When in New York: of bagels and black coffees, artistic Subway cars, intense museum experiences and Hawaian rice bowls

Bagels and Coffee

As the title may recall, the first full day staying by myself at a hostel in Queens, New York, started with a bagel quite late in the morning. I could finally enjoy a ten hours sleep after having lost quite many sleep hours while working in NJ, and I decided to walk some blocks on Jackson Avenue, starting from the hostel I am staying at, named Q4 hostel, to get breakfast.

The bagel place I reached after a fifteen minutes walk – which should have actually been twenty-five, but as many of those who know me know, I am definitely a fast walker – is called Bricktown Bagels & Cafe, and is more precisely located on Vernon Blvd, which I found on a website listing 15 best bagel shops in Queens. I am at the moment not able to upload any photo taken by myself of neither my breakfast nor the place, but just so you know a bagel does not only need to be an empty “donut-shaped” bread, but it is mostly often filled with whatever cream cheese, or heavy mix one could think of.  Some examples are salmon salad, chicken salad, vegetarian mixed or redbeet mix, with many many more. But that does not end here, from being filled by only a thin layer of cream cheese, often called “schmear”, a bagel can actually end up into a super huge multilayer sandwhich. In case you have not noticed yet, I love bagels and the fact that they are traditionally eaten by American breakfast tables, makes everything more interesting and exciting to try. So first stop was Bricktown Bagels & Cafe, next one tomorrow will be Bagels & Schmear, in Midtown Manhattan. More updates will come and this time I promise I won’t miss to take pictures 😉 By the way, below you can still see how the place I visit today looks like both outside and inside 🙂


Without Subway one could not survive in New York. It is something I have heard dozens of times but now I really know how true that is! I now feel like I can orientate at a minimum required level necessary not to get lost and find myself in the jungle alike Subway concentration of stops in New York, after experiencing a shocking moment when I tried to take myself from New Jersey to Penn Station and then Times Square a few days ago, and my head was just so confused!

What happened in the subway cars I have been going in since yesterday feels like something hard to describe. People wearing red clothes and wearing a sombrero, playing Mexican music and bringing all the joy of this world with tired passengers looking through the windows with endless gazes listening to music on a Sunday morning. Trains as full as every hour was rush hour, although it’s a Sunday, although it’s 11.00 a.m. Almost in every train you take there is gonna be some particular dude bringing with them some snacks or drinks to offer. Or better said, what these people usually say when entering the train cars is basically: “these food is free, if you are hungry please take some”, and then they go basically saying bad things about the fact that people do not even make offers. After that they change cars keeping doing the same stuff again and again.


9/11 Memorial and 9/11 Museum

So my day started with a bagel and continued with some getting arounds by train to reach World Trade Center, which is actually quite smooth to do starting from Queens Plaza, as you just need to take a train to Manhattan on the E line. It was raining a little, very very little but still it was not too nice to be outside, so I decided that today would be a perfect day to spend a few hours in a museum, and so the 9/11 museum was my choice. During the last weeks I have been visiting the memorial quite many times, meaning the two huge fountains placed where Ground Zero took place before, and which cover the mark of the foundation of the two twin towers which collapsed following the hijacking of 9/11.


The light of the entrance of the museum embodies a peace which you also feel by standing by the memorial, two big and deep fountains as I described before. But the atmosphere changes after the access to the museum, which admission itself excluding a guided tour, costs £24 for an adult. Reduced prices are available for US students, members etc. The main hall is a bright atrium, from which one can reach an upper floor hosting an auditorium and a cafè, and the lower floor from where the actual museum starts. This underground floor is quite dark, a symbol of the darkness experienced by the people victims of 9/11 as well as the terror, sadness and grief which are still alive.




Some different food

In the afternoon I started to log in on my couchsurfing profile again after a few weeks. I so got in contact with a girl living in NY who is though from California. We hanged out and had dinner together at a place called Poke Burrito on 30th Avenue, one of the main streets of Queens, which I easily reach from my hostel, taking the N train for two stops up to Astoria. The avenue is really active and energetic, a lot of life, which made me fall in love with the neighborhood right after. I’ll be most likely be around the more central parts of Queens as I am interested to explore its multicultural vibes. I really enjoyed my short visit in this borough as I felt it really close to how I personally am, it kind of embodies my state of mind, my inner soul, if that sounds like a good description 🙂

Music lessons and blog updating

Later in the evening I went with my laptop downstairs to the common room of the hostel, so I could publish some updates on the blog. I met here a guy who is traveling around a few days before moving to Philadelphia where he will study at university. We chatted a bit about living abroad and then he played some music with a ukulele. Relaxing evening planning what do to the next day.

Monday, new week new explorations. Also the week I will be heading back to Italy, but luckily it still feels so far away from today!

When in New York: of festivals in Battery Park, day itinerary and last days of work.

From a couple of days before August 18th.

My weeks as a team leader for the different welcome camps in New York are almost over. A couple of more days and I will pack my stuff and move instead to Q4 Hotel, a welcoming hostel in Queens around Queensboro Plaza, half an hour walk from eastern Manhattan. Really looking forward to that as Queens is the biggest borough of New York by area, and the second one for population. Besides that, Queens is also the most multicultural borough, with 138 languages spoken in the area, along with streets populated by stands selling foods from all over the world, with concentration of food characteristic of specific countries, such as Greek food in Astoria, Indian food in Jackson Heights and so on. But now I am still in the middle of welcome camps, getting closer to tomorrow which will be what we like to call “airport day”: early mornings helping students from the previous camp to check in and drop them at security, and long afternoons, evenings and sometimes nights spent at the airport to pick up the newcomers for the next camp.

The last two days have been a concentration of extreme weather, thunderstorms and thousands of delayed and cancelled flights. Students had their flights cancelled and rebooked for the next day, and some of those flights got also cancelled! Crazy stuff uh? But definitely I am learning

Battery Park – A different view of the Statue of Liberty

Downtown in western Manhattan is a park called Battery Park. Having the eastern side on Battery Road, it borders with lower Broadway on a side, having the chance to reach Wall Street and the Stock Exchange with a 10 minutes walk, as well as to see the Charging Bull , although a photo with no people around is to consider almost impossible to take.

Battery Park hosts a variety of festivals throughout the year. Starting from March until September, theatre and ballet shows are arranged and right now the Battery Dance Festival is going on, a free festival which started on the 11th of August and will end on the 18th of the same month.

Battery Park can be a good place for a lunch break in a relaxing area after having visited Ellis Island. Both Staten Island ferry, which has free tickets, and Ellis Island ferry, which ticket of around £20 also includes a visit to the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, leave from the Whitehall terminal just close by Battery Park. A good idea can be to take the ferry to the museum starting from an early morning.

But I will write more about all this and much more when I will be at the hostel and recovered some hours of sleep I feel I lost already a month ago.

Take care you who read this update and hope you will be looking forward to the next one!


When in New York: of blog updates in coffee bars, contrasts all around and weather alerts

Almost three weeks have passed by since I took my first steps outside Europe, in the US and especially in New York. These days have been incredibly intense, but while working I got the chance to go around quite much and experience the overall mood one can feel while walking around in New York City.

The city is huge, but I am surely not the first noticing it and surely there is not much to add to it. But one thing I have been surprised to realize is that New York is at least not as chaotic as I thought before coming here. You will understand more of what I mean by reading my future updates from the Big Apple and by seing pictures of quiet places taken just in the middle of the city. However, what I can tell already now is that besides a few places to definitely avoid in case you are not crowd and cahos lover or easily get in panic when too much people is around and you feel like you can’t find an escape, there are thousands of venues along which you would just feel as in whichever other smaller city than the huge New York.

But going back to what I was writing before, the US have never attracted me before the experience I am having right now. I have always thought I wanted to travel through European countries in the first place, especially because of economic reasons and because there is a lot to see just starting from Europe. But during spring I received this job and here I am now, writing and completing this blog post from a coffee bar named Gregory’s Coffee, just a few feet from Times Square.

As a chaperon for exchange students the job can sound quite repetitive because of the guided tour following a similar common itinerary from time to time, but it is not at all as boring as it may sound. We often meet different guides who decide how much to focus on the one or the other venue included within the day itinerary. In this way not only we learn a lot of different things about different monuments and attractions every day, but also new ones showed by locals whom you probably otherwise would never get in touch with!

So, beside a general orientation I developed while going around in New York but also by learning and remembering meeting points for bus departures, I am learning quite much about some specific places. I have got some pictures of them and will likely be updating them on a ‘soon-to-come’ blog post or just insert them just in this one during the next days. What they will mostly refer to is Central Park, Rockefeller Center, the 9/11 Memorial, Greenwich Village, Chinatown, Dumbo and a few more. But all this will soon come!

After only a few hours in the US, I was caught by some differences in daily life compared to European habits. I have got two small ones and both refer (ofc, I may add!) to airport experience. The first one is that when you do payments you do not leave the card inside but rather need to take it out in order to complete the payment! Another one is about luggage claim rules…So, in European airports you cannot go and pick up a passenger without waiting outside the security zone, but have to wait until they have picked up their luggage, right? Here instead, people coming from domestic flights only, do not need to wait up to a few hours to meet their family or friends or others, because they will be waiting for them already at the luggage claim. Crazy uh?

Today is a thunderstorm scheduled day. 100% chance of rain throughout daylight hours, so alarms have been going on from different devices I found myself around to. This is particular in the US, as for what I heard they send this “catastrophic sounding” weather alerts a lot more often than one would actually like to hear.

Will start to go now, hope you will enjoy my updates from New York!


New York vibes – Preparation mood

Time has almost come for me to pack a relatively big deal of stuff in two backpacks and get on my first flight to outside Europe. First time in the US and outside Europe at all. I have personally never been attracted by the US or thrilled to go outside Europe so soon, or at least before I had travelled all European countries, which could still take several months/years to be done with. But then I applied to a job, and the working placement I was offered is indeed in New York City. It has been quite a surprise as I was applying for a job for another kind of trip and another destination, and how not take the chance of instead traveling to NY?

Adrenalin has been on its way in the last 24 hours, and I hope for another series of blog updates regarding this trip and different experiences gathered there. Tomorrow I will head home to Rome, a last serie of health checks and then will be flying to NY on Saturday evening.

