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Quilting Cultures

July 28, 2018

As a child of immigrants, I understand the difficulty of trying to hold onto ones cultural heritage while being true to the culture in which you now live. There is a conflict. A loss of self. A loss of identity. The sentiment is captured so beautifully by Ijeoma Umebinyuo:

 

"So, here you are

too foreign for home

too foreign for here.

Never enough for both."

 

Still, something beautiful and truly unique emerges from stitching cultures together, like a quilt.

 

A little of this left over fabric, a bit of that old shirt.

 

A little of this shalwar kameez, a bit of that abaya.

 

Sewn together to create something new.

 

The final blanket has a purpose; utilitarian in nature, serving to keep one warm. Yet it is also beautiful. It tells a story. And the symbol of the quilt will help me tell the latest story in the series. A story of migration, family, tradition, and faith. Yes, a story of conflicting and merging identities. But ultimately a story of love.

 

The Quilting Bee, by Grandmother Moses, mid-20th century, USA.

 

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