[i] Hello [name] .

[r] Hello.

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

[r] Okay, fine. My name is [name] , I live in Turin, I am a law student, I was born in Italy, I was born in Turin, half Eritrean and half Ethiopian.  And what about me, I don’t know where…

[i] Half and half why do your parents, one from Eritrea and the other from Ethiopia?

[r] Yes, my mother is from Eritrea and my father is from Ethiopia.  I’m 26 years old in general, I don’t know what to say.

[i] So you want to tell this connection you have with the two sides: Eritrea and Ethiopia?

[r] So the link with my origins is very strong on my mother’s side because I grew up with her and so maybe the various customs, even the language is much more familiar to me than my father’s side. I don’t know much, because I’m still here, I was born and raised with my mother. But let’s say that the Eritrean culture and the Ethiopian culture are very similar apart from a few facets, they are less similar. However, let’s say that my bond with Eritrea is very nostalgic in the sense that it is a land that I have never seen but as if in some way I had known it through my mother. But there is always the dream of always going to discover something more, although obviously, let’s say that I have been here more and I know more about the Italian culture than that of my country of origin.

[i] And your mom? Because you said “I have a very strong bond, because my mother taught me anyway she handed me down” do you give us an example of how your mother made you learn this part?

[r] First of all in the various holidays, we celebrate Christmas not on December 25th, and because we are also Orthodox the calendar is different maybe we celebrate December 25th because we were born here anyway but at the same time we celebrate our Christmas, biene, it seems to me, a few weeks later falls and so we still ate now, we are the usual do the typical dishes, if they gather all the relatives, and we practice the same customs as when my mother was down, so very strong this tradition still practice them.  Or even the tigrin coffee the coffee on Sunday if they gather all the relatives and if he makes coffee on the ground, traditionally if he makes coffee on the ground, are now my aunts my mother spend hours and hours talking while they make the coffee, or however they cook it, they grind it is a very long preparation that is now talking about it so put on its feet the story assuming. And then it’s a very convivial moment, in short, if you drink coffee but at the same time you eat, celebrate in quotes and you are all together as a family.  And it’s a very strong moment, it’s a good moment.

[i] So let’s say in everyday life the important moments you have somehow adopted and made it yours?

[r] Yes, yes.

[i] What about language? The tigrin language?

[r] And I understand the language, if I hear it, I understand something that has remained to me and especially then precisely in these moments of reunion between relatives, they always speak the tigrinum, so … But I can’t speak it, I speak something, a few sentences but I can’t speak it. Because rightly my mother when we were little spoke to us in tigrinia, when we returned from school both me and my brother if not not if you understand. But going to school 8 hours anyway and then even doing recreational activities after school always speaking Italian gradually went a little ‘to fool no, because we were still confused we were a little’ lost say. So, my mother was advised to speak to us in Italian. I don’t know why.

[i] So you have a brother?

[r] Yes, I have an older brother.

[i] And does he also belong, let’s say, to this rite, in everyday life?

[r] Yes, especially now that he’s gone home, he still lives alone with his partner. When… it’s an excuse to see each other again, a little more, he too has always lived and continues to live these moments. And then one thing I’ve forgotten is precisely the clothing that is important, because then when there are these parties one has to dress like this, right?

[i] What does “a modo” mean?

[r] In the sense that the traditional dress of Eritrea this white dress there are these long white linen dresses, with all of the colors, are all embroidered by hand.  I’ve always been in demand in Eritrea there will be at least 30 degrees minimum, spring and autumn temperatures in summer we reach 40 degrees, as they do with linen which is a bit ‘heavy fabric, but if they dress just like that if they also cover the head. And then, if they put, like, all these gold circles, and the necklaces, because it’s customary, even if Eritrea confirms, maybe, one thinks that we live, in the gold, it’s a very poor country, but in the moment of celebration, however, we have to show all what if it has. Maybe it will be just two gold necklaces but you have to show them a little ‘, a little’ as happens in other countries also, now I do not know …

[i] And do you have your traditional dress?

[r] I don’t wear my own personal dress, but I use my mother’s one, one of many of my mother’s, and I like it because I feel more at home anyway, I don’t know how to explain you, usually it doesn’t happen much to feel at home.

[i] You said something very special. You were born here, weren’t you?

[r] Yes

And in your speech you have often used to say “my culture, my country and I feel at home”, now, referring to Eritrea the one country that in fact you have not seen so this great love has really been transmitted to you.  How come you don’t feel at home, instead, here where you were born?

