Written by Simina Cernat (member of Satwa Guna 2012 - Unknow Vietnam project)
We entered Italy…a child near me whispered, with a sad voice: ciao Italy. I asked him if he lives in Italy and he answered no.
Do you like Italy? No.
I was looking on the endless highway and I was thinking…I didn’t like Italy too…I had his age when I came here to spend my holiday with my parents, exactly like him. My parents wanted me and my sister to move in Italy. We had all the papers prepared, the only thing we had to do is to take the situation from school. There, in front of the headmaster, I started to cry and I told them I don’t want to go. I didn’t move anymore.
I went only in holiday. If I sum up all the summer months I spent there, it is a year that I wasted my time in Itay. I didn’t like it at all when I got there and I was happy that I decided not to move. My parents lived from many years in a small village, at the base of a mountain. Nobody walked there. They used cars even if they had 20 meters a distance. I couldn’t understand them and I didn’t like the way Roumanians were seen between Italians. I wasn’t allowed to go alone in the city, because it was too dangerous…I didn’t like that I couldn’t explore by myself the world I had to spend many summers.
I learned Italian watching cartoons, listening to music, asking words to people. I liked the sweet sonority this language has. I couldn’t understand how some rigid people could speak such a beautiful language. I missed the humanity of Romania. In Italy all the things were too mechanically, lacking sensibility, as an endless highway, with forests arranged in rows, where spontaneity didn’t have place. That was the Italy in the eyes of a 12 years old girl used to swirl on the hills, to stay hours in the forest, and to rage in the towns.
Now, at the age of 20, I was thinking at all the stories lived here by the immigrants. All the harsh separations children, parents, brothers and sisters were part of, all related to this misjudged country. Italy seems such a bad country just because it’s the one that took us the presence of our beloved ones.
How many hundred of thousands whispered sadly “ciao Italia”, hoping that the moment when they say good-bye to it with a smile on their face it will come soon? How many hundred of people hoped, were deceived, lived the anxiety of the foreigner that does not know anything about the world it enters in? How many hundred of children moved in Italy leaving back friends, teachers, for a world they have nothing in common with?
The eternal Italy was the witness of many dreams, hopes, one of them accomplished, the other ones smashed, but all of them overlapping a world leaved behind, hidden in remote memories of an ended life.
Italy has a beautiful part too. But this part isn’t visible in a mini-bus full with sad people, that are passing the border in searching of a better life. All they find is a higher degree of comfort. Their life would never be better. Because they are alone, away of family. Because they are foreigners.
All these thoughts were passing through my mind on the highways of Italy…we had been travelling for 2 days. We did the endless travel from Bucharest to Arad, where I met some wonderful people, and it has been a while since we were travelling by mini-bus, with Bella and Ness waiting patient under the seats.
It was a quite a quiet road, seeing that we had 5 backpack and 2 dogs with us. In Arad we were wonderful received by Minerva, Zsolt, Radu, and their dog, Monty. We had the occasion to see Ness running through the Mureș river and Bella being the boss of the pack. I felt like holiday, surrounded by beautiful people, in a beautiful city. An oasis of silence before other 24 hourd of mini-bus.
When I reached my parents house, the puppies were very happy when they saw the big garden they had for running…2 days they just played continuous. I hope they will like the place where they will spend the next 3 months. Maybe they learn Italian meanwhile. Yet, Bella barked at all the dogs around the house. She didn’t want to tell my in what language.
Now in Piossassco is a local festival. The only time people walk around here.
To be continued…Mont Blanc, Chamonix, and Vietnam.
You can follow our expedition on blog: http://www.photodesign.ro/satwaguna2012
Or you can view the entire project on: http://www.photodesign.ro/satwaguna