[i]Hello [name].

[r] Hello.

[i]Do you want to introduce yourself and tell us who you are?

[r] I’m [name] and I was born in Eritrea, I live in Turin so I’ve been here for almost 40 years.

[i]And in what year less did you arrive here in Turin?

[r] In 1985.

[i] And why is that?

[r] For the reliefs that there have been in Eritrea. We were colonized by the Ethiopians. We were very oppressed, so that Ethiopia crushed Eritrea any person Eritrea they wanted, if there is war you know how it is. If there is war, you know how it is, and so War takes you out of the country let’s say.

[i]And what did you do in Eritrea before you left?

[r] I was studying.

[i] What?

[r] I studied, I was in high school so I was the age of say to continue school, but if as it was the war I could not study. So it’s very very much, it was very difficult. So it was so let’s say.

[i]And where were you born in Eritrea?

[r]In Asmara, I am one of Asmara say.

[i] And how was your time when you arrived here in ’85? Did you arrive immediately in Turin?

[r] I arrived in Turin immediately and then after I adapted, let’s say, I started to work, so in those days there was work to be done. So it was a good thing at a difficult time in Asmara and it was very easy in Turin. So we were a few foreigners, we were looking for each other, any person who passed by said “hi brother from where?” So it was beautiful, it was beautiful, in that time, now we do not even greet each other among villagers brother among villagers say. So the weather changed, so much so that in 2008 the crisis arrived, it was very much a little from ’90 onwards we were many foreigners who did not understand anything.

[i] And when you arrived at the beginning, since there are only a few foreigners looking for a job, how was the Eritrean community here in Turin?

[r] It was as strong as Somalia, let’s say. Somalis and Eritreans were the first to come to Italy and we all knew each other and then the Eritreans, they had this to help where there is if as it was the war in Eritrea so we helped no let’s not end meetings, that is we did not sleep we were there Thursday and Sunday so always went into active say on the go.

[i]And what were these meetings for?

[r] Then, they were used to help the country, to start with other groups the foreigners were very active with us many also followed us say in the difficult time of Eritrea.

[i]And what activities did you do other than meetings?

[r] In addition to meetings, for example we went to the park to sell books with groups, at that time it was PC. we were always united, let’s say, to work together, we also had no difficulty in finding to hold meetings, at that time they were full of left-wing officials, so…

[i]And these actions of yours if they also heard down in Eritrea Were they recognized?

[r] Of course, this is because we communicated tar of us looking for people who have left work to help these activist say send, I do not know, clothes, medicines, various things that were needed. Let’s say we participated. Many were in Milan, Milan, erana more, but we, in our part also helped. this difficulty that was the war against Ethiopia

[i]Have you ever been back to Eritrea?

[r] Many times I go every 2 years every year.

[i]Do you still have someone down?

[r] If there are relatives there are sisters…

[i] How has your relationship with Eritrea changed over the years? Compared to when you left no and now Eritrea is different?

[r]Eritrea is very different at that time in Asmara the capital we were 24 thousand inhabitants, now we are million and passes let’s say. Then, after ’91, when Eritrea was liberated it was very civilized say. Our state also worked to civilize build bridges and then arrived in ’97, the bad war again with Ethiopia say the GDP had arrived at 7, 5 and returned 30 years behind. So this was a bit for Eritrea very very very negative let’s say.

[i]And would you return to live in Eritrea?

[r] Yes, because every one where he goes leaves his youth we left the youth down so I would come back but I did 30 so I make 31, if I retire I hope we go down I would come back.

[i]So would you live stably down?

[r] Let’s say yes because by now, when we get older we have to go… instead of… as we say, instead of better dead alive.

[i]And here in Turin instead, after 30 years of living, how do you find yourself today?

[r] I’m here, because I have the job for the moment stable, let’s say I work at Fiat then, I’m one of the luckiest let’s say.

[i] Have you worked for Fiat for many years?

[r] I’ve been working for Fiat for 30 years.

[i] And how was it when you started working in a large company like Fiat for a boy of Eritrean origin?

[r] That time was beautiful, because even people, as I can tell you, it was not that time, let’s say for example the league that changed people’s heads not in the positive sense but in the negative. People who followed that ignorant racism only bring ignorance. So it was a while after I adapted and worked for many years this policy started here so after many Italians are not ignorant, so and then at that time the left was the strongest. But people had no evil, they were more open, at that time before I speak to you at the beginning. I adapt because if you want to live you have to adapt so whatever happens to you you don’t have to see politics but people as they are made, let’s say you either ignore them or respect them. So it was like that…

[i]In what sense did you adapt, give me an example if you remember?

[r] Yes because you are making friends, beyond the work we say, as I can tell you, you reject the customs of others. If you use these you go ahead, you can’t use your own customs in the middle, you’re like a “mosquito in milk”. It must be… that’s my expression, let’s say…

[i]You have to somehow assimilate yourself to the majority

[r]By the majority, it’s fair too.

[i] OK and your traditions, the Eritrean tradition, the customs, the habits, the food, where do you practice it?

[r] Yes, but you can’t have a visa, only if it’s a wedding or maybe a party, then yes. But the food is good, “zighinì” so to speak.