Preparation mood soundtrack? Morricone, Wrabel and Ure!



Från frivillig till praktikant – Praktik på Malmökretsen HT18 (I)

I början av september tar jag mina första steg som praktikant på Malmökretsen av Svenska Röda Korset. Med detta och andra kommande blogginlägg vill jag informera och uppdatera om min erfarenhet som praktikant. 

Nu befinner jag mig i en varm Rom, precis två månader innan min praktik på Svenska Röda Korset ska ta sin början i Malmö. Efter att ha flyttat till Malmö från Italien, och efter två år i Värmland, jag började närma mig till Röda Korsets uppdrag genom att delta i aktiviteter såsom projektet “Kul på Hjul” aktivt i Malmö, samt sommarläger anordnade av olika behandlingscenter för krigsskadade och torterade. Detta gav mig en första inblick i områden där Röda Korset arbetar aktivt för att förbättra personernas vardagen i en stad där befolkningen visar väldigt varierade sociala, ekonomiska och kulturella bakgrunder, vilket tyvärr oftast leder till minskade framtids möjligheter.

Röda Korset jobbar mot sitt syfte av välgörenhet genom ett gemensamt och frivillig engagemang för att nå ett så likt och jämnt samhälle som möjligt. Som jag skrev innan, Malmö är rik av kulturella skillnader, vilket gör att Röda Korset intensivt fokuserar på aktiviteter som möjliggör integration i varje stund av vardagen. Detta nås i Malmö genom insatser i olika stadsdelar och mötesplatser såsom till exempel biblioteken, andra hands butiker, och så vidare. Trots att det ingår elva olika verksamheter inom områden “migration och integration”, vilket visas som det största del av insatserna i Malmö för tillfället, Malmökretsen också organiserar samling, stöd och hjälp insatser kring områden “konflikt och katastrof” och “hälsa och social delaktighet”, och givetvis tar hand om insamling och föreningsutveckling.

Personligen är jag intresserad av processer som utvecklar vid relationer mellan personer av olika ursprung, svårigheter som uppkommer när någon flyttar till ett annat land, och det psykologiska sida av denna sort av situationer. Jag ska börja mitt tredje och sista år av kandidatprogrammet i International Migration och Ethnic Relations som erbjuds på Malmö Universitet, av vilket min praktik på Röda Korset kommer bli den femte terminen, för att sen ta examen i juni 2019. Under de två år som jag har bott i Malmö har jag samlat lite erfarenhet i integrations insatser, såsom det som bedrivs av Stiftelsen Läxhjäpen, en insamlingsstiftelsen som erbjuder gratis läxhjälp till högstadielever med det tydliga syfte att höja möjligheter att börja gymnasiet. Där har jag jobbat som läxhjälpare, något jag har sen gjort frivilligt inom föreningen Maracana som också vill främja vänlighet och gemensamhet för att uppskatta varje människa likadant, tack vore deras olikheter.

Med detta första inlägg vill jag därför börja en period av uppdatering kring min praktik på Röda Korset i Malmö som kommer börja första veckan i september och sluta ungefär fem månader senare. Jag kommer berätta mina känslor före, under och efter min erfarenhet på kontoret, vilken sort uppgifter jag kommer att tilldelas, hur jag kommer ändra min insikt i Röda Korset insatser, samt min uppfattning av Röda Korset i det stora, både mer nationellt och kanske internationellt sagt.

Till nästa blogginlägg då!


p.s. Jag publicerade detta inlägg först på Röda Korsets öppen blogg på intranätet Rednet

Convenzione di Ginevra e dintorni – Uno sguardo sui minori accompagnati in arrivo in Europa e Svezia

Articolo scritto mesi fa ma mai pubblicato. In arrivo un seguito relativo alla Convenzione di Ginevra e alla Convenzione di Dublino in relazione al caso di respingimento dalla costa Italiana della nave Aquarius.

La Convenzione di Ginevra dètta nell’articolo 33 il principio di non-refoulement, o meglio di non respingimento verso ambienti di guerra, conflitti o discriminazioni che possano mettere a rischio la sopravvivenza delle persone in questione. A prescindere dall’effettiva accoglienza o respingimento della richiesta d’asilo inoltrata nel paese raggiunto, questo è un principio fondamentale del diritto internazionale, che molti stati non stanno rispettando.

Migliaia di minori accompagnati sono arrivati ed ancora arrivano in Europa con la speranza di poter costruire una vita qui per poi sostenere le loro famiglie finanziando a distanza la loro sopravvivenza (esatto, le stesse rimesse che ad esempio gli italiani mandavano dagli Stati Uniti verso le loro famiglie, specialmente nel Sud Italia, 1880 ed il 1915, per poi continuare nel secondo dopoguerra).

Anche all’eta di soli dodici anni gli viene trasmessa la responsabilità di intraprendere questi viaggi massacranti, magari con i fratelli più piccoli, svolgendo il loro ruolo adulto che gli viene trasmesso dall’ambiente culturale ma anche come conseguenza della maturità raggiunta nell’atmosfera di guerra dalla quale provengono.

Io di afghani ne ho incontrati, ad alcuni faccio ripetizioni e parlano lo svedese senza problemi dopo meno di un anno in Svezia, altri cercano di fare del loro meglio a scuola, altri ancora fanno km in treno per riunirsi con amici dello stesso paese ed anche in poche ore ritrovare quella familiarità dalla quale sono scappati, altri ancora fanno il loro meglio per trovare amici del luogo e a cui raccontare della loro cultura e cercare di dimenticare le disgrazie che hanno testimoniato.

Le ambasciate di quasi tutti i paesi del mondo definiscono l’Afghanistan un paese pericoloso e sconsigliano ai propri cittadini di recarvici, perché in caso di attentati il ministero degli esteri non potrebbe garantire protezione. Ma molti governi non si fanno problemi ad inviare in questo paese il resto degli essere umani che non hanno ricevuto protezione o non sono cittadini. O meglio, chi non è uno strumento per facilitare ed aumentare il potere e la sovranità di uno stato, a quanto pare non sembra meritare neanche di essere trattato con rispetto dei diritti internazionali firmati nel dopoguerra.

La Svezia ha negli ultimi giorni sospeso i rimpatri, che proprio dato le condizioni instabili del paese possono essere definite vere e proprie deportazioni, ma al contrario di come ci si aspetterebbe da un paese da tutti conosciuto come “generoso” non l’ha fatto a scopo umanitario, ma come conseguenza dell’attentato a Kabul della scorsa settimana, che ha richiesto il ritiro dalle ambasciate di alcuni funzionari diplomatici, quindi la mancanza di personale adatto all'”accoglienza” di coloro che dovrebbero essere deportati. E Amnesty International, ha denunciato l’UE per aver rimpatriato 10.000 afghani soprattutto da paesi come Germania, Olanda, Svezia e Norvegia (l’ultimo a sospeso da pochi mesi il processo).


Of wisdom teeth and change of plans

There will come a day when you will think you have the time to relax and prepare for an internship interview.

Then you start to have pain around one of your wisdom teeth, and since you had a bit of fever and a handful of sores in your mouth, you just think everything can be bought with the “it all comes from that teeth”. So you go to the dentist who also thinks it may come from that, and also tells you that the teeth sooner or later will need to be taken out. Ok, you take your time and decide that yeah, sooner or later something a bit more serious would happen here in Sweden that would lead to some kind of smaller operation to be carried out in a kind of foreign environment. Good news, it was not that bad, except for the anesthesia injection in the palate, which hurt a lot and made me surely look like one of those characters in the tv-series “The Bridge”. Bad news, fever, tiredness and sore throat were not caused by that, as I realized I was already sick.

Long story short, my uninvited guests bacterias are dealing now with a relative big dose of antibiotics and I am doing my best to recover, keep preparing for my internship interview which was moved because of this, and enjoy the time with my parents who just today arrived to Malmö to visit me. Reeeally relaxing and relieving, especially after some days being sick, alone and abroad, which may be one of the most lonely things I have ever experienced. However, I got a take home exam, yes exactly, regarding just those really exciting books in project management, which however I actually think is really interesting and useful. I will do my best to write it during next week or I will take the next chance.

Now everything is basically focused on the internship, which I promise I will reveal more about, once I will have finally had the interview, which hopefully will go well! Hopefully I will be able to apply for funds and have a different experience next semester, living here, “working but not working” (as internship included in the university curricula are not to be paid) on a 40 hours basis.

Today was the third day of high temperatures, a Spring day which we will not see again at least for a couple of weeks ahead. I was feeling better, thanks also to my super kind neighbor who biked late in the evening to buy me the antibiotica!, and sat by the window in the sun, managing to even get tant! Incredible, is not it? 😉

However, a last news of the week was the positive response I got regarding the summer job I think I had mentioned in the last posts. I got an offer and I will wait for the contract, but if nothing goes wrong, I should be heading to New York around the end of July and stay a month. More news to come!

Will keep you updated!


Updates from the warm(er) north

As I wait for my pasta to be ready I draft a short update about the happenings of the last weeks.Every year I am surprised by how Spring happens to blossom quite late “in Spring” here in Malmö, and you go from January, when you realize how long you will still have before you can get some Sun that actually warms the air, to April when all of a sudden you are like “Oh well, in a couple of months I will actually be able to lay in swimsuit and get tanned!”. This start of the Spring here in Malmö got myself busy with a couple of activities regarding my life in Malmö, my future internship and some summer plans.

This week I was following a lecture that a teacher I know at Malmö University was giving regarding a research she had on unaccompanied children in Malmö. After that, I followed her to this venue, were the association Maracana is having their activities. Maracana is a really interesting project, which aims at integrating in the broader meaning of the concept. The idea is that one should always have a basic net of connection to ask to in case of help, and a place where to meet if feeling alone. Maracana is offering help for a lot of things may be need help with, such as homework, cvs, languages and so on, feel at home, have a chat….but still I feel like I have not explained the concept of the all thing properly! So why do not you come by and take a look? Want to know more? Check this page out, many infos still have to be updated but it will come soon 🙂

Regarding the internship semester, I have applied and still am applying for internship places for next autumn, to be included as a part of my elective semester. However, a couple of days ago I got an interview which will take place this coming week, and I am doing my best to prepare for it.

