The necklace that symbolizes my parents' marriage in 1999 was brought here to Queens, New York when my mom immigrated in 2005. This item brings back a sense of nostalgia when she was washing the clothes for my grandfather and grandmother (dad’s side) and also cooking in the house after the marriage. It is tradition for a wife to take care of house chores back in Fuzhou, China. That was the city where I spent the majority of my childhood. Moving to New York has been tough because our family couldn’t speak English. My mom had to take a restaurant job working as a dishwasher. She would come back after a 9-10 hour shift and prepare breakfast the next day for the family. That was the first job she had in America. Sometimes she would go without a job which made it tough on us financially and we only had my father making money. She never lost hope and she would go out to do odd jobs like washing dishes or helping out at my aunt's restaurant for a while. She would always look out for me and my sister by buying us food and also new clothes without asking. But she has a sense of tiredness and longing for home after working all day and then coming back to take care of us. The hopefulness after seeing the necklace and the promise helped push her forward until her dream of giving the family a better life was realized. Her only free days were on Sunday and she would spend that time shopping for the home or cleaning the house. They wanted to give me and my sister a better opportunity and live a better life overall. America was the land of opportunity and that is what they fully believed.
– Ziyu Pan ( Audio from Chinese New Year Festivals)