[r] That’s a good question.  I don’t feel at home maybe, I’ve never felt at home, because anyway I don’t think I’m a different person to hide from you, at least that this “different” one hasn’t been well understood because we are all different anyway, in different facets but we are different. I’ve never said right away, I’d like to say, a striking episode of racism. But latent racism has always been felt since I was a child. So this latent racism, let’s say, no? As if to say, sometimes we say “I’m Italian”, right? “You’re not Italian”, maybe with other people I knew recently, right? When I introduced myself at the end you’re black as you can be Italian.  I heard myself say these things too, no.  So, at a certain point I stopped saying that I was Italian. If you want to escape I was born here but nothing important in short … But I’m sorry because I once had a very strong bond with Italy and on the other hand I had a strong bond with my origins no, this love that was passed on to me by my mother of tradition and these two things went in parallel, however they moved in parallel and then at some point growing as I grew, I felt different, just even if I repeat I have never been the victim of blatant episodes of bullying, bullying is fine, let’s say that if you can also call bullying. Of racism, even if, I repeat, I was very lucky at the same time because I met many people who have never encountered this diversity in me. I have many Italian friends and few foreign friends, because, here too we must stress something else, that if you never say that you are discriminated against on the one hand, that is, on the side of the Italians, but you are also discriminated against on the other hand, because when you adapt, however, you are born in Italy, attending schools in Italy. It is normal that the majority of the people you attend are of Italian nationality so with white skin no? And it is not that you do it on purpose, especially me who was born in 92 the phenomenon of immigration was not as striking as today that in a class are populated more by foreigners than the Italian ones. So, as a consequence, I have more friends, if not all of Italian nationality and I have a few friends from Eritrea, if they are not my cousins or distant relatives, or of other nationalities. But because on the side there is this phenomenon that we were talking about, that of the ghetto if you are not with us it seems that you are racist, because I heard I have to say it above all I also heard to call me a racist because I was always with white people even ugly talk with these terms.

[i] Who told you that?

[r] Of the guys who study in the study room …

[i] Are they boys of Eritrean origin?

[r] I’m not of Eritrean origin, African they told me so because I wasn’t with them. I’m not with them because I don’t know you, I’m with everyone I don’t see any color figures Instead on the other side just to finish the speech because I’m very protracted because when I speak I have to tell 2000 things, I never get to the point.  I don’t feel Italian because they don’t make me feel Italian.  In the sense that the more I go out the more I feel the heaviness that is not a burden for me, on the contrary. It’s a richness the diversity I always put the quotation marks, the diversity. and they don’t make me feel like that let’s say I still can’t feel like I’ll feel Italian when no one has to specify certain things in the sense that it seems normal that that person is Italian because he was born in Italy and is Italian but unfortunately that’s something that I hope the time will cure so I hope.

[i] Well listen, are you a law student?

[r] Yes.

[i] Why did you choose to study law?

[r] This choice was a very hard-fought choice, in the sense that I didn’t want to study so much when I was little, I tell you the truth, I’m sincere, and I wasn’t even this model student, I was very exaggerated, anyway not that I was sorry to study, I wasn’t constant, so, the right term. And so it was a very hard-fought choice because you know, in law you have to study so much is of the truth. But I really liked the law, I like it because I don’t like it because I already talked and I liked it because I said the past and I still don’t like it very much. I also really like the fact that it’s so hard, we have our own language, whatever. And then because, since I was a child, I have always been the champion of justice for a moment, no whoever is always “not right”, always pointing the finger somewhere I have always had this criticism.  And then at high school, having made a right, the first two years, I fell in love right from the start. I said this perhaps the thing I would like to do in life.  And then especially for my story, for many things, I would like in the future to defend those in need, those in need of help, especially immigrants, if I’m to be honest, especially them. And as a “I owe you”, because having had an immigrant mother and one of many dreams we say.

[i] Did your mother come here a long time ago?

[r] Yes, 40 years ago. 40 years ago she came here that she was a young girl, she was 18 /19 years old, and she had a lot of courage, because I had sincerely left at the age of 19 in a foreign country, totally, because she doesn’t say “I’m going to London”, which is still a country here, European, the less the culture is that. Instead, going to a country where she doesn’t know the culture, she doesn’t even know the climate, because my mother told me the thing when I arrived in Italy, she arrived as she had left in the sense, short sleeves, I’m not saying shorts because I don’t know, however, in reality. It was January and less it was January when she arrived even if she was in Rome and it’s not so hot here. To understand how inexperienced she was, if she was thrown into an experience that she didn’t even know,

[i] Did he tell you how he was in the early days of his arrival here in Italy?

[r] Yes, he always tells me about it to make me understand how lucky I am. Make the most of what I have.  They told me that she knew the language, because she knew it down there but relatively as I know the tigrinio, let’s talk about it for a moment like that. But he really did a lot of work, then that’s fine, he was also very attached to his brother who was already here for some time, so he also had this hook in quotes.  However, she felt much more than I can feel the discrimination especially that in those days, however, the Italians could not stand between them figured they endured the “niggers” in quotes, so it was hard, it was heavy, but gradually with time … but my mom is a tough in short, even in general Africans especially the Eritreans are very proud not if my mom can say anything when I fight or say something to her then for 2 months does not speak to me because it is so. However, it is to make people understand how orgolous she is

[i] How if it’s inserted as it did what it felt at first as soon as you got there told how it was its path?

