Is there an object that is significant to you?

We asked writers to share an object that was significant to them, their family, or their cultural heritage. Below, they tell us about their objects and why they are special. 

Tenement Museum: Immigration Museum NYC

While watching, think about what objects are most important to you. After watching the videos below, share your story online with our partner, the Tenement Museum in New York, by visiting here.

A kola nut

Akwaeke Emezi

I’ve been trying to figure out if I can grow a kola nut tree in America because in Igbo culture it’s incredibly important. We have a proverb that says “he who brings kola brings life.” And it’s just something that’s so much a part of my culture and childhood memories.

A photo of a grocery store in southern California that once belonged to Viet Thanh Nguyen's parents

Viet Thanh Nguyen

This is a photo of my parents’ grocery store in San Jose, California. This grocery store defined our lives for a decade, from 1978 to about 1988, but it no longer exists. I’ve always associated this store and this street with what we faced, or what my parents faced as Vietnamese refugees and newcomers to this country.

A gold bracelet with 7 charms on it including a book, a watch, and others

Dipika Mukherjee

This is a charm bracelet that my parents gave me when I was 7 years old as a reward for doing well in school. I grew up with this idea that knowledge was magic, and could take you out of where you were born.