“When we thought we had all the answers, suddenly all the questions changed.” Mario Benedetti
It is horrible when one has to go into exile to go to more fertile lands. Leave behind everything that is known, what formed you, to begin to camouflage yourself among other languages and other procedures. Over time, you end up becoming an orphan and you are neither one nor the other, but yes, you feel nostalgic for everything.
This is a reality that so many migrant families must face and even when they write success stories, the past weighs down. Especially when there is nothing left but to “burn your ships”, that is to say, give up everything you leave forever. As an immigrant you try to achieve the dream of a better life, but this leads to depressions mainly caused by the separation of families, social differences and the lack of emotional ties.
Mario Benedetti, has a phrase that for me describes what we feel when we are exiled, “When we thought we had all the answers, suddenly, all the questions changed.”
Be an emigrant
If, as adults, this whole process is complicated and painful, this is multiplied when it comes to minors who have to face these changes. For this reason, I want to share some advice from my perspective as an immigrant, which may be useful if you are experiencing similar circumstances.
The loss of identity is probably the most difficult thing to process, because on the one hand we intend to mix with people, but in the case of Latinos as well as people of African origin, ethnic characteristics make it very difficult for this to be possible; especially in countries where the peculiarities of the population contrast. So it happens that no matter how hard you try, you never quite fit in.
In the case of children, they already feel part of these new societies; But those societies that derive, most of the time because of their prejudices, are not capable of seeing them in the same way. Conduct that sometimes the children themselves replicate against their parents, and even feel ashamed, because they see in them the guilty of rejection. Therefore, it is important that you always promote pride in your origins, that you never forget where you come from, that your children know the path you have traveled.
From my experience as an immigrant I advise you
See the change as a decision that you made and for which you are responsible. If you feel like a victim of circumstances you will not be able to open up to your new reality; Besides, the only thing you will achieve is to become an outcast.
Feel pride in who you are and where you come from, but don’t limit yourself to that that’s all you are.
Instill children to be proud of who they are and of their families. Remind them that migration is a natural process that has existed since the beginning of time. The cavemen moved their communities according to their needs and there is nothing wrong with that. Most countries are made up of migrants who have enriched their cultures.
Teach your family that ignorance and bad feelings promote discrimination. Whoever discriminates does so out of ignorance and selfishness and it is they who must change, but only love, education and understanding will be able to do so.
Try to create ties with the community, that will not make you stop being who you are, in any case it will enrich your life and help you feel part of your environment.
Act with values and good will, remember that by being an emigrant you become an ambassador for your land and all the good it can offer the world. Make sure they identify you as a good, productive, humane and loving person.
Respect the culture to which you are integrating, be grateful, and ask the same for yours.
Maintain your traditions, these are the ones that have been transmitted through the ages to preserve what makes us unique; but do not impose them, not even on your children, but try to make them fun, that they are part of their best memories. I assure you that they will never forget them.
Continue united and communicated with your loved ones, nothing is worse than the loneliness of the soul for those who suffer from it.
There is a big difference between who leaves because they want to, and who does because they have no other option. However, that does not mean that the game should hurt forever, or that you should carry the stigma of having come from outside. Be grateful that you have life and always live it fully no matter where you are.