Wanted: American Dream Stories

Part of 6 of in
Text Link
ILLUSTRATION BY TRISHA KIM INOUYE
Oct 01, 2016 | min read
0 0 Snaps
0 Snaps
0 Snaps
0 0 Snaps
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

We asked you to share examples of idiosyncrasies, mannerisms, and characteristics that your parents or grandparents now have, that were formed by their migration experiences.

smaller napkins

My mom always cuts napkins into smaller rectangles, because before, we were just so poor. Now, she does it out of habit. We also used to go to Sizzler all the time, because that was our idea of good “Amurrican” food.

green onion bands

My mom saves rubber bands, especially off the green onions and hangs them on the faucet. It was such a tool! You could do your hair. You could fix something.

empty containers

My mom has empty containers in the fridge because she says there still might be something there left to eat and enjoy from.

watery soap

When we were growing up, my mom would always add water to dish soap or hand soap when there was like 1/4 of the bottle left. I wondered why she did that, but never asked. Six years ago, I moved to live in China, and I had a house helper who did the exact same thing! At Christmas, I would go visit my Grandmother in Singapore, and she also did the same. I started to realize that this was habit that they probably picked up from lean times when adding water stretched out the soap to last longer.

ketchup sauce

My mom puts ketchup on everything like a seasoning instead of a sauce because when she was growing up her family was too poor to buy any other seasoning than soy sauce or ketchup.

Read the rest of the series
No items found.
0 0 Snaps
0 Snaps
0 Snaps
0 0 Snaps
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Trisha Kim Inouye

Trisha Kim Inouye is an artist with a penchant for telling stories. She lives and works with her artist husband in Los Angeles. See more of her work at trishakim.com.

Like this article? You can get it in print:

Inheritance is a nonprofit that is made possible by readers like you. Donate to fund Asian and Pacific Islander faith stories.