity wouldn’t come much and there was a shortage of clean water. My grandmother would watch my father coming home after long days of work and struggle through the hot nights, so she decided to craft a fan. The fan is still beautiful and in a good condition today, it is made out of a cloth and a wooden stick. During the hot nights, my grandmother would sit next to my father and fan him while he tried to sleep. She used to tell him that he is struggling now but one day his hard work will pay off, he will peacefully sleep under a cold breeze. And this is how this object symbolizes my father’s hard work, when he arrived in America he continued to work hard and stay determined. He worked hard enough that our family lives comfortably without electricity or water issues. When my grandmother told me the story I was left speechless. My father’s hard work and success motivates me not to give up. Today, this fan is hung upon the wall in our house, it is there to remind us that hard work pays off.

Year: 1980

– Rananjot Kaur

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