Pink Pencil Case

Relationship: Child of im/migrant

When I was in elementary school, I got a lot of things from my parents that I didn’t realize were Chinese products. I got a pink pencil case and I thought it was the coolest thing because there were buttons and things popped out, and it wasn’t like the typical can pencil cases that other students had. I remember playing with it during class when I wasn’t supposed to, and getting scolded by my teacher. Eventually my mother told me I wasn’t allowed to bring it to school anymore, and on hindsight my teacher probably said something.
This pencil case represents my childhood because I was raised by immigrant parents who didn’t know how other children of other cultures were raised, or what they were bringing into the classroom. What was normal at home wasn’t always normal outside and by leaving the pencil case at home, I eventually realized the difference between me and my parents, and me and my peers. Now my nephews play with the pencil case as a toy, and watching them I realize that they’ll have a different cultural childhood too.

Place(s): China

– Samantha Chiu

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