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We are all immigrants

Living in a country other than the one you were born is a great challenge. Moreover, the first thing you should do in order to facilitate your new life is to learn the habits of the people of your new place of living. There is no doubt that this thing will make both you and those to share a loud laugh.

When I immigrated to UK, where I lived for ten years, my first stop was Glasgow, Scotland. I was sure I knew the language quite well so that I could communicate. Unfortunately, no one had warned me beforehand that the Scots cut the words in the same way as here in the villages of Greece; as a result I spent a full week before I succeed in buying a chocolate bar from a grocery shop.

Earlier, I had felt better in my new country when,being unfamiliarof the fact that the steering wheel of the car and its driver are on the right –whilein Greece are on the left–, I sat on the legs of the ownerof the house where I was staying. My initial embarrassment wasfollowedby laughter when he also laughed out at my blunder, without either pissed at me, nor to look at me strangely.

The truth is that ideal conditions do not exist. We all face difficulties both in our home countries and in the countries we immigrate to. The key is to know someone how to overcome such difficulties quickly. To seek help from the experts, to know the competent bodies and public services for each issue and to take care of our interests by having first of all ensured our legal support. Such significant support in Greece is providedunder the “Immigrants Support Organization service” of BCLA, a modern law firm consisting of active lawyerswho stand on the side of the most weak and inexperienced persons evenagainst the state itself. More than anything, however, we must not isolate ourselves. The best advice I ever heard and the one that I followed all these years I lived and worked abroad is that you should not avoid the people of the other country.

Instead, we need to get to know them, to socialize with them, because in this way, not only will we learn more quickly the language of our new country but also the habits of its people. Better yet, we will teach them in our turn the habits of our country; precisely this information and customs sharing is the essence of a multicultural society. Indeed, if I had not been open to the people that I met,I would not have learned to make the best Indian dish and a traditional Russian dessert.

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