[r] But yes, he told me anyway at the beginning he was working as a maid, for the houses because once it was much more usual. However, even there through acquaintances, it was 7 days out of 7, let’s say …, But in all this she found families who helped her have helped her a lot. So I dissociate myself from those who say that Italians are racist, it is not true that Italians are racist. Let’s say that a percentage of people who are not that they are so very nice in short. But there are others who make us drag so let’s say that we put them together do not come up with a good number now especially in this historical period.  But we will survive this too.

[i] And instead, going back to your mother, you told me that she arrived here in Italy very young and everything told you about her childhood?

[r] In Eritrea?

[i] Yes

[r] Yes in Eritrea we say that …

[i] Even in the fact that you somehow knew Italian before you arrived here how come this?

[r] Why do they teach it down in Eritrea anyway, that is, in the sense, that they teach it also because we know that it was an Italian colony even if for many it is unknown, and when they say where you are from which are your origins, I say Eritrea they say “Eritrea, Eritrea? Where is Eritrea”? And even history is that Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia have been Italian colonies. And especially in Eritrea schools have been founded that are called “Italian schools” are still there today. Those who have the same programs, if they obviously teach their mother tongue and their own but if they also teach Italian. And the less they have programs here.

[i] So your mom learned Italian down here?

[r] Yes to school but a little bit.  But many people come from Eritrea and speak Italian a little bit, maybe they speak it badly, but they speak it anyway. And then the notices are also written in Italian in Eritrea, if there is half. I’ve never seen it before, but unfortunately I repeat it anyway from the stories of my mother’s relatives. And then I also go to check on the Internet, I go to see the place, the videos, yes, yes. It’s right to know my world one day I’ll go there.

[i] Would you like to go there?

[r] Yes, very much, it’s one of my dreams in the drawer.  Just go to my mother land the origin get off the plane kissing the ground these things so however before dying I wish it is one of the dreams

[i] Your mother from where?

[r] Asmara the very capital

[i] And as a young law student, how do you see yourself?

[r] I was thinking my mom

Yes, how do you see your future? Do you think you’ll live here in Italy? Would you like how you see it?

[r] So I personally go a little bit, sometimes days after days I say no more leaving this country I go away, I go where I can feel more realized.  Then most of the time I say, no, I want to stay here, and I want to help people here. In the sense and not go that he knows where in the world.  And so, I see my future here, at least I risk it maybe at least I tried. I see it here I don’t want to leave.

[i] Do you like to travel?

[r] Yes, very much.

[i] Did you have any opportunity to shoot?

[r] Yes, I have aunts in London so I often visit them. Then I went to Spain on vacation.  A little in France, a little in Europe, let’s say, I’ve never gone out of Europe. Because if I had to go out of Europe first I would have to stop in Eritrea. And then after… but first Eritrea, Ethiopia.

[i] Would you like to?

[r] Yes, very much.

[i] Do you know besides Italian and your mother tongue the tigrinia, do you know other languages?

[r] School English in the sense that I speak it, I chew it, let’s say, but I don’t have fluent English. But I do quite well with English.  A petit of French and Spanish.  Although since I have a little bit ‘I would like to maybe deepen more, knowledge of the other 2 languages. Also mine obviously to improve it.

[i] And the two languages?

[r] No, you don’t mean French and Spanish, I’m a bit like that, but I’m fine. [I} I’m fine. Is there anything you want to tell us that you want to share a place of view?

[r] Actually, yes, I would like it to get into people’s heads when they leave their country.  He never does it for fun.  And especially for the people who run away now we talk about the Horn of Africa in question, where there are terrible situations, where people may not die of hunger because they do not die of hunger. These people are sick and desperate.  Because I would challenge anyone to leave a dictatorial regime, because that’s what it is. And so we don’t hide behind a finger and cross the deserted Sudan. Then we arrive if one arrives, still alive in Libya, because in the deserted they can take you even the Bedouins. And taking you out and then taking your organs for the black market is the truth. And then in Libya we all know without me specifying what happens. And then arriving in Italy and still feeling rejected is not right. Because there could have been me there could have been the same Italians in this situation. Instead we were born in the right part of the world, I repeat the words that if they hear and so on. And so we should understand these people, rather than give them on their own. We should take it out on other issues, with other people who are not theirs. So you should open your heart and especially your mind before you speak this yes I want to reiterate.

[i] Does the issue of immigration hurt you?

[r] Yes, very much, especially because I feel helpless to all this.  And I don’t want to be indifferent, even if you know that in your everyday life you are taken by your things, but I don’t sincerely care about the people who died in the Mediterranean Sea I don’t forget them. Even if they are not my relatives, I do not forget them.  I remember despair, I am reminded of the image of those graves of people who … especially an image that I can never forget. It’s that of a girl who I don’t know what her origin was, because it was such a smear image, the image of this girl who cried on the tomb of her desperate boyfriend. Maybe if they wanted to create a future together I don’t know anyway, I thought it wasn’t right. Even if I didn’t know them, that is they are nothing to me, but they are human and it’s not right that we can all say all of them. Because apart from a few people who take care of them, we can look the other way. And to think that it is normal if people die in the sea is not normal, as wars are never normal can not be a habit death. I can’t accept that.

[i] Thank you very much

[r] Sure.