When my mom came to America from Bangladesh with her brother in 1991, they shared one suitcase and did not bring many possessions or clothes with them. In the early years of my mom’s stay in America, she received clothes, especially saris, from family and friends. Almost a decade after she came to America was my mom finally able to buy clothes for herself with her own money. Though she doesn’t wear them now, as her simple salwar kameezes are more convenient and easier to move around in, my mom still cherishes the clothes greatly. The suitcase, now very full, contains the many stories of my mom while she was in Bangladesh and of her early years in America.
– Fathima Begum