Our Old House


This is my family's home in their village in Xinhui, China. It was a single room, made completely of stoned with no electricity. The roofing was crumbling apart and remnants of the paint just flaked apart in the wind. The village was in an extremely rural area with agriculture being the main source of income for most families.This is the house that my grandmother had grown up in before she decided to migrate to Hong Kong for a better life for her eight children. She knew that she wouldn't have been able to provide for all of her children by farming, so she set out to the city to find a job. Her eight children stayed in a two bedroom apartment. The older children took turns going to school and looking after their younger siblings while their parents slaved away at the factory to provide for them. Even though life in Hong Kong was still better than life in Xinhui, it still wasn't enough. Looking for other places with better opportunity, my family decided to enter the lottery system to immigrate to America. One by one, starting with my grandfather, my family immigrated to New York City. In New York City, my grand parents were able to make enough to allow all of their children to attend school. My uncle, the oldest son, was even able to attend college! For the first time in their entire lives, my father and his siblings were no longer poor. Through my grandparent's hard work in trying to seek better opportunities, the people in my family have been able to live more comfortably than they ever would've been able to in Xinhui. 

Place(s): China
Year: 1960

– Ava C

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