Pashmina Shawl

In Attire
Relationship: Child of im/migrant

My mom has a shawl that was given to her by her mother, which has been in their family for generations. The passing down of an ancestral item; typically a shawl and jewelry to a daughter is a cultural tradition in northern India where my family comes from. Receiving the shawl is not solely a custom, but is also a symbol of responsibility and pride for my mother. This tradition includes giving an item which has been in the family, at a happy milestone of their child’s life; at their engagement, wedding, or baby shower. Giving the item specifically on a happy and important day of the person’s life is for a purpose; it is considered to be extremely auspicious in north Indian culture. In my mom’s case, my grandma gave her the shawl on her wedding day. When my mom immigrated to the United States and got married here, her shawl served as a means of comfort and familiarity to her. When my mom wears the shawl, she is reminded of her family and home. The shawl holds significance to my mom, because it reminds her of childhood’s memories. When she would be wrapped in the shawl with my grandma, as my grandma would tell her the history behind the shawl; how it was a hand-loomed pashmina shawl, how hand looming is a revered skill, and how the shawl had been her grandmother’s. My mom finds the shawl precious because it makes her reminisce of her bond with her mom, and she feels happy taking the tradition forward, as she tells the story of the shawl to my sister and I.

Year: 1990

– Sabreena

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