The Knitted Mat

Knitted Mat
Knitted Mat

My father, Shaymol Sarkar, immigrated in 1997 to America with a Diversity Visa. Later on, he went back to Bangladesh to marry my mom and came back after I was born so that he could apply for my mom and I to come to America as well. My mother, Manika Sarkar, had to sign many papers and go through exams before she could immigrate with me. She says that an immigrant is a person who moves to another country to legally settle down and permanently live there. Both my father and mother believed that America had more security, better education, and more opportunities.  In 2005, my mother got to New York legally. She had brought along many things,  but one special belonging is a handmade mat. This mat was knit by my mother with colored wool that she brought from a market in Dhaka. It is mostly red and white with a bit of green, yellow, and black. My mom says that this mat means a lot to her because she is the one who made it to sit on and it makes her feel proud of herself and that it reminds her of Bangladesh. She says America was a very different experience for her. Everyone was different from each other and came from all over the world. But because America was so diverse, my mom easily made friends and fit in with everyone else. This is what being American means- the ability to come to a new place and keep hold of your customs and roots without anyone being racist or forcing you to change.

Place(s): Bangladesh
Year: 2007

– Shimon

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