Puja Thali

Relationship: Child of im/migrant
Prayer Plate
Prayer Plate

 This prayer plate called a puja thali is a tray/plate with an average-sized, intricately designed statue of Ganesh who is a prominent God in Indian culture. Surrounding the front of the sculpture are seven red bowls with little painted flower designs inside. Each cup is for holding diyas, which are miniature oil lamps. There are bells placed on top of the plate that are used when we pray. The bells are considered fortunate as they welcome gods and drive away evil.    My mom’s side is from India. My grandparents and mom immigrated from Rajasthan, India to America in 1971 a few months after my mother was born. The “American Dream” is what inspired my grandparents to migrate to a completely different place, America. The U.S. was his dream place. They adapted to American culture like patriotism, modernism, and most importantly: sweet and tangy all-American barbeques. On Diwali, my grandparents, mom, and other relatives gathered around to eat and celebrate good over evil. This ceramic prayer plate was used in Diwali celebrations over 30 years ago in my family and is still used to this day. It sits in my living room, where I am reminded of my unique culture and my family’s past. It is important to me because I am exposed to countless other cultures, but despite that, I still want to maintain my Indian culture. This plate is extremely special because it was used over 30 years ago and is still being used in each Diwali now. I want to be able to keep it in my house when I am older and pass it on to my children so that they can celebrate their heritage and where they come from as well. 

Place(s): India
Year: 1971

– Samara Hendry

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