School is just keeping me busy as much as it usually does, although the difference now is that I have, beside the study of kind of boring books about project management, also the internship to look for, the interview to prepare for, and this engagement with the association, which gives me a lot of energy!

Summer still has to be planned, although what’s sure is a Swedish graduation celebration as my host sister is done with high-school, and I will head to the wild Värmland at the start of June. I am also waiting to receive an answer for a summer job, so this will do for a clearer idea of how my summer is gonna look like.

I will do my best to keep this blog as updated as I used to do a couple of years ago, also to keep track and leave trace of the weeks and time passing by so fast!



One day you are waiting for an answer regarding a spot for your coming exchange year. Would that be Denmark? Or Sweden?

Had it been Denmark now you probably would not stare hopelessly and speechless at some girls in the same hostel room as you hardly try to understand what they are saying, thinking of Danish as a mouth-mashing-biting-potato-sounding-like-tongue. Had it not been Sweden, or no exchange year at all, you probably would not be totally confused about what you want to do after your bachelor’s, as a consequence of dozens of stuff happening in the last few years. Keep moving? Or not? Keep staying? For what?

After a few years being fluent in Swedish, you still cannot understand why people think Stockholm dialect sounds posh. To you is just the cleanest and sweetest way one can speak this language. But you know that you will never have the same perspective on dialects as you do on those of your own mother tongue, as others do.

From that day in 2013, a warm evening of August sitting on my huge luggage trying to lock it, a blue one which I now use to collect all the stickers I buy during my trips abroad, to a cold evening of early Spring, 2018. I am now preparing for a presentation to be done tomorrow, as I applied for a summer job with the same agency through which I was exchange student. Year after year I looked at the job offers to every time realize my age would not allow me for that, but now I will hopefully jump, once again, on the other side of the exchange experience.

Spring is approaching here in Malmö. Back to a year ago, when my foot reached an origin of warmth crossing the corner of the window. Or even one and a half year ago, just moved in, autumn taking its first steps in a welcoming and embracing street still filled with that gaudy green, holding a mug of that strange instant coffee which often has the power to make me feel at home, wherever I am. And that so long missed Spring is again on its way back. Will be drinking a warm cup of tea because what Swedes call Spring, is just too cold for an Italian after all. An average temperature between 0 and 10° and trees still naked from their pastel colored duvet, just now, when they indeed would most need it, is nothing close to the Spring I am used to. But for sure it is a glad reborn I really need right now.

And now back to sounds and smells which are said to remind of moments, people, sensations and home feeling, or that have the power to make you home sickness in most unexpected moments.

You left, left people behind and some kept walking besides you, with you understanding how miles do not and should not count, but do have a meaning.

Change the book, but keep the bookmark in that one your heart says.



Vuoto riempitivo

Di quelli di cui a volte c´è bisogno per rivalutare la pienezza che invece abbiamo sempre a nostra disposizione, nonostante grandi difficoltà a riconoscerla. Uno sconvolgimento di ruoli, tempi, azioni, caratteri ed espressioni, che non per forza devono essere destinate a cancellare quelle precedenti, e neanche a negarle.

Un voler andare avanti ma con la voglia allo stesso tempo di fermare le lancette, che questi momenti sono indispensabili, e anche se al momento non sembra così, ti servono per aggrapparti ed emergere da questa confusa solitudine affollata di ricordi. Che forse solo ricordi non saranno mai.

Scrivere come passione e come sfogo di idee, che poi spesso le parole pronunciate  non hanno grande successo, tra i significati che ognuno di noi attribuisce a queste poche sillabe messe insieme, per finire in una seria di dubbi, domande, insicurezze e paure dei nostri stessi comportamenti, cercando di riempirle forzandoci di dargli un significato.

Un silenzio che vale mille parole

Scary Pumpkins and Memorial Candles

Biking fast from the little hill of Kirseberg, going through a neighbour called Värnhem and then all way through Nobelvägen, then turning right passing by an almost completely built building hosting hundreds of brand new apartments, then crossing the road going left, you will find yourself on a relatively large street accompanied on both sides by two of the three parts of St. Pauli Kyrkogård (Graveyard of Saint Paul). Namely, the part on your left brings the name of ”St.Pauli Mellersta Kyrkogård”, as being the central part among the three of them.

The 4th of November the sky covering the industrial city of Malmö was made out of different shades of pink, grey and blue, with a giant Sun setting down on the side of the Öresund bridge, still shining red around four in the afternoon. Paving the way to an almost mystic mixture and feeling, the atmosphere just seemed to be perfectly fitting the celebration of All Saint’s day, which, after a hundred years of change, moved to be celebrated first on the 1st of November, then on the first Sunday of November, and latest, as it is now, on the Saturday between the 31st of October and the 6th of November. Giving to it more or less religious meaning, it was probably after the Reformation that the celebration started to symbolize the start of the winter in Sweden. To lit candles to be put upon what is called “Minneslund” – a term for memorial grove in Swedish – brings together people whom for different reasons decide to visit a dark cemetery in the evening of Allahelgonasdag. In this way, the dark times of the coming autumn and winter are met with hope, memories and light, and whoever wants to remember someone lost in the past or only follow this really Swedish tradition feels welcomed by strangers’ gazes, eyes, shadows, thoughts, breaths and silent talks.

Although this is my fourth year I am spending in Sweden, before yesterday I had never had the chance to experience this particular day of the year. Walking through the graveyard, we could almost distinguish between different country divisions of the graveyard depending on how the different tombs looked like. Those memorial stones bigger and sticking out more than the others – some even looking like small mausoleums – showing a coloured picture of the deceased ones, with all objects which were once close to them,

In Italy, as far as I know, graveyards are usually locked when it gets dark, and this tradition of visiting them on All Saints’ Day would not be as easily adopted as it is in fact in Sweden, where graveyards use to be open day and night out, and are involved into the inhabitants lives as they are shaped within the city’s net.

A day which sometimes risks to be recalled as only awakening sad feelings, is instead an excuse here in Sweden to get out and get involved in activities and be introduced to the warm feeling of winter, experience the closeness and unity among the city’s inhabitants and your friends, important to focus on something else than only days getting shorter. The entire weekend calendar is usually scheduled with concerts, among the others requiems, as the one I was listening to yesterday in the church of Saint. Johannes by the central neighbourhood of Triangeln. When passing by Sweden during this weekend I warmly recommend to overcome your fear for darkness or scary graveyards and find one of the many “minneslunden” and get together with some locals. You may be surprised and maybe may end up into a magic and silent, and probably scary, place immersed in a forest, accompanied by children trying to scary each other when still feeling that last breath of the Halloween festivity.

Ritornando ai pensieri da treno

Grandi edifici nelle larghe vie della città di Malmö.

Tra poco le luci si spegneranno, con l’orario invernale che entrerà di nuovo in vigore tra poco più di una settimana. Il cemento allargherà ancora di più le ombre fredde che coprono un sole che già non scalda abbastanza. Ma più vita, più attività nasceranno in quella che fino a qualche decina di anni fa sembrava stesse per diventare una città fantasma. E la mente torna ai primi giorni presso l’università di Malmö,un anno fa, scaldando il pranzo con chiacchiere fatte con quelli che poi sarebbero stati tuoi amici entro pochi mesi. Uno sguardo fuori dalle vetrate sentendo il rumore di edifici che vengono distrutti e le prime fondamenta di un nuovo tessuto urbano. Che fa rumore mentre in bici attraversi la parte settentrionale della città, prima del semaforo sulla tua destra, curve da prendere strette evitando quei lavori in corso.

Un inverno all’altezza di Stoccolma che si sta avvicinando sempre più. Sul treno gli alberi tendono a sfumare verso gialli, arancioni, e marroncini che non vedi da nessuna altra parte, e che tardano ad arrivare nel sud della Svezia.

Il tentativo di sentirsi di nuovo a casa in una città dove hai vissuto per un anno. E un po’ ci riesci, ma senti che ormai casa tua è un’altra, che hai bisogno di diversità e qui vedi troppe facce svedesi, troppo simili l’una alle altre, troppi passi camminati alla stessa velocità ed una città troppo piccola. Che prima ti dava sicurezza per la familiarità che trasmetteva, la facilità con cui riuscivi a memorizzare posti e per i volti che incontravi spesso. Ora quando vai in giro, ti basta incrociare al massimo una persona che conosci, di più sarebbero troppe, e a Malmö ognuno sembra trovare il suo posto, hai difficoltà a percepire una maggioranza. Anzi spesso scherzi con qualcuno dicendo che qui gli svedesi sono la minoranza.

Chissà quanto tempo passerà prima di muoversi ancora, ma per ora, nonostante se ne parli spesso in termini negativi, Malmö è un posto che inizio a chiamare casa, quasi una piccola Londra che sta mettendo le sue radici, centinaia di ristoranti con cucina di tutto il mondo, festival musicali e cinematografici, ed il suo profilo, dalla terrazza dell’università, che assomiglia a città piene di grattacieli ai primi arbori, ancora, e sempre più, in costruzione.


I figli della guerra

Ho iniziato ad incontrarli

ed hanno visi cicatrizzati da rovi

che nel cammino non sono riusciti

a fermare la loro fuga


Non hanno più di dieci anni

alcuni sono forse segnati a vita

poche parole escono dalle loro bocche

occhi che nelle foreste non riescono più a chiudersi come vorrebbero


Di padri con cui non riescono più a giocare

le mine hanno segnato le loro gambe

dolori e stampelle all’ordine del giorno

solo discorsi senza sosta ad allontanarli dai ricordi


Qualcuno sdrammatizza

si parla di sciabole minacce e ricatti

i più grandi quasi sorridono

ai ricordi di quelle torture


Mi giro
un bambino di otto anni carica un pennarello
su un fucile di rami
impaurito, quasi abituato, prende la mira




Quel che rimane di svedese

La ciclabile che dal centro della città si muove a sud, dopo qualche chilometro si avvicina finalmente alla costa. L’intera area cittadina non coprirà più di ottanta chilometri quadrati, eppure le pedalate si sentono. Si sentono superando altri ciclisti, mettendo i pedoni davanti ad una scelta da fare, tanto velocemente quanto la sua importanza, e controllando ancora una volta se quell’autista ti farà passare. Da una zona collinare a nord-est, tra curve, qualche semaforo e salite, si passa dal respirare un’area quasi di villeggiatura, ad una di scambi di macchine e frenate, fino a quel moderno avvicendarsi di palazzi, per poi buttarsi in una distesa infinita di sabbia bianca.

