Treasure Chest

Xiang Zhang, the owner of Moon Kitchen Palace, is the sweetest old man I've ever met. He treasures his business both figuratively and literally. He simply loves the look on people's faces when they try his Chinese food because, as he told me, his Chinese food is unlike any other: it's made using a strict family recipe. And this symbolic recipe has been passed down for generations on a piece of hard papyrus paper. "My workers and I don't necessarily NEED to have this recipe to make the food. I don't keep it to give me directions on how to prepare food. I keep it as a reminder." This small piece of paper, wrapped up and stored in an old treasure chest, means a constant reminder of the struggles Mr. Zhang faced when immigrating to the US from China. But it is not meant to discourage him, or sadden him; rather, it helps him remember how fortunate he is to have come this far in his journey. "Immigrating here was far from easy. It was like entering a dark tunnel, not knowing what to expect, or if there's a light at the end of it. But, looking back today, I couldn't be happier at how things turned out." I, personally, can deeply empathize with Mr. Zhang. Immigrating to the US a few years ago, I also felt, in a way, like I'm so obliviously entering into a completely new world . And like Mr. Zhang, I look back occasionally on the days that I felt helpless, and feel absolute vindication. Immigration to the US is a reminder to both of us of the struggles we and the obstacles we broke.

Year: 1910

– Tamir Pinhasov

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