My Religion

Relationship: Child of im/migrant

Ever since I could remember, this little balcony of worship sat nailed to the wall, finding ways to stare at me no matter where I sat on the couch. The disappointed eyes of God always seemed to be glaring at me as my absences at Church started to pile up. Year after year, and through countless novenas, all my aunties and uncles would cram into our closet-sized living room for worship. These late-night random prayer sessions came with no warning and almost always before an intense Gym Leader battle in Pokémon. And each morning, my family and I would gather to recite prayers before we each went on with our busy days. This simple piece of wood has been here for as long as I’ve been in this amazing country. No matter what was happening in our lives at any given moment, we always found each other, huddled in front of this simple piece of wood. Together. This piece of my religion has been passed down from my parents, who had it passed down to them by their parents, and so on. It is a part of what makes my American experience special to me and to my family. Although my religion may not have been the constant that it is in the lives of others in my family, this piece has been there throughout both the rocky journey of my faith and identity as an American in this country. 

Place(s): New York
Year: 1994

– Shenal Tissera

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