Royal Dansk Cookie Tin

Relationship: Child of im/migrant
Royal Dansk Cookie Tin
Royal Dansk Cookie Tin

Each holiday, nestled among brightly wrapped presents and festive decorations, lay piles of a familiar treasure-the Royal Dansk Cookies Tin. Though a Danish creation, the metal object specifically represents a piece of my family’s Filipino cultural identity as well as our immigrant story. 

Just like the canister’s hollow core, my mother’s move from the Philippines 2 America was far from the sweet, buttery confections expected to be inside. The stacked, unopened cookie tins that surrounded our tree every Christmas symbolized the small family my mother had to settle for in migrating to the States. 

As I grew older, the exact same cookie tin appeared in my life not for the sweet treats advertised on its exterior surface, but for the pins/needles stored inside. Those very items not only tightened pants that did not fit my waist as a child, but also fixed attire for weddings, birthdays, & funerals. What once held together the seams of a child's drooping pants now bore witness to the creation of my debut gown as I turn 18, a well worn symbol of my culture's comingofage.

My friend's Mexican household had the same deceiving collection of sewing essentials that I knew all 2 well. It was in that moment I realized the Danish Butter Cookie Tin was not merely an aspect of my own Filipino upbringing but a thread that wove through the narrative of immigrant lives everywhere: a symbol, a shared experience across borders, & a testament that binds us cultures just trying 2 get by in a new world.

Place(s): America, Philippines

– Bernadette Sayson Terre

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