My family came to America in hopes of finding a better life. My parents moved to the United States around 1990’s. My family came here one by one; it was sort of like a chain reaction. They were on a waitlist to be approved by Immigration Services, so they couldn’t come here at once all together.
I asked my grandma if there was anything in this house that reminded her of her life China? She said the rice cooker. When my grandma lived in China, she worked on farm where she collected rice. She worked all day, everyday, collecting rice and crops to make money.
Every night, we use a rice cooker for dinner because rice is a necessity at dinnertime. I asked my mom why it was so important and she told me “there is a Chinese myth that after the lands were flooded, all living plants were destroyed. Animals and food were scarce. One day, a dog came across a field and its fur was covered with yellow seeds. They planted them and as a result, rice grew. Now, the Chinese people have a strong belief that the precious things of life are not the pearls or jade, but the five grains with rice being number one.”
This rice cooker is a symbol of my grandma’s sacrifices, and culture. Growing up, my siblings and I were taught that culture was one of the most important things in life because it provides a sense of identity and belonging. It is what connects us to our past, and it is what helps us define our future.”
– Kelly Kuang