WWII Mandolin

Relationship: Im/migrant
An example of how the Mandolin looks.
An example of how the Mandolin looks.

 When I arrive in Russia, I head straight to the bus that goes to the village where they live, and when I am finally there, we all celebrate. We have a tradition during the celebration where we all sit down, get the food ready and then my great-grandmother pulls out her Mandolin and starts playing wonderful tunes which I remember from childhood. This very “Mandolin” was brought to my great-grandmother by her father, from Berlin during WWII, when he marched up to Berlin to recapture what Germans took. The mandolin has a picture of a butterfly with a opalescent finish all over the instrument. You can imagine how beautiful this instrument is. As luck would have it, the instrument was given and passed down to my great-grandmother’s sister and now nobody is sure in what condition the instrument is in. Every time I remember the instrument and how masterfully my artistic great-grandmother played it, it awakens a nostalgic feeling about Russian culture and who I am. My family has always lived in Russia and I am the first generation of immigrants from my big family. Our family’s story is not as unique as most other families. However, if it weren’t for my great-grandmother, I wouldn’t be here writing this. Her artistic skill and nature awakened musicians in my family tree, with my grandmother becoming a guitar player, my mother a pianist, and now I am learning the guitar. My family’s story connects with other stories because objects have influenced our ideas, skills, and choices. 

Place(s): Russia
Year: 2015

– AK

Relationship:  Im/migrant Im/migrant