Meeting Immigrants and Refugees from Third World countries
At Lindersvold we had the opportunity to meet some refugees that are currently leaving in a refugee center nearby the school, most of them from Syria. We organized an evening program when they could cook their typical dishes for us, whilst we made some games with the children and finally we ate and danced all evening.
We shared our time and the feeling was that there were no differences between us. The quite shy women started slowly to open and to show us how to move to the vibes of their upbeat songs.
The children already after five minutes were running around the school, feeling the safety and freedom of this place. The men were laughing and, without shame, trying to speak with everyone even if not in a very comprehensible English. The mood was racy, like a party where a lot of people meet and get to know each other, with an awareness to share the same values even if with very different cultures.
All of this was in contrast with what they were telling us. When we received answers to; ‘Where are you from?’, ‘How long was it since you arrived here?’, ‘Where is your family?’… we could understand the suffering behind their smiles, the constant preoccupation that defines their daily life, the horror and the pain that they have seen and the fear for an unknown future.
The stories are all different but the hope was the same for each one; to have again possibilities, rights, a job, a place for the family, a chance for the education of the children... in a few words to have nothing but a dignified life.
I think that the prejudices and the claimed policies of ‘closing the borders’ could decrease drastically if people just started to speak with immigrants and refugees. I believe that knowing them, and sharing moments and visions is the only way to feel again a sense of humanity that I hope is inside all of us. To see them not as numbers, coming to our countries, ‘to steal our jobs and change our culture’… but to understand that THEY are people with stories, with a past often more tragic that we could imagine, with affections. As as human beings, they also need to have dreams and a future.
By Greta from Italy