Il momento migliore è quello del tramonto, quando con attenzione puoi concentrarti facendo appannare un po’ gli occhi, e accorgerti di linee che formano strutture simili a lego. La costa danese, che guardata seduti dal lato svedese non somiglia ad altro che un cumulo di cemento e continui lavori in corso, rimane un segreto nonostante la sua vicinanza. Che sa di sconosciuto come quei luoghi che da marinai di passaggio mai vennero visitati.

Una ricchezza che spetta di essere scoperta ed apprezzata attende in ogni angolo della città. Tra spari di cui si parla troppo, giovani creativi ed occhiali da vista tondi, troppo poco sgargianti e troppo costosi, si nasconde la bellezza di una città non per niente artistica o storicamente importante, che si costruisce con fatica, allargando le spalle e mettendoci di mezzo qualche risata, una particolarità tutta sua.

Poesie di maggio

Foglie che quasi già iniziano ad ingiallire fanno sembrare quei momenti di rinascita della natura ormai così lontani ed irreali. Si torna sui paesaggi verdi impressi guardando fuori dai vetri delle finestre di casa.


Natura gigante

Così gigante che sembra
di non averti abbastanza,
anche quando quasi non si può di più

Fiori germogli fruscio tra gli alberi,
mattine calde e finestre dischiuse,
a lasciar entrare un odore di novità

Dopo mesi dischiusi in piumini
e case di candele, luce che non sapevi
potesse accecare così tanto

Serate al porto e
giacche al vento,
tramonto tardo e calore sui visi

Estate alle porte
nostalgia di quello che si lascia,
ritrovando il buio invernale

Aspettando di nuovo la primavera dell’anima
Scoprendo ogni volta come fosse la prima,
il maggio svedese


Una serata di maggio

Città di visi, visi sconnessi.

Scarpe che toccano vetrine fredde,
in una primavera più che inoltrata.

Verde, colori, fiori, blu cielo.

Silenzio rumore noia.

Case chiuse e luci accese, autobus che brillano nel caos silenzioso
di una città in chiusura.

Corpi sereni e dritti, giacche al vento
e capelli all’aria.

Città di visi, visi connessi ai giovani occhi
da musica che ti porta altrove

Kiruna – Malmö

From my point of view, coming back from a trip and sleep from 3.30 pm to 5.30 a.m. the following day is sort of a symbol for the amount of knowledge, energy, experiences and people met throughout the journey. As I am asked about the beauty of the place I visit I am often confused on the answer I should give. What I feel, takes way more than a 5 rows typed chat on messenger or an international call where emotions are impossible to show because of the inability to show facial expressions. That answer is about a personal perception of the place, the people met at a jewelry or the ones sitting by you when drinking a coffee, talking about places and understanding each other’s jokes as you are from Italy and they are from France. It is to not longer feel alone, after starting to exchange some words with some Australians in what before was a very empty kitchen in the hostel you are sleeping at, to then walk with them in the midnight sun.

National Geographic tells aspiring writers that what they are looking for is not a description of what a specific place is or looks like, or which things one may look forward to check out from their bucket list. They mainly look for a “basic” and “simple” thing: to awake in the reader the desire and will to leave and travel, and to just visit that place. Personal experiences are the most important as they embody that human character which a dry list of monuments, attractions and museums, may fail to transmit.

No city other than Kiruna among the ones I have visited so far, better embodies the difference of feelings that the sentence “I am coming back, I promise”, carries from place to place, person to person. Nature leaves you speechless as sun never sets and your body is not longer able to understand how much energy you are actually eager for.

I will soon write more about the journey, and going to load a bunch of photos more 🙂

A bit norther

…and what in Swedish is called a “dagsutflykt”.

As sleeping issues are the new hobby, I thought it would me more ‘productive’ – apparently the only thing a student’s mind is set for – to sit and write on the blog, trying to write that post I was thinking about since Sunday.

Just this weekend has been again incredibly sunny and warm here in Malmö. I would say through all Sweden, as it uses to be when temperatures reaches the 20°, but Kiruna was an exception. I was scrolling the weather forecast when I saw that from South to North Sweden there was a difference of 20°, with snow in the top of the country and sun, happy and sweaty people on the bottom of it. I was deeply immersed into this crazy weather forecast when a minute later I realized that Kiruna would be my destination for a few days during the next week. But this is something I will write about when my deadlines . will be passed, and hopefully I will feel a bit less stressed with school work – stupid me, two extra courses did not really help, I guess!

So, back to Sunday, I woke up with a chill mood, realizing the sky full of strange shades of grey (oh how it sounds strange now doesn’t it?!) but later that bikers where going around with shorts and almost sweating. I messaged a friend asking whether she was up for a bike ride to Lund and back, as I had never tried it and neither did I have any laundry emergency going on, and one hour later we were biking on a 21 km path. Lund is a bit closer to where I live – ca 16 km by bike – but my friend thought we could have taken the chance to even reach Sularpsfarmen, in the little area of Sandby, to buy some eco vegetables and explore the area. After a very pleasant and quite fast ride, not without some google maps failures, we reached the place.

We had a very nice time enjoying the massive offer of vegetables, fruit, flowers and little snacks they sold. We first screened the place going through the market and just buying some chocolate snack and chips, then sat outside in the sun and recovering from biking. Then we went in again, chose among mushrooms, white asparagus and raspberry syrup. Then it started to rain (what a surprise!) but it was soon over so we biked to Lund, where we had ice cream and sat in a central square, enjoying the sun on a very special sort of armchairs.

On the way back there was head-wind, which together with the sun and a quite warm and humid air made the ride back a bit longer and tiring.

The great thing was to discover a longer part of bike paths in Malmö and Skåne than the one I am used to daily. There are more or less 800 km of walkable paths covered by the Skåneleden, and although not all parts may be reachable or practicable by bike, still many places are connected by bike paths, and more will come in the following years.

Something I would like to try soon is to bike to Bokskogen, just a bit southern of Malmö, visit the castle of Turup, probably camping or just as a day trip.

See you soon 🙂

Roots – Radici – Agli sgoccioli

A poche ore dalla nascita di un nuovo giorno, stanotte all’una e mezza ero nel mio letto, sfogliando le prime piccole pagine del libro “Foreign to Familiar – Understanding Hot and Cold Cultures”. Cercando di allontanarmi dall’effetto della caffeina di una tazza di caffè bevuta alle diciannove e trenta, mi sono ritrovata a leggere ed immaginare quello che mi sono sempre ripetuta, per poi riconoscerlo nei caratteri stampati su pagine ingiallite. Siamo in un momento di cambiamenti, continui, giornalieri, la vita va sempre più veloce e la cosa che probabilmente potrebbe spaventare è che non sembriamo rendercene conto.

La percezione della vita e dello sviluppo da giovane a “persona realizzata” è cambiata incredibilmente da quella che era “solo” vent’anni fa. Chi voleva fare qualcosa che gli piaceva davvero nella vita, ma che magari non avrebbe dato risultati maturi e veloci, vedeva spesso visto come libertino, creativo, inaffidabile, surrealista, almeno in Italia, almeno per quello che ho percepito da molti racconti. Tanti cambiamenti al giorno d’oggi e soprattutto per la mia generazione, e la cosa che un po’ spaventa è il fatto che diventa sempre più difficile accorgersene, tutto va troppo veloce.

I 2Cellos fanno una tournée in Italia e me la perdo per un briciolo…

Nelle sere estive svedesi mi fermo a vedere il tramonto alle 21,30, ti sciocca, rimani in silenzio, a volte mi sento asociale ma sembra che non ci sia altro.

Forse per questo mi sembra che quest’anno sia passato ad una velocità incredibile. Nonostante quattro saggi da scrivere, alcuni da finire ed altri ancora da iniziare completamente, siamo agli sgoccioli di questo anno pieno di avventure e sfide.

Due giorni fa è stato il momento dell’ultima presentazione orale con una coppia di studenti della mia classe, il nostro tema si concentrava su un articolo sui bambini non accompagnati che arrivano in Svezia, e sulle procedure di accoglienza in case famiglia, famiglie adottive ed altri tipi di strutture. Nonostante la sfida del parlare mezz’ora in inglese, ed alti e bassi tra black-out di memoria più o meno visibili a causa dell’ansia di parlare in pubblico, il nostro argomento ha suscitato molto interesse, che si è poi sviluppato in una discussione molto accesa sui temi di integrazione, assimilazione, lingua ecc.

Questo maggio sta cambiando un po’ le cose, sarà il sole e i soliti cambiamenti di umore che esso porta, sarà il prospetto di rimanere a vivere a Malmö ed in generale in un posto per un periodo più lungo di solo un anno, come è successo ultimamente. Trasferirmi così tanto mi ha stancata, in qualche vuoto ti svuota, ti lascia letteralmente senza radici, che però nel tempo vengono ricostruite nella memoria, nei ricordi e nelle conoscenze.

Nove mesi fa alla ricerca di una bici perché vivere al Malmö senza una due ruote manco a pensarci! Ora me ne sto con una bici usata all’ingresso, l’altra

Momento estremamente creativo, sarà l’estate? Saranno le soddisfazioni che una dopo le altre si accumulano (poi vi racconterò meglio delle varie possibilità di lavoro che avrò per il prossimo semestre, alcune delle quali sono già state confermate)? O le migliaia di parole in inglese e svedese lette e scritte che piano piano si dissolvono di nuovo dalla mia bocca, occhi e orecchie come piccoli sogni.

In un tramonto che scioglie tutti tra silenzi, risate e bicchieri di una bevanda ai lamponi che sa di svedese. Ruote di bici che si bloccano mentre torni a casa di notte, un parco che non ti aveva mai fatto così paura, musica nelle orecchie ed auricolari che perdono i gommini a causa del forte vento, bici che sempre per il vento non può essere guidata con una sola mano. La bici che quando la vai a riprendere dal biciclettaio ha la ruota montata in modo diverso, e scopri che puoi guidarla senza mani. Le pedalate veloci, contro il vento, col vento dietro manco a pagarlo! Fiori bianchi e profumati, rubati da alberi di giardini, piante piantate e mai cresciute, sole che scalda, brucia. Bici grande compagna, in una Malmö che cresce e diventa sempre più mista di culture, dialetti, e accenti che non sono più accenti ma ormai sono già lingue.

