Migrants day

“Migration – The movement of a person or a group of persons, either across an international border, or within a State. It is a population movement, encompassing any kind of movement of people, whatever its length, composition and causes; it includes migration of refugees, displaced persons, economic migrants, and persons moving for other purposes, including family reunification.”

International Organization for Migration

Today, December 18th, is the International Migrant Day, a date observed every year to “highlight the human rights of migrants and give migrants a voice to be heard”. Most of fall in this category of migrants even if we have not thought about it. The United Nations defines migrant as follows: “an individual who has resided in a foreign country for more than one year irrespective of the causes, voluntary or involuntary, and the means, regular or irregular, used to migrate”. In this one year lapse our friends from Global Health Master could not be included because their studies last for one academic year and , maybe, the will stay in Sweden for a time shorter that 12 months. However, they share purposes with the rest of us, migrants and all of we are part of this great family at Karolinska Institute.

This day is also an opportunity to put on the table the use of immigrant word in kind of pejorative way and discriminating others by their migrant condition. Especially those that are not fortunate to choose the time and means of traveling and flew away of their countries due to security reasons. Others were forced to look for better opportunities to satisfy basic needs and came in extreme poverty. We international students at KI, are relatives of these kinds of migrants and sometimes feel their pain us our. If it is possible.

Migration has very different faces and each person who left his or her country of origin can tell a different story. You can find more details on the web page for the International Organization for Migration or the specific one for today, your day.

A friend of mine lived several years in Spain and produced this documentary about for Colombian migrants living in Barcelona  time and what happened with each one of the some time after. It is touching and beautiful and has subtitles in different languages (this feature must be activated in Youtube). I have cried every time I see it. I am prone to cry, I confess. And this time, darkness, homesickness and nostalgia does not help so much.

For all of you, past, current and future Babel Inhabitants, a very big hug.

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