Immigrant household decor: Your stories wanted!

Did you grow up in an immigrant family (Russian/Soviet or otherwise)? Was every available inch taken up with mementos of the “Old Country”? Or did your family shun any and all reminders? Or maybe it was you who made the journey to a new language, new food, new home and had to decide what to fill your new home with?

Either way, I want to hear from you! I want to know about your favourite or most memorable household tchotchke or memento that tied into your immigrant self. Was it a folksy kitchen item? A family heirloom? Something you bought here that reminded you of there?

As a follow-up to my last post about immigrant identity and household decor, I want to hear from you about the connection between your living room walls and your sense of an immigrant self.

So send me your anecdotes or stories. It can be just a sentence, many sentences, a photo, whatever it is. I’d like to post the responses on my site, though if you just want to share your comments without being posted, that’s totally ok (just make sure to tell me).

And please re-post this, email it to your friends, tweet it, and all the rest of that internets stuff. Just use those buttons you see at the bottom of this post.

1 Comment

  1. inga pv on July 14, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    hi lea! svetlana boym wrote a great article on this theme: “On Diasporic Intimacy: Ilya Kabakov’s Installations and Immigrant Homes.” (1998). Critical Inquiry 24:498-524.
    [we still have our rug in the basement, used as an actual rug. we still use all our soviet-made linens. they’re great, esp after my mom irons and starches them (what a woman!). ill be sad to see them go — as they must, as time and use take their tolls. and we still use lots of soviet dishware and cookware. the stuff that’s good is good. useful. we don’t have tchotchkes on display. and by we, i mean my parents.]



© 2017 Lea Zeltserman