Svedesi, e me compresa, impazzita per 25° in un venerdì di maggio, lezioni sospese all’ultimo momento che tutti immaginano sia perché il professore voglia prendersi il sole, violoncelli, persone che camminano, e lo sport che qui in Svezia è sempre al centro di tutto, colazioni a contemplare davanti alla finestra che affaccia sul parco. Finestra aperta, cinguettii e soffi di vento leggero.

Il programma con alcuni amici di pedalare fino al bosco di betulle a 15 km da qui questo sabato, rimanere una notte in tenda, esplorare, tornare cercando di trovare l’orientamento.

Piani estivi di esplorazione, work in progress.

Una Serata di Maggio

Città di visi, visi sconnessi.

Scarpe che toccano vetrine fredde,
in una primavera più che inoltrata.

Verde, colori, fiori, blu cielo.

Silenzio rumore noia.

Case chiuse e luci accese, autobus che brillano nel caos silenzioso
di una città in chiusura.

Corpi sereni e dritti, giacche al vento
e capelli all’aria.

Città di visi, visi connessi ai giovani occhi
da musica che ti porta altrove

A summary of Red Cross activities in Malmö

… and how to get involved in a massive number of volunteering work in the city.

Since I moved to Sweden I started to think more and more about how and where to engage in some volunteer activities, and lately decided to take part to those organized by Swedish Red Cross organization, as here and especially in Malmö it is easy to see their presence in a lot of areas.

But before I start to tell you something about the Swedish Red Cross, I want to break the ice with a few reasons why I think you should take the big step and start volunteering!

Because there is a big need of it! And Sweden may be taken as a very good example, as it is known since many many years as an immigration country, which although a relative small population is doing much to make integration work. Is this falling from the sky you think? Of course not, it is both because of the lack of educated social workers and thanks to the big will of helping that big hearted Swedes have that led to a strong network of volunteer work.

Stop hoping and thinking and complaining about how things do not work and take the big move instead! One person cannot do everything but what may be a little difference may be the butterfly causing a hurricane! Well, in this case in a good way 😉

Because it will not only make other feel better but yourself as well! Moreover, you will realize things about yourself you may not have experienced otherwise.

It will contribute drastically to meet new people, socialize, getting to know how things work within the volunteer network, among the others. In case

It will make you aware of how besides finding a job which will pay your bills and all stuff, you should do your best to find something which really satisfy and complete your days 🙂

Last but not least, it gives you experience! And with this I do not only mean something which you can write in your cv! Volunteer work will make you aware of the possibilities available to help, and to focus your energies on something you really are fond of and for which you think you can really make a difference!

You think I should write some cons as well? Well, here to you two of them… 😉

You may never see the world as others do.

You may have troubles trying to make your schedule work. Once you will be into it you will want to do more and more!

One of the first things which may come to your attention when visiting a city in Sweden is the high number of second hand shops bringing the name of Red Cross, Humana, Emmaus, a few among many others.

Both the interest in an organization which was behind all these second-hand shops, the leaflets I saw in school, but also seeing how Red Cross was present in Stockholm after the terror attack in April, made me get more and more interested to join them!

Although I actually started my volunteering year last October becoming a mentor within the Nightingale mentoring program (organized through Malmö University), a few weeks ago I started to contact the different project responsible after I had read some leaflet on some message boards at university. Just in Malmö there are around twenty projects (verksamheter) to which contribute and take part as volunteers, mainly focused on integration, social development, health care, language sharing and first help groups.

“Malmö Kretsen” (Malmö Circuit) operates on five big operating areas, in turn including a number of activities. Those are called:

Health and Social Participation. Among those you have homework assistance, language cafes taking place in different libraries of the city. Meeting points for children, women, unaccompanied children are also included. Support for Homeless People. Soup kitchen, neutral support people, meeting point between addicts and supporting people. Association Development. Human Rights and Migration. These are the two which I am most interested to, including for example “folkrättsgruppen” through which refugees and other people in need can get legal advice. MASKA works with issues such as investigation, family reunification and return. Transit is a way to offer a human support to newly arrived refugees. Crisis and Disaster preparedness. Including the first help group which carries out an ideal emergency response group.

To start, I decided to take part in the project “Kul på Hjul”, (Fun on the Wheels) aimed at teaching – in a fun way – children how to bike safely. The first days we met where Monday and Tuesday, and next week I will volunteer a couple of times more. Our main task was that of playing some games with a group of 5 people each time, with cards showing traffic signs. A way not only to teach but also learn something you would not otherwise think about!

During August another opportunity will be available. Malmö is one of the cities hosting the Red Cross treatment center for war injured and tortured families, women and children. During summers summer camps in the nature are arranged through which participants can have a place where to find tranquillity and be with their relatives. In June a training weekend will be arranged so that one will be prepared to volunteer as a leader in the camp.

I hope I got you a bit interested in the topic of volunteering, a new post is hopefully coming soon about another association present in Malmö which supports unaccompanied children.



Yesterday Sweden was shocked by a news which nobody would have ever expected to come. A truck drove into one of the most crowded streets of Stockholm around 3 in the afternoon on Friday the 7th, killing 4 people and heavily injuring at least 15. I got blocked when I got to know about what happened, it was more striking of a reaction than I would expect from myself, but it seems like expectations are not to be fulfilled lately.

During a press conference held today, the police gave no further details about the attack than that a 39 y.o. man from Uzbekistan was stopped and retained as strictly related to the attacks. There are still uncertainties about the actual and complete relation of the man to yesterday’s event. An explosive object was found in the truck. The Swedish page of The Local is one good place where to find clear updates.

Police is now way more present and spread within Swedish cities than it was before. Just yesterday night in Möllevångstorget, Triangeln and the central station in Malmö – the third biggest city – one could see how police was spread. One curious thing for me was to see a policeman kicking a football ball to some guys who were playing in the square. A friend told me that a main character of police in Sweden – nevertheless belonging to Swedish culture in general – is to develope and transmit trust and confidence to inhabitants so that in return they can feel safe and protected by them. What can seem as an insignificant and small gesture can instead be the way to a stronger community building.

It is sometimes hard to not be able to help in these moments, I wish I was living in Stockholm to also open my door to people in need or in some other way give support. Here is a video showing the support showed by the Stockholm folk and others right after the attack. People tried to help those directly involved in the attacks or who could not get home because of traffic being closed, by literally opening their houses to them (#openstockholm) or offering coffee and food on the streets. One of the main churches was left open, police made a space available for people to have a roof on their head, sleep and talk with someone, and an increasing number of people donated blood.

I Malmö möts vi – Hjälp till med integration!

Eller, att bli svensk kontakt person utan att vara svensk medborgare.

‘Men va!?’ kanske tänker ni. Nu ska jag berätta kort om vad det innebär att vara kontakt person inom “I Malmö möts vi” – som är kopplat till den sociala resursförvaltningen på Malmö kommun, som dessutom ger flera möjligheter att engagera sig ideellt.

Allt började för några månader sedan när jag skickade in en formulär för att bli kontaktperson/mentor till ett ensamkommande barn, fast jag fick svar om att det inte fanns behov av det då. Efter några veckor fick jag en till mail där någon frågade mig om de kunde skicka min dokumentation vidare eftersom det fanns behovet någonstans i Malmö. Bara för två dagar sedan blev jag kontaktad av “I Malmö möts vi” för en intervju i fredags kl17.00. Jag blev förvånad och väldigt glad och cyklade då till “Invandrareservice” byggnaden med många positiva tankar. Jag träffade en väldigt positivt kvinna som presenterade mig den tjej hon hade tänkt matcha mig med. Allt lät väldigt bra och

Situationen just nu är att det saknas kontakt personer och att de flesta som inte lyckas få någon match är först och främst killar som kom till Sverige som flyktingar. Killar som vill vara kontakt person är därför dem som mest saknas! Åldern? Inom projektet är de vuxna som tas hand om, därför från och med 18 år och äldre. Men just nu behövs det mest hjälp för dem mellan 18 och 30 år gammal.

Men vad handlar det om? Man blir helt enkelt matchad med en person som så mycket som möjligt har gemensamma interessar, ålder och personlighet, för att träffas två gånger i månaden, men tanken att dela språket – dem flesta som man blir kontakt person för brukar ha redan gått på SFI kurserna. Mötespunkterna i det hela är att dela med sig av svenska språket och det sociala utvecklingen både för den person som är ny i Sverige/Malmö och kontaktpersonen.

Nästa helgen ska jag träffa personen jag blir matchad med för första gången, medan nu på torsdag ska jag på en gemensam aktivitet som arrangeras för dem som är kontakt personer. Ser fram emot att lära mig mer om det och träffa mer folk!

Att sitta still i en stad som Malmö som växer och växer och växer, där mycket händer men ännu mer sägs om kriminalitet, utan att göra något annorlunda än kritisera negativt eller klaga tycker jag är lite dumt. Bäst och i stället sluta prata om vad man inte vet än och använda dagen på ett mer produktivt sätt.

Jag flyttade till Malmö för att jag har alltid blivit lockad av mångfalden och mångkulturalism, olika åsikter – mat så klart – och en ung stad. När jag kom i augustis tyckte jag att det inte fanns mycket att göra här eftersom jag kände inte till mycket eller många än. Men ju längre jag är här desto flera aktiviteter hör jag prata om. Speciellt är det otroligt många ideella föreningar som riktar sig till integration av nyanlända personer till Malmö och Sverige – nästa för många så att man inte kan bestämma sig vilket man ska engagera sig i! Några av dem som jag hört tala om än så länge är Näktergalen Mentor verksamheten (ni kan läsa om min erfarenhet här), Open Skåne, Kontrapunkt, Kultur Kompisar, Kompis Sverige och flera mer. Kanske just för att det finns så många ställen där man kan engagera sig i för att hjälpa till så är det inte alltid lätt att få en koncentration av personer, och många känner säkert inte till. Vill man engagera sig för ensamkommande barn här i Malmö kan man läsa mer på denna sida.

