Madeiran hat

In Attire
Ted and I wearing traditional hats
Ted and I wearing traditional hats

This picture is of my brother and I three Christmases ago wearing hats given to us by our grandparents. We had no idea what they were, only that they had the name "Madeira" on them. Our family is from Portugal, specifically the small island of Madeira, and they were purchased there by one of my mom's relatives who had recently returned from a trip. I had never been that connected to my heritage aside from family reunions and Portugese food, but my extended family had always been heavily connected to our Portugese history. After the passing of my grandfather, however, I was exposed to a lot of the history of his life, as well as the life of my Portugese great-grandparents who traveled to the United States. I learned my great-grandfather brought only $10 with him, that he was 16 years old, and he did not know English or anybody in the U.S. He moved here to find a future, and now sitting here at NYU and having access to things like that Nintendo DS pictured, I can only imagine what it was like moving to a new place as vast and intimidating as the United States with literally nothing. I also learned the struggles that my grandfather faced being the oldest son in the family of eleven, where he fought his whole life to fit in while most of us today try our best to stand out. That hat brought me closer to my family and my Portugese heritage and helps ground me in the fact that my family gave up so much for me to be here. 

Place(s): Portugal
Year: 1917

– Nathan Faust

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more