A flat, white, thin, rectangular wafer
A flat, white, thin, rectangular wafer

Objects, while being ordinary, everyday things we take for granted, can teach us a multitude of things about ourselves and our ancestry just by looking at them.
My ancestors migrated from Poland in search of security, safety, and a better livelihood. While this occurred decades ago, my family still holds onto many traditions that my Polish ancestors had.
The object tied to this traditions is called an oplatek. An oplatek is a flavorless wafer that is given to each person before Christmas Eve dinner.
Each person makes their way around the room breaking off a piece of each other's oplatek while giving hugs and wishing a Merry Christmas. 
This object, which on the outside is a flat, flavorless rectangle, symbolizes so much to my family. It keeps us connected to our heritage and no matter how hectic Christmas Eve becomes for our ever growing family, this object keeps us grounded in our traditions and in our love for each other. The oplatek is love, closeness, and gratefulness. It's the glue that binds us and the reminder of where we came from. It teaches us to slow down for a moment and cherish those
around us.
The courage it took to travel to a new country in a time without airplanes, GPS, and other modern day technology must've been terrifying. But the hope that it brought once they reached their destination still carries through me and gives me the courage to turn this world and my life into one that future generations can grow from.

Place(s): Poland

– Kerry Tometchko

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