It is a beautiful and sunny day here in Zürich Switzerland, on this Wednesday, 4th September 2019. I feel rather heavy hearted, and am experiencing complicated and mixed emotions. I guess my holidays are over and I am getting ready to leave tomorrow.
I would like to extend my thanks to Switzerland, it’s government, and people. I felt very safe in this country, and mostly at home. People have been mostly very friendly and hospitable.
I would also like to thank the Swiss Government for opening your doors to people from my home country, Sri Lanka, who did not feel at home in their own country during 1980s. Thank you for looking after them, and doing the best job you can do to give them a home. These words of mine do not do sufficient justice to the gratefulness I feel in my heart.
Immigrants and Refugees
When I attended the FrontEnd Conference Zürich, I was blessed enough to meet an immigrant, who has been living here for a few years, who cannot go back to his home land. He mentioned that the Swiss Government is looking after him, and he has also been blessed to find work finally after 2 years. He looked rather lonely, and his words captured so much pain that I went rather down to the depths of despair. He was thankful for what he has today, but he is lonely, that I felt. He was really sad, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he was depressed as well.
I was lonely as an immigrant in Australia the first couple of years. I was severely depressed and had to seek counselling and had a life coach for about first 5 years.
When one belongs to a minority, they already have negative beliefs captured around it. So even the slightest negative expression from majority would make an almost dramatic negative impact to the one from minority. Although this should be understood by everyone, I feel the majority can attempt to be a little more considerate in their human expression.
For an example,
If we invite a guest to our house, because they are homeless, provide them food and shelter, but not friendship, love, care, or include in a family like atmosphere, although they have shelter for their body, they don’t have shelter for their mind. Humans thrive to be loved, to be included, to belong. Although we are on a race for material things, on a sad day, it’s not a toy that makes us happy, it’s a hug or a friend who takes care of us.
So, as Swiss Citizens, although I do thank you for everything you’ve already done for your immigrants, I can see that you can improve. So maybe I’ll be hopeful about it.
I have spoken to quite a few Swiss Citizens who belong to LGBTIQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Transgender, Intersex, Questioning) community, and of course a lot of “Straight” people.
One thing was evident, it’s all a bit of a
“Don’t ask, Don’t tell”
I am so confused and really sad. Switzerland is such an amazingly advanced country. I can’t even think of an industry or a field you are not way ahead when compared to the rest of the world. And I can see the government invests a lot in taking care of people.
In my opinion taking care is not just clean water, good public transport, good retirement, etc.
Taking care is providing equality, emotional safety, a feeling of belonging.
The people of LGBTIQ community live freely, but it was evident that they are second class citizens.
So once again, Swiss Citizens, I thank you for doing the best job you know how to do, but pardon me for noticing areas of growth.
I Love You Switzerland!
I hope we meet again!
– Nim –