Sri Lankan Food

Relationship: Child of im/migrant

My mom travelled all the time when she was in her 20s. She would always tell us how she used to love cooking for people at a young age. A couple of years after returning to Sri Lanka from Singapore, she met my father and got married when she was 31 and had my brothers over the next 4 years. She then got a job as a secretary for the Sri Lankan embassy, which allowed our family to move to Kenya where my sister was born. She says that although they lived with people that would cook and clean for them, she and my father would still cook together for their friends. When it was time to return to Sri Lanka, my parents signed up for the lottery to get their green card to come to America. Soon enough, they got the green card and came to New York in 1999. Since my mom didn’t work for the UN at this time, it was difficult for them to adjust and find jobs fast enough to do so. Finally, two years later I was born. My father was very sick after I was born and died a couple of years after. I don’t remember much about my father, but I do remember my mom always cooking Sri Lankan food as we grew up. I was always so fascinated when she would go into the kitchen and start cooking, so I would watch her, and then one day I tried to do it myself. Now, I love cooking these dishes that I’ve seen her make all of my life and cooking for other people. Although I wasn’t born in Sri Lanka, I can cook like a Sri Lankan thanks to my mom who has never stopped cooking. 

Place(s): Sri Lanka, New York
Year: 1999

– Charmy G.

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