Hoppas att du som läste detta inlägg blev lite nyfiken och börjar tänka dig att vara med i projektet! Läs något om det här om du vill veta mer och anmäl dig för att bli kontakt person eller blir matchad med en kontakt person…och lycka till!


About Sameblod – Samiblood

..and the inspiration it brought.


I was sitting at the cinema Panora here in Malmö for a few days ago with my friend, watching the first scenes of a breathtaking and inspiring film which was having that night the first premiere through all Sweden. A few minutes earlier a woman with a traditional dress member of a Southern Sweden association for the promotion and protection of Sami culture, was introducing the film and thanking the audience. I did not know what to expect from the film and as violence scenes took the screen and more and more the main character refused to explicit her cultural belonging, anger was boiling and drops were struggling to flow out.

Two weeks ago my father who came visiting and I went to an exhibition hosted at Malmö museum (Malmö Slotthus) called “Vi är Romer” going through the persecution through history of Roma people, and of the ethnic cleaning pursued by different countries especially Sweden. Crazy to read about what happened just until some tens of years ago, and even more sitting and watching Sameblod just a few days later.

Surely since coming back from Sweden after a long period spent there (can’t believe it has gone almost three years since!) I started to learn and appreciate cultural differences within my culture more than I would have ever expected. The fact that a side of my grandparents come from a little village and that there are different interests shared in my family made it easier to get into the topic with interest and passion. And surely the fact of living in Sweden and studying the program in IMER here in Malmö is helping to put attention on situations for ethnic and language minorities.

Sameblod has been for me one of those steps which leads you to some interesting – and hopefully durable – decisions. University of Tromsø is offering stunning courses – even by distance – in nordic studies and Sami culture. Even though I am already out of the deadline to apply for the next fall semester (they had it in December for international students!), I will probably try for 2018. In the meanwhile, next week admissions for courses and programs in Swedish universities are opening and Uppsala is actually offering distance courses in South Sami language (Sydsamiska)- which is threatened as a minority language among the nine dialects/variations of the Sami language, and it is currently spoken by 500 people in the Swedish territory.

I was wondering whether the Sami singer performing at Melodifestivalen would have received big appreciation after the debut of the film just a week ago, and in some way one can say that this actually happened. The song came third and even though it is “just a music festival” I hope it is symbol of a more participation of the public opinion into the discussion about minorities and recognition of the persecution they have been subject of and they still are paying consequences for. Here below is the song performed at Melodifestivalen which includes extracts of joyk. A jojk (some info in English here) is a traditional Sami song which is usually sung in memory of a person, a place, or an animal, etc.


Hope you enjoyed the reading, and if you are interested you may want to check some more about the plot of the film reading this review.

See you soon!


8 marzo , consigli ambientalisti e weekend primaverile

Venerdì, 10 marzo

Fiuuu, che settimana e che giornata! Tempo di weekend, anche se domani si torna a studiare!

Un post lunghissimo che spero non sia troppo “pesante” da leggere, altrimenti durante la lettura potete ascoltare e vedere qualche video musicale con cui mi sono “fissata” negli ultimi giorni.

La giornata di oggi è stata massacrante ma soddisfacente. Sveglia presto e corsa alle 6,40 per riuscire a stare in biblioteca sul presto. Con il mio gruppo abbiamo finalmente presentato oralmente l’ultimo progetto di ricerca – questa volta ricercando i motivi per cui l’ultimo passaporto britannico è disegnato in modo estremamente maschilista, conservatore e nazionalista – ed ho scritto una parte del saggio del corso a distanza di bilinguismo ed identità. Da quando ho visto il film Samiblood (Sameblod), sul quale tra poco scriverò un post, ho iniziato ad interessarmi sempre più alla discussione delle minoranze etniche e linguistiche, ed in special modo della persecuzione storica del popolo Sami, che è ora cercata di essere dimenticata e le ferite curate. Mi sono messa a cercare i centri di ricerca più famosi di questa materia e mi sono ritrovata sul sito dell’università norvegese di Tromsø, perdendomi tra i corsi di studi nordici e di lingua sami nordica. Probabilmente è un’idea plausibile per un erasmus o un master. In più hanno un programma di un anno da seguire a distanza con cui si può continuare a studiare il bachelor’s in studi nordici.

Comunque, nel pomeriggio ho incontrato la mia mentor child e siamo andate all’acquario di Malmö. La sera ho fatto una lunga e veloce passeggiata con una mia amica e mi sono caricata la spesa sulle spalle, per poi tornare a casa e preparare delle bakpotatis con condimento di crema ai gamberetti, lunghe chiacchiere. Poi sono crollata a dormire stanca come ormai sono ogni giorno! Qui qualche foto del piatto preparato, e di una scoperta abbastanza “peculiare” nel supermercato!




La vita è sempre imprevedibile, si sa.

Una settimana fa entrando a lezione mi sono ritrovata una ragazza che mi chiedeva se quella fosse la lezione di IMER. Le rispondo di si e mi siedo vicino a lei pensando sia una nuova arrivata. Dopo aver iniziato a parlare in inglese ed esserci chieste da dove venivamo, ci siamo rese conto di essere italiane doc entrambe. Dopo lezione abbiamo fatto un giro nell’università e nella biblioteca e ci siamo dette a presto. Qualche giorno dopo abbiamo deciso di vederci per la manifestazione delle donne a Malmö dell’8 marzo, cosa che poi non abbiamo più fatto – e grazie al cielo, dato che tra vento e pioggia, la manifestazione, il traffico, ed un maxi incidente davanti al quale mi sono ritrovata a passare in bici, quel giorno sembrava l’apocalisse! Al ritorno da un incontro di cui vi scriverò più tardi ci siamo quindi incontrate alla stazione, per poi recarci con l’autobus a Möllan, quartiere multietnico e più vitale della città. Abbiamo camminato un po’ per la grande Bergsgatan, dove decine di odori di cibi diversi si incanalano nella via e negozi di alimentari sono aperti fino a notte fonda. Si risparmia comprando lì, ma si perde in qualità. Allo stesso tempo è questo che rende Malmö una città diversa, quasi non svedese, quasi ci si perde. Come essere a Roma.

Siamo quindi andate ad Inkonst, un centro sociale/teatro/spazioeventieconcerti dove si sarebbe tenuto il dopo manifestazione, e abbiamo ballato un po’. Il piano era quello di andare in giro per locali finché durasse “il periodo gratuito” ma in verità era quasi tutto chiuso e c’era abbastanza poca gente in giro. Cosa che in effetti mi ha abbastanza sorpresa, forse in fondo non hanno bisogno di tutto questo femminismo in Svezia? I numeri dei manifestanti potrebbero spiegarlo, anche se sembra che in effetti al cultura della protesta qui ormai non ci sia proprio, o tardi ad arrivare! Quindi ci siamo sedute a Möllans falafel a mangiare e poi abbiamo iniziato a tornare alla stazione.


Giorno dopo giorno mi innamoro sempre più di Malmö, sarà il normale evolvere delle cose, o la primavera in arrivo da oggi – sperando che questo non sia un terzo falso allarme! – il fatto di poter andare in bici, o il costruire sempre più a lungo qualcosa di duraturo! E se dovessi rispondere alla domanda “la consiglieresti come città dove trasferirsi?” non aspetterei un secondo a rispondere di si, soprattuto ad uno studente internazionale!

Sabato, 11 marzo

Vivere a Malmö, che tra l’altro è il nucleo del veganesimo, ma soprattutto dove la bici si usa così tanto – è la 6° città al mondo nell’indice bike friendly – ed avere un giro di conoscenze fatto di persone che o sono vegetariane o comunque molto ambientaliste, mi sono ritrovata a pensare a come le mie azioni potessero iniziare a cambiare per avere un impatto, o meglio ridurre l’impatto, dell’inquinamento. Ritrovandomi a scrivere quello che sto per scrivere, mi rendo anche conto che molte delle cose che elencherò non sarebbero facilmente fattibili in altri paesi come ad esempio l’Italia, sia per la discrepanza nello stile di vita svedese e quello di altri paesi, sia per la cultura ambientalista che ancora non è molto radicata tanto quanto in Svezia.

Il primo punto è quello di usare la bici, i cui benefici sia per l’ambiente che per la salute sono innumerevoli. Malmö è stata giudicata 6° tra le migliori città al mondo per accoglienza dell’uso della bici, in un indice che tra l’altro si chiama Copenhagenize (è Copenaghen a guidare la classifica), con le sue decine di chilometri di piste ciclabili, una mentalità aperta che porta i pedoni a controllare se stanno passando bici, parcheggi e rastrelliere gratuiti per le bici, parcheggi a pagamento con tanto di docce, bici elettriche e non da affittare, pompe della bicicletta sparse per la città, ed altre piccole grandi cose. Al momento c´è l’idea di costruire una pista ciclabile di 15 km che collega Malmö a Lund, quest’ultima cittadina che ospita una delle università più antiche e prestigiose del Nord Europa, e spero davvero che l’idea vada a buon fine! Parlando di lavoro, la bici viene usata anche in questo senso. Unica difficoltà? Quella di dover pedalare con i forti venti del mare nordico che spesso si fanno sentire, ovviamente contro la direzione in cui stai andando! A volte forse ti potresti ritrovare a dover raccogliere una vecchietta che per il vento si è letteralmente rovesciata per terra, e per fortuna ritrovarla a ridere della cosa!

Insomma, un quadretto paradisiaco che mi porta spesso a chiedermi perché le macchine qui a Malmö siano ancora così tante, gli automobilisti siano ancora così imprevedibili e tesi – il che suona esilarante pensando che sono nata e cresciuta a Roma – , che dopotutto le piste ciclabili non coprono tutte le strade della città, il trasporto pubblico sia abbastanza non in linea con l’idea di costruire una città a basso impatto ecologico, ed altre cose di cui magari parlerò in seguito.


