|O carte despre o tânără imigrantă in Canada : Global Citizen Unwrapped Written by Manuela Anamaria |
Observator : Bun gasit Manuela Anamaria ! Cum te-ai gandit sa scrii aceasta carte - te-a indemnat cineva, ti-ai facut in vreme notite, un jurnal, alte motive ?
Manuela Anamaria : Mi-a venit ideea sa scriu aceasta carte in urma calatoriilor noastre si faptul ca tot timpul lumea ne intreaba cum a fost si pe unde am umblat. Mi-am dorit foarte mult sa scriu aceasta carte pentru parintii mei, ca un mic semn de recunostinta pentru tot ce au facut ei pentru mine.
Scriu de la 14 ani si sistemul Canadian unde am invatat m-a incurajat mereu sa fac acest lucru prin diverse medalii si mici publicari. In calatoriile nostre nu imi fac niciodata notite sau jurnale, eu cred ca totul in viata trebuie simtit si daca atunci cand calatorim ne deschidem sufletul si ochii, nu vom uita niciodata ceea ce am trait oriunde ar fi in lumea mare.
O. Rolul familiei tale in emigrare si aportul lor in ce a urmat ?
M.A. Parintii mei ca si toate familile care au facut pasul de a emigra in Canada, au facut probabil unul dintre cele mai mari sacrificii din viata lor…
Nu este usor sa lasi totul in spate si sa mergi intr-o lume straina, unde majoritatea timpului nu cunosti pe nimeni si nu stii daca vei reusi vreodata.
Majoritatea imigrantilor romani in Canada si-au lasat in Romania nu doar slujbele, casele si bunurile materiale, si-au lasat acasa parintii, care este incredibil de dureros.
Sincer, eu pot spune ca nu as putea trece vreodata prin ceea ce au trecut oamenii pe care ii cunosc care au venit aici.
Avand doar 12 ani cand parintii mei au facut acest pas, eu am trait dezamagirile si greutatile unui nou imigrant doar prin ei si de aceea le sunt atat de recunoscatoare pentru ca au avut curajul sa faca asta, pentru mine, pentru un viitor mai bun.
Simt ca mi-au oferit lumea atunci cand au decis sa ma aduca aici si ca fara aceasta decizie nu as fi avut niciodata sansa sa imi traiesc toate visurile.
Vreau ca toti parintii romanii care citesc acest articol sa inteleaga, chiar daca poate copii lor nu le o spun prea des, ca apreciem ceea prin ce au trecut ei si le multumumim.
O. Poti sa ne spui despre carte, ce contine, ce evenimente importante ?
M.A. Aceasta carte este povestea vietii mele, incepand cu revolutia care a avut loc la Timisoara si amintirile mele despre gloantele care treceau prin fata geamului cand aveam doar 5 ani.
Urmeaza povestea bunicii mele care a fost fortata sa imigreze (fugind printr-un gard ghimpat) in propria tara fiindca oraselul unde locuia ea a fost ocupat de Rusi si nu a avut de ales.
Veti trai prin ochii unui copil prima calatorie in afara Romaniei, cand parintii mei m-au trimis intr-un schimb de scoala in Franta, si ce a insemnat asta pentru mine la doar 10 ani vazand cum se traieste intr-o pe atunci, alta lume.
Cartea povesteste amintiri din copilarie din Romania care sunt sigura ca toata lumea le are, si primii ani ca si copil in Canada, dupa imigrarea parintilor.
Va impartasesc despre iubire si despre cum a inceput si continua relatia mea de iubire cu lumea. Traiesc pentru a intelege aceasta lume a noastra si imi doresc sa am in continuare puterea sa strabat continentele cum am facut-o si pana acuma.
La moment dat, in carte veti citi despre Romania vazuta alaturi de pritena mea canadianca si de sotul meu italian, o Romanie vazuta cu alti ochi.
Cu o carpeta magica, vom zbura impreuna prin Europa, America de Sud, Africa, Asia si Oceania.
Cred ca cea mai frumoasa parte a acestei carti este de fapt calatoria prin diferitele culturi a lumii, si faptul ca am avut sansa sa traiesc aceste trairi datoria parintilor mei, care au facut acel pas de a lasa totul in urma.
O. Ce ti-ai dori pentru 2014 si in viitor ?
M.A, Nu imi doresc nimic mai mult pentru viitor decat ca fetita mea Alessia Maya sa aiba aceeasi pasiune in viata de a isi trai proprile vise si aceeasi dragoste fata de oameni care o am si eu.
Imi doresc sa o cresc cu picioarele pe pamant si cu intelegerea ca din natura, oamenii sunt buni si fiecare om are o poveste care merita ascultata.
Imi doresc foarte mult ca oamenii sa nu uite niciodata ceea ce este cel mai important in viata, familia, iubirea, sanatatea si nu banii si avutiile.
Este foarte usor sa ne pierdem adevaratele valori in aceasta societate, si sper ca oamenii sa se intoarca la radacini, la natura astfel incat copii nostri vor mai avea o planeta unde se va putea respira aer curat in urmatorii ani si mancare care nu este modificata genetic.
