Russian Doll

My artifact is a Russian Doll, which is also a Christmas Tree Ornament, given to me by my mother. I took the doll with me to New York. I immigrated to America from Moscow, Russia when I was twelve years old to live with my father and brother (they immigrated to the USA few years earlier). The Russian Doll reminded me of my life back in Russia. When I came to New York I did not speak English, had no friends and greatly missed my mother and family back in Russia and Crimea. The Doll was the only thing that made me feel safe in a strange country. Every time I looked at the Doll, I pictured me and my mom buying and decorating a tree for Christmas eve, helping my mom cook our holiday dinner and opening presents under the tree the next morning. I have not seen my family back in Russia since I came to New York and I was not able to get American citizenship for a long time. However, few months ago I finally received my citizenship and I hope that someday I can show my mom this great city. Over the years I have realized that I was never alone, but surrounded by other immigrants who have their own stories, memories, nostalgic artifacts and hopes.

Year: 1994

– Nina Romova

Relationship:  Im/migrant who arrived as a child Im/migrant who arrived as a child