[i]Do you always eat it?

[r] I eat it every now and then, not always, because it has a somewhat longer processing, let’s say.

[i] And in the family do you practice the traditional ones at home?

[r] In what sense?

[i] I don’t know, like eating with mane lo zighinì, listening to music, do these things?

[r] Yes, yes, many times, many times.

[i]And do you convey this sense of belonging to your son?

[r] Music yes, music he does now and then I speak to him, you know after 40 years you run away from Italian, but many times at home I try to speak my language. So maybe he comes with me he’s gone twice and he’s learned a little. But many times at home you have to educate them in your language, tell me, so that when you go to the country you don’t get lost.

[i]And is the mother Italian or Eritrean?

[r] Eritrea.

[i] Have you met here in Turin?

[r] Yes, we met in Turin and got married.

[i]What about the wedding, what ceremony did you have?

[r] At the town hall and then we also had the big party, at which time Eritrea was free and we returned. And we said to spend the wedding with the family and we had one more party in Eritrea. But in common we got married here.

[i]How is the Eritrean wedding party, how does it work?

[r] It works that you have to kill four bulls and you have to invite one thousand, one thousand five hundred people. So you make a big tent and the family prepares all the food, then you go to the wedding. Then on Sunday you go to church after you return to the party, in the wife’s tent to get it and after taking it you go home. Where there’s also a big party there, because it’s for two: my wife’s famiglis has had a big ceremony, let’s say a party. On my family’s side there was also a huge party, both were invited here and there. Then the women’s day might be danced but after 5:00 to 6:00 it’s over. While the man’s party continues until 2:00 to 3:00 all night.

[i] How many days does it last?

[r] Only the party lasts two days. But it takes one to two months to prepare it, just to prepare it. From Thursday it begins, until Sunday, then Monday and Tuesday, then the tent after Tuesday is no longer there. So I’m a week you eat and drink.

[i]And even if you’re in town in Asmara can you do this? Can you do this if you build the tent?

[r] Yes, in all weddings there is a tent, very big as if it were the one on the PC where they made food, the one there. So they’re very big and they accommodate two thousand one thousand five hundred people, so it was beautiful.

[i]And here in Italy these traditions can the Eritrean community bring them?

[r] Yes, but the wedding if it’s here too, but it only lasts half a day, because then you can’t go as I told you. First, each country has its own tradition and then the tradition remains with the country. Here you do the wedding but it lasts half a day.

[i] Concentrated…

[r] Yes, concentrated so you don’t have the party for a week because you can’t do it.

[i] I’ll ask you a question: did you often talk about appointing a political party, did you have a life as a political activist here in Italy?

[r] No, as a political activist no, however, since I was, as I told you before, we helped Eritrea, so we had. We communicated with all the characters and we knew all those who were here in Turin. Many of them were also negative. In the sense, on the side of Eritrea and very few positive ones. There were too many people but the facts were few, many promises. Speaking, because ideology is always there but disappointed somewhere …

[i]What did you do in the community? That is, what was your role?

[r] I was the secretary, Jimmy was the president and I was the secretary.

[i]Is there still a community?

[r] Yes

[i]What do you think of the recent peace between Eritrea and Ethiopia?

[r] It’s very beautiful, the peace is beautiful. But if there is peace, let’s say that someone comes after you and asks you why you make peace. As I told you before, Eritrea had returned for thirty years after the war there were 16 years of neither war nor peace. So UN sanction, sanction here, we had 12 sanction that we, like Eritrea had done nothing. They said that he had helped Somalia, that’s not true. You can help politically to create peace, but it was not so … Then peace is beautiful but always if they let you live you understand? That’s the problem.

[i] Let’s hope it ends…let’s hope it means something positive about this peace for both Eritrea and Somalia.

[r] Yes for the whole of the Horn of Africa. Because if there is no peace in any of your neighbors…then in the end you become as I can tell you. If one has no peace and the other has it, it’s not that it affects you understand? We were when we were in times of war. Somalia used to jute Eritrea to create peace, so it didn’t come at all.

[i] Everything always has a price.

[r] Yes, then Eritrea also tried to give peace to Somalia, it united everyone with Asmara to give them a chance. So at least the country didn’t fall into chaos, so you have to look for all the ways to have this possibility, even the others. We have found freedom but the others have not found it, so it also becomes very difficult for everyone. Those who are close to us

[i]Unfortunately, you don’t live each one separately.

[r] Yes, in fact, it is beautiful.

[i] Of course, is there something you want to add Moses?

[r] Yes, I would say that all the Horn of Africa should be united for peace, and also create the possibility for the people more than anything else. Let’s say that we must say stop the dead. They have all made chaos. Let’s talk about it, it’s not that among us we made war no. There are others who want to take advantage of anything from abroad that two brothers and sisters did and fought us all. Like when there was Mangistu in Massaua, they wanted to create, we fought this, to build the bridges of Massaua They wanted to put the chemical drums, but since we struggled here went to fenire in Somalia. I hope this doesn’t happen again because it’s difficult for the generations that are coming now. Very difficult. Our birth also changes so let’s hope it ends here.

[i] Thank you, thank you very much.

[r] You’re welcome