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Guest Thinkers

Nothing Human is Alien to Me

Looking back at immigration in the past, we keep wondering what would´ve happened if our ancestors wouldn´t have been welcomed in their new lands.

Terence answered to his neighbor, who told him to mind his own business: Homo sum: humani nihil a me alienum puto. – I am a man, nothing human is alien to me. Immigration is always a very curious issue to me. Especially in the Americas. As I write, I keep thinking that I´d simply not exist, as I know myself, had my ancestors been detained at customs. Those were other times,though. At that time, Europe was “exporting” its unwanted or extra people.

On my mother´s side, they were new christians ( or, if you wish, forcibily baptised old jews) who had to leave Portugal around the end of the 18th century, and settled in Northeastern Brazil. On my father´s side, my great grandparents, after escaping an arson attack on their house in France, and having seen everything they had built burned down to ashes, decided to come to this promising land in the Southern hemisphere, and were able to make a living here.

My great grand father, Jean-Baptiste Lhullier, became the town photographer and even changed his name to Baptista, because he felt Brazilian.

Most immigrants leave their homeland because they want to live better, or live. It´s as simple as that. All in all, it can be a matter of perspective whether you spend money and energy on building walls and fences, so people won´t come to ruin your beautiful garden(we know, as members of the human race, where misanthropy can lead us to), or on helping communities, so people don´t need to leave them, and are able to grow their own gardens. Just some thoughts on where I stand in this world… previously in my personal blog, Luciana´s ocean)


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