“The bit of bone swung from the grubby twine tied around her neck every time she bent towards a corpse. Round and white from a thousand years of sun, it looked more like a marble, like a gonggi stone that a child could toss into the air and catch on the back of her hand. But it was indeed the top knuckle of Min’s little finger, where she had spelled her heart one morning, lifetimes ago. In the blue haze of dawn, she had chopped it off with a butcher’s knife, just like her mother had, and her mother’s mother before her.”
To celebrate this month, we reached out to our AANHPI community for insider guides to some of their favorite neighborhoods across the US, often places they grew up in or spent their childhoods exploring. Here’s a look at their go-to places to eat, shop, and stroll—and why these neighborhoods mean so much to them.
My immigrant mother’s love language was not hugging and kissing, but rather cutting mangoes into neat cubes and plating it neatly for us, while she scraped the remaining fruit off the pit with her teeth for herself. As Sae-ri observes, “The American marriage is talking and hugging. But that is not the Korean marriage. The Korean marriage is — what. It is one day after the other. It is the breakfast, lunch, and dinner.”