Sewing Machine

In Attire

Sewing Machine
I grew up in Brooklyn, and this was my first visit back to the place I was born in. I had no idea about the culture or traditions of the Pakistani people. The first thought that popped up in my mind was the traditional clothing of the Pakistani people, called “shalwar kameez.”  "Shalwar" refers to the pants and "kameez" to the shirt. I remember my first time wearing the kameez and totally feeling weird in it. The length of the kameez reaches just above the knees. The stylistic difference of the clothing impressed me, but the thing that impressed me the most was that all the members of the household would go shopping to find pieces of cloth of their favorite color and would bring them back home and tailor themselves or have a personal tailor do it for them. In my case my grandma decided to tailor my clothes herself. I was the only member of my entire family whose clothes she agreed to tailor. She was with my mom when she was pregnant with me and even had a chance to hold me for a few months before I moved to the U.S. Seeing me again after six years was very emotional to her. I remember doing all of my shopping for clothes with my grandma and she would take my measurements. The sense of weirdness I felt in the clothes when I first wore them faded away. Unfortunately, my grandma passed away two years later and the sewing machine is one the things I hold dear to me as a memory of her love and kindness.


Place(s): Pakistan
Year: 1999

– Hasan

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