Oriental Carpet

Relationship: Child of im/migrant

Every morning I wake and my feet touch the rough bristles of this worn-out oriental carpet. This carpet holds a piece of the world that I had never known, but my ancestors did.  My grandma got married in her homeland, Tajikistan, and received this rug on her wedding day from her parents. These beautiful oriental rugs, with intricate patterns, designs and deep colors, were the quintessential accessory to have in a couple’s house.  This one carpet, however, holds great meaning to my grandmother, my mother, and now me.  When my grandmother came here, as a Jewish refugee from Tajikistan, she unwillingly let go of all of her possessions besides this carpet. The tapestry symbolized her parents, who had passed, along with their wish for her happiness and strength for my grandmother in her marriage and for her success in raising a family.  Before it ended up in my room, this carpet hung on my mother’s wall in the room she shared with two of her sisters.  My grandmother said she would catch my mother crying into the rug and talking to it when she felt alone in this new country.  Now I look down and I don’t just see a beautiful carpet but also something that holds my great grandparents’ hope, my grandmothers journey to America, my mother’s sorrows and a piece of Tajikistan, a country I had never known.  I hope to keep this carpet and pass it on to my children, just like my grandmother and mother had, so that this carpet can be a reminder of our history and roots as a family. 

Place(s): Tajikistan
Year: 1991

– Sarah Ustoyev

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