Oriental Rug

Relationship: Child of im/migrant

This is an oriental rug that my parents brought with them when they immigrated from the former Soviet Union. Each person was only allowed to take out 126 rubles; so many immigrants bought items they thought they would be able to sell on the way to, or in, America. My two grandmothers went to Tashkent to buy 5 oriental rugs to sell. They were only allowed limited luggage, however, so they were forced to send some things on a boat to America. This rug went on the boat. Once my family got to America, they went to Boston and lived in a Jewish community, that helped Jewish immigrants get settled. In order to get your luggage from the boat, you have to call them every day and check if your things have arrived, once they have, you only have 3 days to claim it. The day finally came and a member of that Jewish community drove my grandpa to get their things. All of my parents’ wedding china was on that boat, and only one cup survived. The rug was fine, however, and my grandpa tried to sell it, but was only offered around $100. On the way back to Boston, the Sabbath started and man driving them was an observant Jew. He got out of the car and walked for three hours to Boston.Ten years later, my grandpa decided to give the rug to my parents. Some time later, there was a hurricane and the apartment my parents lived in was flooded. The insurance company assessed the rug at $5,000. The rug survived the flood and now sits in my parents’ bedroom.

Year: 1989

– Nellie Spektor

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