Un’altra idea è quella di usare sempre buste di stoffa per andare a fare la spesa, o magari di plastica rigida, ma che siano riutilizzabili. Ieri ho iniziato anche a portarmi delle buste di plastica ermetiche per contenere i dolci per la colazione o i panini che compro al supermercato, invece di prendere una busta di carta ogni volta. Le buste ermetiche modello Ikea sono quelle che uso di solito dato che sono di una plastica abbastanza rigida e non si rovinano subito e si lavano molto facilmente 🙂

Ogni giorno in media mi bevo un caffè all’università, e ho quindi deciso di portarmi da casa una tazza take-away per non ritrovarmi a dover buttare tutta questa carta. Io ad esempio ho questo modello, ma qualsiasi tazza che saprete di usare almeno 70 volte porterà beneficio per l’ambiente.

E per aggiungere qualcosa di positivo per l’ambiente, avete mai provato Ecosia? È collegato al motore di ricerca bing per fare ricerche su internet, e si può usare per così dire al posto di google. Ad ogni ricerca che si fa corrisponde un albero piantato parte di un progetto di rimboschimento della Terra. Ed in alto a destra vengono mostrati quanti alberi hai piantato dal momento in cui hai iniziato ad utilizzare Ecosia.

Come detto prima, la voglia non porta ovunque se non viene incontrata da un’apertura mentale dall’altro lato e da un impegno per fare le cose. Infatti, mercoledì 8 marzo, mi sono ritrovata a visitare la Green House che è un complesso residenziale enorme e con l’obiettivo di essere a zero impatto ambientale, super moderno e dove tra l’altro alloggiano in alcuni appartamenti gli studenti dell’universita agraria svedese. Insieme ad altre tre persone, ho incontrato due persone che lavorano nell’agenzia che affitta gli appartamenti studenteschi, per decidere come iniziare un gruppo di giardinaggio tra noi studenti. L’idea finale è stata quella di utilizzare una vecchia stanza in uno dei corridoi ed adibirla a sala studio e posto per fare giardinaggio, ovvero ci sarà la possibilità di coltivare le nostre piante in una prima fase prima di trapiantarle, o comunque di avere degli scaffali per mantenere eventualmente le erbe aromatiche in un posto tranquillo, caldo e luminoso. Dopotutto, sembra sia stato dimostrato che studiare in un ambiente più verde porti più risultati!


Con la primavera in arrivo, l’idea del gruppo di giardinaggio e l’essermi avvicinata un po’ di più alla natura (vivo nella zona di appartamenti studenteschi chiamata Sege Park, e la finestra affaccia su un parco), più il consiglio di mio padre che è venuto a trovarmi qualche settimana fa, ho iniziato a piantare piantine ed erbe aromatiche. Ho utilizzato una delle confezioni di carta nelle quali vengono vendute le uova e per ogni striscia ho piantato dei semini di timo, basilico, insalata e cetrioli, e dei fagioli neri in un vaso più grande. Quando avranno raggiunto una grandezza accettabile per affrontare le temperature non proprio miti dell’esterno (anche se la zona climatica di Malmö è quasi paragonabile a quella italiana, se si pensa all’estate) le trapianterò nei grandi vasi che ci sono nel prato davanti casa, parte di un progetto di coltivazione comune.

Queste sono solo alcune idee di come vivere più in “simbiosi” con la natura, ma diciamo che seguo tutte quelle che sono rappresentate nella foto qui sotto, anche se si può fare molto meglio.

Di conseguenza, dato che si sa che stiamo meglio se siamo in natura, ho iniziato a preoccuparmi di più dal punto di vista salutare. Tre volte al giorno io e la mia vicina andiamo a correre alle 7.00 di mattina nel parco davanti casa, con l’obiettivo di correre una piccola maratona di 5 km a maggio, e una di 10 a giugno. Per ora sta andando bene, il fatto che le giornate sono sempre più luminose e faccia sempre meno freddo aiutano, anche se la voglia di una sauna rilassante ormai è quasi diventato un’obbligo per alleggerire i muscoli, quindi domani mi sa che ci farò un salto. E se dovete fare una sauna a Malmö, assicuratevi di andare qui 😉

Ora mi preparo per andare a fare una passeggiata al sole con la mia amica, sembra proprio che finalmente l’aria primaverile sia arrivata! A presto

p.s. l’idea di andare a studiare all’università proprio oggi è andata subito alla deriva. Appena uscita per la passeggiata con la mia amica ci siamo accorte di quanto caldo in effetti faccia e di come meravigliosa sia la primavera ed il sole appena arrivato. Tra poco pranzeremo fuori bevendo caffè e prendendo il sole. Lo studio può decisamente aspettare domani! guardate qui…oggi tutta la Svezia è un paradiso!

Schermata 2017-03-11 alle 13.11.34

White flakes

Of Nightingale, mentoring for a newcomer, volunteering in Greece and other stuff

Long time since I wrote and it is surely time to keep track of routines and busy lives here in Malmö.

Let’s start saying that Malmö is a crazy city if you are interested in seeing how a society with different cultures is developing and may develop in the future. If you are an international student and living in a monocultural society may sometimes give you some anxiety, then Malmö is surely the place to be, where a bit more than in other places – at least from my point of view – people learn to see inside a person and not only stopping from their look. Of course, I am talking about a slighty difference and especially within the international students environment. Still, being in the middle of the change make you think of how little actions can make a difference and you are eager to influence things on a bigger scale. Together with being a bit less of an original Swedish society than other Swedish cities may be, it comes along that organization at vary levels is not as good as other places.

As coming back from Italy in January, I started the seconde module of the bachelor’s programme, as well as a distance course based at Malmö University, given in Swedish and called “Bilingualism and Identity” in which I totally dive in during my hours sitting at this lovely university library. First university course in Swedish and I totally recommend this one to everyone!

I then continued to meet my mentor child once a week within the Nightingale mentoring program, and things seemed to be better already from the first time we met after the long time of Christmas holidays.

As mentioned before, Malmö is a place full of integration related organizations, volunteering structures and, last but not least, start ups. Surely this makes you tjink a lot about what you could do to actually help people and not just send some likes or interests on Facebook.

Therefore, always in January, I decided to finally take action after I thought it through for quite a long time, and contacted Malmö municipality’s social work organization to apply as a mentor for a new comer to the city. Those whom I actually contacted are the “Sociala Resursförvaltningen, Ensamkommande barn. Familjehemsvården (Social Resource Management, Unaccompanied children, Foster home care), the links are two. “I Malmö möts vi” (in Malmö we meet) is an organization/activity where one can get involved voluntarily to help people who just arrived to Sweden/Malmö through telling them about the culture, or simply talking to/spending time with them as someone they can trust. The mentor is supposed to have lived in Sweden a while and know the basics of the structure, culture and language of the country/place. Unfortunately, in January they told me they were not in need of any mentor for the moment, but just yesterday I received an email asking me if it was ok for me to have my application forwarded to “I Malmö möts vi”. So I am simply waiting for further responses.

It is maturing in me the idea of going to volunteer helping refugees in Greece, through a Swedish NGO I was suggested about during the week. Let’s see how things develop, including the 8 hours online course for humanitarian action/emergencies that needs to be undertaken in order to apply.

I was at a meeting at university with other students with the idea of starting an “Anti-Trump” student movement of protest. Many ideas and interest came up and it feels that if we are going to put motivation, organization skills and tenacity into this we could create something really interesting, including film nights, discussion events, demonstration and more events. The more the merrier. And by the way, what had started as an anti-trump movement seems likely to become more of a “disappointment-for-politics-state-of-mind” movement.

My Swedish is surprisingly getting better after a struggle faced when moving to Skåne because of the dialect…less surprisingly and a bit sad, my English is not really developing in parallel, indeed it feels like I am getting only worse.

For two days ago it started to snow. An incredible amount of snow flakes (to be in Malmö!) finally landed on the city…it had happened earlier in the last months to see some snow flakes, and even a snow storm covered the calm and windy city of Malmö, but flakes never actually landed on the ground. We definitely experience a special snow effect, since it rather goes back to the sky as it is uses to be quite windy! So goodbye to my bike for the moment, as I am sure that if I ride it again I would slip as nothing as ice is covering much of the streets now.  But at least, taking the bus I can joke a bit on the traditional way Swedes have while waiting for the bus…staying in queue! I just saw a meme about it, but it actually happens! See some funny ones below!

I will leave the library now and start to go home, see you soon!

Risultati immagini per swedes waiting for the bus20170208_075131

The culture of gender violence – La cultura della violenza di genere

Some days ago, while doing a school work about representation of gender in different cultures, I ended up finding this article. As I published it on fb many where interested and I promised my Swedish host.sister to translate it to English once I would be done with my exam. So I decided to translate it – as good as I could – and put it also on the blog. The article is about a social phenomenon quite diffused in numbers of countries, not only that of gender violence but especially of unreported cases of gender discrimination and so on. Surely it can be read as a way to understand a bit more about Italian Culture as this is a phenomena really present there but nevertheless it may be applied to all the Western societies and other places’ ways of behaving and seeing women.

Here is the translation, here the article I read, and here the original source where the article was firstly published in Italian. Here the Spanish original.

It exists, we see it every day, it is rooted in the parenting models, in socio-cultural factors: the violence against women is real although it is even accepted as natural (normal), in our misogynistic and sexist society. For gender-based violence do not exist territorial borders nor distinction of class, color, faith and level of education. It is imperceptible because underhanded. A violence present on every level, unlimited and which does not surprise. It does not astonish; it does not give indignation.

The culture of gender violence has its wedges in stereotypes, in the religions created to oppress, in a patriarchal education, in a system that makes the woman as an invisible human being and it denigrate her constantly, which abuses her although her rights and excludes her from justice.

That culture which goes from the negation of labor rights to social equality, to abortion, education, health, progress, which re-victimizes the victim, which hails to the murder as an “alpha male”. Established norms which have to do with double moral, hypocrisy, with fear and the attachment to appearance. Reasons for which emotional, physical, sexual abuses therefore feminicides remain unreported.

And when the victim dares to report she ends up to be judged by the society which accuses her of guilty. Not to talk about a juridical system which convicts and dishonor blaming her of lying, leaving free the aggressor, the same aggressor which for revenge goes to murder her with the terrible and innumerable feminicides of which no society cares about.

The rape culture, also naturalized, that tells us: she is woman. She is a woman, it does not happen anything, she is only a woman: an object, a rest, a slave. That culture which goes from the ascription of roles, colors, which tells us how to think, how to behave, what yes or no following our gender, and that if we do not adequate to norms then whatever may happen to us is just our fault. Even living according to the parameters defined by the patriarchy everyone accuses and blames. Worldwide, there are laws that enslave women.

