Relationship: Child of im/migrant
This is a smaller type of incense
This is a smaller type of incense

My object is the incense that burns in my house. This represents my family’s culture because it is burned in an altar in my house every day in the morning. Incense opens communication with gods and goddesses and the ash from the incense is left in the altar until important holidays like the new year and then it is cleaned. I would recognize that nostalgic smell any time. My father immigrated from London because he was there for high school, but before that he lived in Hong Kong with his 8 siblings and parents. My mother immigrated from Vietnam where she lived with her 5 siblings and parents. My mother landed in New York and my father landed in Boston. My family’s story is unique because my parents lived very different lives from each other in Asia, but once they moved to America, they both ended up on the same route. My mom was part of a well off family while my dad was poor. After landing and making their way to Boston, they both attended college, graduated, found jobs, and started a family. My family’s story connects to other family stories I’ve heard of because it’s the basic underprivileged boy who works hard to provide for his family and puts himself through education while privileged girl, loses her past life from communism. Even though there were obstacles and difficulties, they both made their way to America and made a life for themselves. 

Place(s): Hong Kong, London, Vietnam, America, Boston
Year: 1983

– SL

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