Kallam

Relationship: Im/migrant

When my parents, my sister and I immigrated from India in 2001, we couldn't bring everything that everything that we wanted to. We only brought certain items because it had a use when we started a new life the United States. One thing that we brought with us was a Kalam, a pot that was used for boiling water. In India, the water was not always safe to drink because it was typically well water. The wells are not maintained or checked if any toxins or bacteria are found. So we boiled and filtered the water before we could drink it. When my parents first arrived in the United States, they still boiled and filtered the water from the tap before we drank it. It seems a little odd since our tap was already filtered and safe to drink. Fast forward 15 years we stopped using a lot of the pots and pans we originally brought from India and upgraded them, but we still use the same kalam to boil all our water. Back in India, my parents used the kalam so often that it became second nature and using the kalam today to boil the water reminds them of their life back in India.  The funny thing is that when we have guests come to our house, they always look at the kalam and reminisce about some event with my parents. One thing that I know for sure is that the kalam will continue to be used in our house for a long time.

Place(s): India,New York
Year: 2001

– Sam George

Relationship:  Im/migrant Im/migrant