Silver Bangle Bracelets

In Attire
Relationship: Child of im/migrant

My mother's side of the family immigrated from Vietnam to the United States around the 1970's. My parents raised my older brother in Philadelphia and I was born and raised in New Jersey. While my parents were off to work during the day, my grandmother took care of us at home. My grandmother didn't know how to speak English very well so she spoke to us in Vietnamese. As we grew older, my grandmother would travel back and forth (Vietnam and the US) to bring back all of the money she's made in the US to support the rest of my family living in Saigon. Before she would leave, she would measure my wrists. My grandmother would return back to the US and bring me a set of white gold bangles as a special gift. I remember putting them on when I was 10 years old. As a shy child, I sometimes felt embarrassed because I would get asked from other children about them and I didn't want to attract so much attention. 

It's been over a decade and I have not taken them off. I have learned to be proud of these set of bangles because they were brought back from Vietnam and they remind me of my grandmother who was a strong and hard-working woman despite her hardships and struggles moving to America. My wrists have grown larger so these bangles cannot be easily taken off but they are strong and resilient for being very thin. Growing up as a second-generation, I have lost most of my native tongue (Vietnamese) but my bangles also remind me to keep a sense of my Vietnamese culture and identity. 

Place(s): Vietnam, New Jersey, New York

– Vicky

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