This is my fourth year being away from home, studying abroad in the US.

Last year, when I was applying for grad school, I had to fill out my permanent residence. Permanent residence? Since I was a kid, I have moved from one family to another, from home to boarding schools, from one country I call home to the one where I have citizenship. The idea of permanency in residence sounds ridiculous to me. However, the feeling of home is permanent. I consider a city, a house I live (or have lived) in, a place where I can be with my family and friends, my home. I always know when something feels like home to me, even though the feeling is so hard to articulate.

Can I find a way to capture this vague, hard-to-describe feeling of home? Maybe cooking familiar food would be a good option. I invited two friends to each pick a dish that reminded them of their home separately and to cook those dishes at my house. We prepared the ingredients and cooked the dishes together. To my surprise, both of them relied on online recipes, not a recipe from their family or from their memory. The dishes felt both like home and strange to us at the same time. Cooking the dishes turned out to be like talking to an old friend: it is a process of reconnecting with the feeling of home. Initially, I thought about documenting the stories of my friends and me and analyzing the food and our homes. However, this idea was soon replaced. Inspired by the piece ‘the Market from Here,’ I want this project to be an invitation rather than a representation. Instead of representing my friends and myself or speaking for international students at Wesleyan, I hope to invite the audience to experience and reconnect with the feeling of home. Through multiple senses, I aim for the video/audio to evoke nostalgia and imagination of home.

I hope you enjoy the video/audio and feel at home.

This podcast features a conversation with Veronica about our projects that both explored the concept of home. You can check out her project here!