Immigrant’s life: Returning to where we were once from

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By Enrique Tessieri

If you can trace your recent roots to Europe, would it be a good idea to return back to where your parents, grandparents or great grandparents were once from? The same hope and longing for a better life peppered with adventure are some factors that could lure you back to where you were once from.

Returning to where you were once from can be like the immigrant who left and returned many years later to his former hometown. If a journey can change your life why return to the place you were once from?

As the EU’s financial woes continue to mount and as far-right nationalism starts to lift its head, there is an eerie sense of déjà vu that creeps up generations ago from behind.

That creepy sensation is nothing more, like the riders of the apocalypse, the threatening signs of growing nationalism, racism and intolerance that is being sowed in Europe these days.

I returned to Finland thirty years ago and sometimes it does cross my mind as a cold question if my decision was the right one. It’s not myself that I am worried about but my children and grandchildren. Did I return to the Old World from the New and put them in harm’s way?

Just like when my anarchist great-grandfather left Italy as a refugee in the 1890s for Brazil, that decision impacted his family for many generations. Looking at war and the carnage that characterized Europe during the first half of the last century, my late relative’s decision to leave was the right one. By moving to Brazil and then to Argentina we were able to avoid future wars brewing in this part of the world.

It is not my intention to burden the dear reader with my gloom but some hard and honest questions must be asked:  Is the Europe of tomorrow going to be characterized by strife and tin-pot populists who will lead us on the path to ruin?

Now it makes sense to me by Argentinean writer Jorge Luis Borges once claimed that memory sometimes scared him.