The culture of gender violence which tells us that we women are the weaker sex, that we cannot play sports assigned to men, that we cannot pursue professions or crafts which has been historically assigned to men; a culture which tells us that our role in life is to be mothers, clean the house and take care of our children, sexually satisfy our men, live for them. And poor that woman that decides to break rules and love another woman! Because she is denigrated, hit, violated and murdered. Even worse, she was just a woman who could not even be a woman. Case closed when the body enters the morgue.

That violence which is in school, in television, in the radio, in art, wherever. In everything which surrounds us.

The way in which news handle information in the occurrence of gender violence: with prejudice, stereotypes and patriarchate. Women which, for personal convenience, support the patriarchate, so deciding to live this life by submission and shadow.

That culture which denies us our personal achievement and life according to our free will.

There is much to say about the culture of gender violence from whatever point of view, on its reasons and consequences and on who benefits from it. What is it that allows us to react in front of this atrocity? What is it that allows us not to denigrate and waking up every time a little girl, a teenager or a woman is raped, when she is hit or murdered? What is it that does not lead us to create the culture of prevention, a restauration of society and models? What is it that does not allow us to respect each other, to value ourselves as human beings holding equal rights? How deep is our indifference that makes us not to grieve and not infuriates every time that we know of a feminicide, of an assaulted woman, of an injustice of labor rights, of a state that does not invest on development policies for women? When will we stop to live by stereotypes, with misogynic and oppressive religions? When will we change patriarchal norms in order to start raising healthy children who are not going to violate in any stage of their lives?

When will we look each other with the certainty of being nothing more than a particle in the immensity of time? And that our passage on Earth is so fleeting that we will put all our efforts to ensure fairness, and that the right to be and to live with free will not be punished? When will we have the integrity to change the culture of gender violence with that of respect?

There are many ways of doing this, the archetypes in which all exercise gender violence, so much so that many times we do not even realize what we are doing, because it is something so rooted in that, as naturalized as the air we breathe, as the heartbeat, the blink of an eye. But gender violence is something of learnt, so it can be changed. We certainly have the ability to eliminate patriarchy, sexism, misogyny and indifference. The question is, when will we do it?



Falafel in Rome

As falafel fever has just touched the new flow of students arrived this autumn to the city of Malmö, ten days after my return to Rome for Christmas holidays, I find myself trying different tastes in the falafel hub of the Italian capital. You may ask what I am doing here if I continue to eat falafel instead of tasting pizza all the time once I am back? I will tell you…

Malmö’s falafel has the power to change you. While in Rome I may get a pizza or something from the Chinese restaurant just some meters from my door if I do not want to make food, in Malmö you may get the usual question “ska vi köpa falafel?!” (“do you wanna buy falafel?!”) at least twice a week. This for being a student, living in Malmö, being a multicultural city which has been the best environment for falafel sellers to develop, and being the falafel one of the cheapest things to buy as a fast food (a falafel roll in the cheapest place is around 20-25 kr -> € 2,10 – € 2,60). Just to say, my Swedish neighbor and me decided that we are going to count how many “falafel” we buy during 2017. The Independent made it clear in this article, when spending at least one day in Malmö you should try falafel 😉 And in the need of an extensive guide of falafel spots, check this one 🙂

So here I was, walking with my father in the centre at a few minutes walk from the Vatican, wondering if maybe it was not the time to start to taste some falafel to compare them to the “Swedish” ones. We stopped at one where we use to buy a falafel roll, which is definitely different from those they make in Sweden. There we stopped at Viale Giulio Cesare 70.

As he was putting 9 falafel in a box I asked about what they put in them, with him answering that many put chickpeas flour but that they instead put the full chickpeas (boiled), parsley, and vegetables such as carrots and onion. Everything accompanied with a “white sauce” made of yoghurt, mint and dill in another box.

He said to be Kurdish – whether he was from Turkey as my father heard is something to ensure in the following days, when we will also try the other falafel/kebab place in the same street and the one round the corner. Moreover, to be Kurdish is more than belonging just to a country.

Hope one can make use of this short guide of falafel places here in Rome!

Come bambini – parte terza ed ultima

…una ragazza scrive a due posti di distanza. Ho come l’impressione che prenotare un posto di domenica sera sull’Øresundståg (treno della regione Øresund, intesa come l’insieme astratto tra Danimarca e una parte dello Skåne) porti a grandi conoscenze, o almeno a più socialità degli altri. Viaggi lunghi, posti a sedere da scegliere a piacere, tante città universitarie che vengono viste di sfuggita durante il tragitto. Io con sole tre pagine bianche che seguono il libro che cerco di finire da mesi, in italiano.

Giochi di sguardi, sorrisi, risate ad ascoltare una bimba seduta dietro gridare “Pippiiii”.

Le ferrovie qui in Svezia non sono illuminate, ció rende i viaggi in treno ancora più mistici. Ritrovo ispirazione dopo settimane di semi-scrittura, infinite bozze, pensieri disordinati e frasi che si annodano tra di loro. Forse è lo scrivere in italiano, forse il viaggio.

Il ragazzo cerca comunicazione, accettazione, diversità, qualcosa che lo distragga dal gruppo di amici che molto probabilmente è andato a trovare nel weekend, provenienti dallo stesso paese, molti con le stesse memorie. “Lentamente muore, chi diventa schiavo dell’abitudine” scriveva Pablo Neruda. Mi fa notare che il mio cellulare non si sta caricando, poi mi indica una fessura dove infilare la mia bottiglia in modo che non rotoli ad ogni curva. Scherzo sul fatto di aver sparso troppe cose sul tavolino pieghevole del treno. Non ricevo risposte, solo un sorriso, approvazione, cosa che a me è ormai fin troppo familiare quando mi muovo ed interagisco in una lingua straniera, e so che gli altri ci si abituano presto.

Il misto di svedese ed inglese mi ricorda i miei primi passi nel farmi capire in una nuova lingua, le mie rinunce nello spiegare per la quarta volta qualcosa, accettandone invece una falsa interpretazione. Mi accorgo dei suoi sforzi ma qualcosa mi blocca nel cambiare lingua da svedese ad inglese. L’impegno di farlo sentire accettato, di fargli capire che lui non è da meno, che in fondo la lingua la sa e che tutti lo capiscono? Di mostare qualcosa, la lingua svedese e la cultura di questo paese, di cui mai più potrò privarmi? O forse il desiderio di fargli capire che gli svedesi sono aperti, amichevoli, e non silenziosi e riservati come spesso si immagina?

Non è il primo richiedente asilo che incontro in modo “ravvicinato”, ricordo a maggio una ragazza incontrata in stazione aspettando di salire su un secondo treno. Aspettava la sua interprete, appena tornata dal visitare una sorella a Stoccolma. Abbiamo scambiato qualche parola, lei aveva braccia, gambe e viso ustionati.

Alla sua fermata si alza, dopo che il signore seduto accanto a me gli aveva generosamente fatto notare il nome della fermata. Il ragazzo, tutto felice, si alza dicendo “hej då!”

As we were children – part one

On the train waiting for departure. Karlstad Göteborg – stop – train to Malmö.

Looking for the wagon, unnumbered seats, or is, for once I am not trapped in a mechanism, that of having numbered seats, decided and without a chance to be changed, which I see as an extreme and useless attempt to avoid what is new, the different and the unknown, to control things. And here the train fills up.

Someone with a musical instrument, in a case, too big for me to recognize what it actually is. Everyone is staring at their phone, differently from what happened on the first train I took today, made of wood, creaking compartments, with no wi-fi on board and a toilette never opened by those travelers of the wagon in which I was. Red green black.

Colors of a scarf hanging from someone’s neck, someone about whose country of origin I had made in my head an idea about, and that maybe confirms it. A few minutes later, some passengers and I were going to see him taking out of the jacket a document issued by migrationsverket. The train conductor would ask for his ticket, explaining to him a way to fold it so that he would not need to take it out of the transparent case every time he was traveling. Because without a ticket one cannot travel, and the Swedish rules, especially for a time advantage, need to be observed.

Come bambini – parte seconda

…qualcuno seduto accanto, in uno svedese troppo dialettale per me da comprendere, dice al ragazzo “Beh, quando non si ha la mamma dietro si deve imparare a fare certe cose da soli!”. Cerco di fare il possibile per convincermi che il signore non abbia visto il permesso di soggiorno dell’ufficio immigrazione, che gli siano sfuggiti i colori della sciarpa, l’insicurezza con cui il ragazzo si spostava nel vagone prima di sedersi ad un posto davanti al quale era passato più volte, lo scarso svedese. Spero nel frattempo che il ragazzo abbia capito molte parole meno di me della frase dell’uomo.

Tre ragazzi minorenni richiedenti asilo in Svezia e tutti provenienti dall’Afghanistan, si sono tolti la vita durante questo autunno (Aftonbladet, 2016), dopo che per la seconda volta gli era stato rifiutato il permesso di soggiorno, o meglio la protezione per asilo – che ora, dopo la nuova legge di immigrazione molto discussa in Svezia dello scorso luglio, equivale ad una durata di tre anni, e non ad un permesso permanente come si era fatto con migliaia di rifugiati.

Ignoriamo le notizie, basta spegnere il televisore, parlare sopra l’audio. Ma incontrando gli occhi a meno di un metro di qualcuno che ha vissuto tutto quello che per noi sembra così lontano, ci fa perdere tutte le nostre sicurezze, entrare in un mondo fatto di tristezza, senzi di colpa, voglia di aiutare.

Al giorno d’oggi, Siriani ed Afghani costituiscono il numero più grande di rifugiati che arrivano in Svezia. Anche se in svedese, questo articolo contiene un grafico sugli arrivi più che soddisfacente ed interessante sulle nazionalità di chi arriva in Svezia. Tra le cifre si vede come gli afgani sono sicuramente i più esposti ad atti di suicidio, dal momento che quasi il 40% non riceve permesso di soggiorno, ed il 37% avrà il diritto di chiedere asilo in un altro paese EU – ad esempio il primo che hanno raggiunto durante il loro lungo viaggio…