Key insights on dealing with hostility, Rita Booker Solymosi, Tilburg 2012

 

Presentation preview of Rita’s life changing experience in Nouredine Erradi’s “The Other Side of the Medal” simulation:

“A Professional Immigrant Everywhere”

“Usually the word immigrant is used for refugees, political or economical asylum seekers or family members who follow behind their loved ones to live and work in a new country. Apart from fleeing from the terrors of war as refugees have to do, I have been through every kind of immigration in the past 33 years.

First I felt free like a young bird in the safe company of my parents, ten years old. They gave up their citizenship and chose freedom of speech and freedom of travel in a new country, a new political system to live and work in. The second time I followed love, the third time I followed my career. And eventually I began to work with people all over the world, who choose a new place to live, work, love and even die, but always follow a purpose. A purpose that justifies a lot of struggle and sacrifice.

When I was confronted with my first culture shock experience during the one week simulation in May 2012, I decided that it was time to also confront the societal stigma for immigrant all over this world. While I feel very lucky, privileged and truly well prepared to handle my own travels for business, pleasure or learning throughout the world, I know exactly how hard it is for many others to come to terms with the subtle differences of culture in new environments. Especially when the new employer, the new government or even just the new husband or wife expect us to behave properly, to integrate instantly and to adjust without complaining – that’s when all those questions build up in us, that I carried around with me for 33 years. Why me? Why am I here? Why do I have to suffer so much?

If there is nobody who can listen, these questions can be very tormenting. If there is plenty of mentoring, guidance and orientation, it can still be a challenge. But if we just hope the questions will sort themself out over time, we end up carrying baggage around with us, that gets heavier and heavier, until we almost break down. Especially if we went through culture shock at a very young age, multiple times, without understanding or guidance from out loved ones, as they were speechless too.

My mission is very simple: I want to help as many people as possible in this world to not just understand what immigration is all about, but what it does to our souls. Everybody can find their own answers to their own questions, it only takes someone to listen, and want to know. I want to know your story, who’s next?

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