The item I have selected is a gold necklace with the Hebrew symbol chai on it. The necklace was a gift from my grandmother. She was given the necklace when she was born and gave it to me on my sixteenth birthday.  Therefore, this item has special significance since it is a family heirloom. In Hebrew, “chai” means life. Jewish people often wear this symbol in the same way that people wear jewelry with the Star of David.  Wearing a chai can even be compared to when Christians wear a cross.  Although I received the necklace on my sixteenth birthday, I did not start wearing the necklace regularly until my first trip to Israel when I was eighteen.  During this trip I felt very in touch with my Jewish roots and heritage and wore the necklace on the entire trip.  Now, when I wear the necklace, it reminds me of my time in Israel and makes me feel connected to my roots.  Furthermore, I wear the chai because it represents my family heritage and religion, which is a huge part of my personal culture and identity.  The necklace is delicate and not showy, so it is something I wear everyday rather than as a fashion statement. Due to the Hebrew symbol, observers would probably make the assumption that I am Jewish; this would be an accurate assumption. Although the necklace is not from a recognizable brand, assumptions could be made regarding my economic class since it is a piece of gold jewelry. However, it is very small so most people probably would not notice me wearing the necklace if they saw me in passing. The way in which a person dresses himself or herself is important because it is the first aspect people see when they meet someone.  Therefore, by wearing this necklace, I am making a public statement about my Jewish identity that can be easily understood by observers.

 

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