Orange Pot

First photos
First photos

To recognize the importance of the pot, one must understand my Nana's history that lead up to the purchase of the iconic decor. Berta was born in the early 1940's to an upper class family in Santiago, Chile. An upper-class woman going to college was unheard of as the expectation was to graduate high school and become a housewife. Berta was accepted to college, but her father stated she was not allowed to attend college because of her gender. She realized she had to escape the patriarchal system of Chile, so she married the first man available and approved by her father in order to have a way to get to America. Even though she did not love this man, he would eventually become my mother’s father and an absence in their lives. They divorced many years later and after she bought her first home, my nana knew she had to go to the nice decor shop in Newport Beach as this signified success to her. Berta chose the orange pot as she felt it signified a connection to her past and present life. Decades later when she was readying to retire in Mexico, my nana gave the pot to my aunt who eventually gave it to my mother. This pot symbolizes the struggle my immigrant Nana went through as a single mother unfamiliar to this new country and their customs. This pot also symbolizes the feminist fight she faced in her homeland of Chile. Instead of merely giving in to her father’s demands, she found a loophole: marry a man she did not love and move to an entirely different country. Berta took this risk knowing she would work hard and make the best of the new situation she was putting herself into.

Place(s): Los Angeles, Newport Beach

– Samantha Stehley

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant