Relationship: Child of im/migrant
A silver pichkari with engraved designs
A silver pichkari with engraved designs
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While it may not look like it, the object shown in the picture is a water gun. To be more specific, it’s called a pichkari, made of pure silver with designs carved on it. And like any other water gun, the pichkari is used to shoot water at other people. By pulling the handle up when placed in a bucket of water, the pichkari fills with water, ready to shoot out water when the handle is pushed. The pichkari is mainly used during the Indian holiday of Holi, also known as the festival of colors. So, along with throwing powdered colors at other people, water is also shot out of pichkaris in celebration of the victory of good over evil. However, not all pichkaris are made of pure silver. In fact, most are just made of plastic. In Indian culture, newly born babies are typically given gifts made of pure silver. My older sister was given a silver baby rattle, and I was given the pichkari. Silver is considered auspicious, so whenever someone is born or getting married, they are given a lot of silver objects for good luck. The pichkari shown in the picture was gifted to me by my grandparents, at the time of my birth. It is important to me because it’s one of the only things I have left from my grandparents, since they died soon after I was born.

Place(s): Oregon and New Delhi
Year: 1997

– Isha J.

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