Imi doresc ca fiecare om sa reusesasca sa isi urmeze visele si sa traiasca fiecare clipa, pentru ca viata e scurta si tot cu ce ramanem de la ea sunt amintirile si iubirea.
Nota Observator :
Vom publica, mai jos, un fragment din cartea ; Global Citizen Unwrapped Written by Manuela Anamaria
" Dedicated to LOVE. To all whom I have loved and whom I continue to love.
Dedicated to my daughter, Alessia, who is my greatest love.
From where I lie here on my disproportionate couch, the world appears entirely three dimensional. The colossal world map hanging on my otherwise barren wall depicts the world as viewed from a satellite. The colours are subtle and the blue oceans dominate its entirety. Somehow, the world seems to blend together. This map seems to yearn for more coloured dots of places visited to fill its continents. I am insatiable not only to fill the map with coloured dots, but my soul with dreams of distant lands and adjacent people. I feel that you too share my dream of understanding this humanity and I ask you to embark with me on my magic carpet ride. We are after all, citizens of the world.
This is who I am, and I am who I am because of you. You have shaped me, you have created me and you have molded me every time I have met you. You are African, you are European, you are Asian, you are South or North American, Australian and everything in between. Nice to meet you, I am your creation. I cannot imagine me without you. I might not know your life story, but you know mine, because you have made me who I am. I want to know you and that is why I am traversing the oceans, one continent at a time. I am human without the restrictions of nationality and faith.
My story commences in Timișoara, a gloomy, yet nevertheless beautiful Romanian city during communist rule. Timișoara is part of Transylvania, which I am sure most of you have heard of thanks to the very creative mind of the author who wrote the story of Dracula, Bram Stoker. It was in this city that later began the upheaval of the communist regime. Although communism might sound on the surface like quite a utopian society, where everyone is equal, everyone has a job and an apartment provided by the government, the communist system experienced by the majority of Romanians was far from being a utopia. The reality was that the leaders were indulging in a life of riches, while the common folk had to wait in line for two hours in order to purchase a bottle of milk and a carton of eggs. Each family received a stick of butter once a month. Everything was rationed and you had to save up even gasoline for months if you wanted to drive anywhere across the country. The borders were closed and we were not allowed anywhere outside of the Soviet Bloc.
We were brainwashed to our core and watched at all times by various government officials. You could not say anything about Ceaușescu, the communist leader, without fearing being taken away to some prison in the middle of nowhere. There were state security spies everywhere and people lived in constant fear of performing what the state believed were illegal actions. Opinions against the state or communism were treated as treason and punishable with death at times. It was not clear who the spies were and you had to constantly watch your back in order to avoid being reported. Your words had to be carefully chosen to ensure no incriminating information would arise mistakenly. In many ways, it is similar to modern day Western society, however, for different reasons.
In communist Romania, there were no mistakes. If you made a mistake or said the wrong thing, you never knew who might have heard you and what they might do to you. Whether you could even trust your friends or family was questionable as anyone was apt to be a spy. My father constantly reminded me to not divulge any conversations from our household and explained to me the consequences if I were to slip up. Even so, my parents were free spirits back then and did not agree with that highly controlled society. They understood that democracy would work better for them even then, though I was too young to comprehend exactly what was going on.
Although I was five years old at the time, the Romanian revolution remains ingrained in my mind as if it happened yesterday. Politics were not my forte back then yet I remember the chaos on the streets and on television. I recall crawling on the floor so as to not be shot by the flying bullets that were racing in front of our window during those weeks of the Romanian revolution. Stores were closed and food was scarce. For a few days, we lived on preserves my grandmother had made and frozen meat which we had from my other grandmother who lived in a rural village, not as impacted by the violence. Having relatives who lived in a village ensured a constant flow of organic fruits, vegetables, eggs and meat. Every two weeks, we would visit my grandmother in the village and return with a car full of delicious edibles. If you did not know someone who lived on a farm, you were likely deprived of many nutrients as many foods were highly rationed and rarely sufficient to feed an entire family.
Communism came with a lot of meditation time as the electricity often failed for hours. People had candles and matches nearby in case of a power failure. I recall my fright going to sleep in the dark and wondering why there were so many power outages. The smell of the old gas fueled lamp remains with me to this day. It was rather melancholic as a child to be spending time with family around the flicker of the archaic lamp. Taking baths was equally enchanting as it required my entire family surrounding me with towels due to the lack of heat in the apartment. Heat was moderated and homes in communism were often freezing. The heater was cooler than the outside temperature. The former Soviet Bloc is only now beginning to thaw after decades of being deprived of the most basic needs. I often think this communist era left a bitterness in people’s hearts that is only now starting to diminish.
The revolution killed many people and left even more scarred for life. The fall of communism came both with praise and sadness from the population of Romania. Elderly cried while the youth celebrated. It was a divide which is still felt in Romania with every general election where the elderly continue to cling to old ideals and the younger generation craves constant change. This trend is rather global.
