My Family's Samovar

A big, shiny, metal samovar
A big, shiny, metal samovar

When I was little, my family ate dinner at my grandmother’s house every Friday. In the corner of her dining room, there was a strange metal object. I observed it for many years. It was shiny and big. 
One day I asked my grandmother about it. She told me the story of my immigrant ancestors. They were from Kovno, Lithuania. They left their home to move to the US around 1900. They did not have many valuable things, but they loved their samovar. A samovar is a pot to boil water for tea. They brought their samovar on a long, difficult trip by ship. 
They moved to Chicago for a new life with more safety and opportunity. The samovar was damaged during their trip, so they put it out with the trash. A neighbor saw it and helped repair it. 
My ancestors kept the samovar to remember their home. Even though they were grateful for their new life, the samovar reminded them of their past. It reminded them of the friends and family who used to come over for tea at their home. It reminded them of keeping warm together during the cold Kovno winters. 
Now the samovar is just a decoration. But sometimes I drink tea in my home and look at it. The samovar inspires me to be grateful to my immigrant ancestors and to take advantage of new opportunities.

Place(s): Lithuania, Chicago
Year: 1900

– Ms. Becky

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