White Wine

Relationship: Child of im/migrant

The glass bottle in my kitchen, which is filled with traditional white wine, shows how we were able to come from nothing and can now afford luxurious items. For my parents, it’s also a reminder of their culture and of traditions they used to celebrate back in China. White wine, baijiu, is made from fermented grain would only be consumed during major events in my family such as weddings. (This is more a family than cultural tradition)  Because it was so costly, it was a sign of wealth but also, it makes people appreciate the rare events for baiju more. When my parents came to America twenty years ago, they had to leave all their possessions behind and they had spent all their savings on travel. Although Wenzhou was a safe and friendly province, a person’s growth and achievements were severely limited. As a rural area located in the mountains, there weren't many jobs available or things to enjoy. At this time, people in Wenzhou had just started hearing about the opportunities and the diversity of cultures in America. So when my mom became pregnant with my sister, they decided that they would much rather bring a child into a society where there are no limits to achievements and success. To come with nothing, and grow wealth exponentially as my parents did, is acknowledged with having baiju readily available in our home.  

Place(s): China
Year: 1996

– Cherry Zhang

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