For my contribution to the Race and Oral History in San Diego Project, I interviewed Roque Pangelinan, a life time member of the Sons and Daughters of Guam Club. Through our many conversations during the senior lunches, I have learned about how his family is ethnically diverse. To depict this beautiful diversity in the Chamorro diaspora community, I have drawn several flowers from different parts of the world that Roque’s family identifies with. I think that flowers are a good representation because the colors, shapes, and arrangement can demonstrate the beauty and cohesiveness in diversity. In addition, I have drawn a ribbon with the words “familia-family” written on it to tie the piece together. During the interview with Roque, he said, “I’m not knocking down the island ‘cause that’s where I was born. And I will always cherish that ‘cause that’s where I started my root, from the island to here.” The idea of rootedness really stuck out to me because I know that he is proud of his Chamorro roots. Roque’s narrative has taught me that where you started your life and where you end up in life are equally important and that you can maintain a deep, strong tie to the place where you were born—even from a long distance away. I wanted to symbolize the roots through the flowers—instead of visually depicting them—because roots are strong but aren’t often seen. For the medium, I used watercolor, green sharpie, and black ink on a 5×7 white piece of paper.
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