My grandmother, a woman who is no longer with us but continues to exist in every inch of my being, lived through tougher times and saw communism with different eyes. She liked the security of having a place to work and live. Buni, as I like to call her, was a young girl when the Russians occupied a part of Romania and made it part of Ukraine. Her story continues to make my body shiver. She had to crawl through barbed wire along with one of her sisters in order to escape being raped by the Russian soldiers. Those emotionless men battling in the war determined my grandmother to leave her entire family behind and be a part of the only country she ever knew. I guess you would have to be ruthless to be part of any war or else I will never understand how human beings can kill other human beings. This is politics though and I will leave this to the world leaders for discussion as my Political Science degree does not aid me in understanding wars any better. In a way I do understand; soldiers are human beings too, and they have needs as any other human beings. However, rape is not
acceptable and it is one of many behaviors that distinguish us from animals.
And so she managed to get through the barbed wire, even though she remained scarred for life. If the barbed wire and emotional distress were not enough, my grandmother had to endure yet another human malady: typhus. Typhus is a disease which fortunately is not very wide spread today. It manifests itself with extremely high fever, delirium and severe muscle pain among other things. This same disease took the life of the famous Anne Frank. i
Buni lost all of her hair and was immobilized for six weeks in an unknown location with no one to watch over her. All she could recall were the numerous beds laid close together in what appeared to be a school gymnasium. She had even lost her sister in trying to get across the border.
At the age of sixteen, my grandmother was an immigrant in her own country. She had no identity and no one to turn to. Buni had little recollection about who took care of her while she was ill or how she ever recovered, but she did remember coming up with enough money to buy a train ticket and move to Timișoara, approximately eight hundred kilometers across the country. She laboured in a farmer’s field that was littered with land mines. One wrong move and everything could have been up in the air. When she spoke of the farmers, she spoke of them with kind words and dear memories. They were simple people who were there to help her in a time of need and even sixty years later, she could recall the taste of the fresh polenta cooking on the stove. Food was scarce during the war and polenta (cornmeal) was a staple in the diet of peasants. Topped with fresh cheese, polenta continues to be savoured by the elite in fancy restaurants worldwide, as well as the farmers after a long day of work. Polenta too has no boundaries and does not distinguish between the rich or the poor.
My grandmother never got to see her parents again and waited twenty years to be reunited with her sister. They met by chance in a plaza in Timișoara. Her sister had ironically also lived in the same city for the past twenty years, eight hundred kilometers from where they were torn apart.
It was a beautiful Sunday in July when Buni was strolling with her then three year old daughter and husband in the city centre of Timișoara. Most people take a day of rest on Sunday and enjoy the view from the small cafés along the downtown area. Downtown tends to be filled with people on any given Sunday and therefore chances of running into someone you know are very high. As Buni was feeding a chocolate ice cream cone to Ana, her baby daughter, she was approached by a lady.
My grandmother looked up and noticed someone who she realized was not at all a stranger, but her own sister. Buni was never really able to describe to me in words how overwhelmed with joy she was when she was reunited with her sister after twenty years.
Destiny can sometimes play tricks on people and this would be one of the best tricks it had played on my grandmother. Buni could finally welcome back into her life someone who shared her past and could share her future.
Life rarely gave her a break and when it did, Buni made sure to enjoy it. The sisters caught up with life’s events as she shared the story of her struggle to conceive a child. It took twelve years and numerous treatments before Ana was born. Conceiving a child was a tough battle, although not a struggle my grandmother intended to give up on. She knew that a child would give life a new meaning and felt that she deserved to have someone of her own, someone to be her family. My grandfather, a policeman, also wanted a child more than anything. When my mother was born, she became just that, their most treasured joy and reason for living just as my father was to his parents. My other grandmother lost six children before my father, the last one, survived. Both my parents were raised as the light of my grandparents' lives. The love of a child was not something I was able to comprehend at that time, though I longed to experience it.
There was one kind of love that I have always understood and desired to experience constantly: the love is my love of travel. Through my travels, I have discovered that there is nothing that compares to travelling and the thrill it offers me with each new country and every new culture I get to understand better.
Travelling transforms me with every adventure it brings.
I believe my hunger for travel was born from parents who wanted nothing more than to see the world but who were limited to a few countries. Perhaps it all started with Buni whose passport claimed she was born in Ukraine, although it was officially Romania when she was born. Perhaps my “gypsy” soul was born before the dawn of even my own parents. Perhaps destiny maneuvers us in unknown ways.
The fall of communism meant that borders would finally open up and we would be allowed to travel anywhere…. with a visa, of course. Five years after the fall of communism, my parents had finally saved enough money and decided to send me on a school exchange to France. My mother, being a French teacher, wanted nothing more for me than to explore and understand a culture as rich as that of the French .... "
Nota Observator :
Cartea - Global Citizen Unwrapped Written by Manuela Anamaria - poate fi procurata prin Amazon la :