The Italian experience
Think about having Belgium, Slovenia, Romania, Italy and Rwanda in the same room: that is what happen in the case of Bo (Belgium), Cristina (Romania) and Mateja (Slovenia):
Two mixed stories and two different points of view built the whole »old and new migration« for us.
Loredana is a nice and warm Italian lady, about 60 years old, who came here in the 1970s in order to teach the children of Italian miners (the first generations who left Italy for Belgium) italian, obviously. The impressive things about her were her ideas about integration and her opinion about the european origin.
»Integration shouldn’t force you to give up your traditions and native tongue. It does not matter how much time you spend in a country, you should always remember where you come from.« (Bo, Belgium).
»Migration is not a bad thing for a hosting country, like people think. Immigrants can teach us how to be more tolerant and how to accept the differences between us. We are all the same race: human beings.« (Mateja, Slovenia)
»Europe is a home for all Europeans so we should all just feel welcome anywhere in the EU, but we should never ever forget that we are Italian, Romanian, Belgian, Slovenian etc. Our traditions, our history, our language mustn’t get lost in time; we are all the same and all different.« (Cristina, Romania)
I guess that the conversation with Loredana kind of made us think about our own countries’ values, but also that we are all people. We are the most developed creatures on Earth and we have the posibility to think, choose, like and dislike, but most of all we have to be understanding.