My Grandfather's Neckalce

Relationship: Im/migrant
The Necklace
The Necklace

When your family barely escapes a genocide, you do not ask about it. When you as a parent barely survived a genocide, you don’t talk about it, especially to your child. There are a lot of unanswered questions about how my family came to America. I personally am too afraid to ask about it. I did not even know that they escaped a genocide until early 2018. There is not a lot of things around my house that represents where they came from. They speak Cambodian to me, we eat Cambodian food, but besides that, not much is known or seen about where they came from. To be heavily honest, I feel a bit culturally disconnected. I do not really know anything about my culture, and I am too scared to ask. So when my grandfather passed in 2020, leaving me with his necklace to wear and eventually pass on to my firstborn child - I was excited; excited to have something to represent something from my family’s past, and our culture. 
I do not know too much about this necklace. I know that the gold on the chain itself is from Cambodia. I know that the necklace is mainly worn by men not women, and it’s since that I’m wearing it as a woman, men cannot touch it (which has recently become an irrational fear), and I know that before my grandfather passed, he wanted me to have it. There are so many other people whose families won’t talk about the horrors they endured on their way to America. This necklace reminds me of that, but it also reminds me of the love of my family, their perseverance, and their hard work, that has brought me to where I am today. 

Place(s): Cambodia, America

– CT

Relationship:  Im/migrant Im/migrant