Old Tennis Ball

Relationship: Im/migrant

 This Old Tennis ball has been with my family for over 38 years and has traveled through more countries than I’ll ever visit myself. My mom as a teenager worked in a community baseball field in Sri Lanka just around 5 years before the Sri Lankan Civil War. My mom lived in the poor neighborhoods outside Colombo where she grew to be independent and deeply religious. With nothing else to do during times of boredom, she would repeatedly dribble the ball until the downstairs neighbors filed a complaint.  After successfully making a living working in the Colombo US embassy, she used her money to travel across the world partly because of her fear of the Civil War. She always took the ball with her as a symbol of her childhood and from then the ball has went to India, Japan, Belgium, Netherlands, France, Spain, England, Canada. Now it is one of only artifacts from Sri Lanka since after living in America for so many years, our old culture has effectively disappeared from our daily lives.Much of our former items were sent back to the poor in Sri Lanka and several years ago my mom stopped going to monastery.  I remember how one day I played with the ball when I was young, and accidentally ended up dropping it out of our apartment window. My mother was visibly shaken and quickly went out to get it. Only years later did I understand its significance when I asked where it came from.  

Place(s): Sri Lanka
Year: 2006

– Kaveen Sandagiripathir

Relationship:  Im/migrant Im/migrant