Welcome - Stundars 3rd of December 14:00 - Solf - Finland
Carla Cruz

Every year thousands of people leave their home towns, their countries, in search of a better life, a bearable life. These people normally travel from countryside to bigger towns, from pourer countries to richer countries, from countries at war or with totalitarian regimes to democratic and peaceful countries. These people – emigrants – are the motor of several high income developed countries that wouldn’t be able to maintain the level of production and quality of life without them.

History is made of this migrations and search for ways of supporting oneself and families. With them, migrants bring knowledge, other perspectives on the world, technology, culture, and carry back other knowledge, different ways of thinking and doing, wealth, affecting in this manner the development on their home countries. For some countries a huge part of their income is brought by emigrants. For the hosting countries, several, with a considerable rate of aging population, these immigrants brought youth and production strength. For one should not forget the industry it can be for one to set oneself in motion to migrate. In addition international immigrants are in general male between 20 and 40 years old and highly motivated.

Many countries within European Union were for more than two centuries primarily emigration countries and gradually in the last 50 years became destinations for international migrants.

“Having lost more than 1 million people as emigrants during previous hundred years, in the 90’s Finland became a country of immigration” still the biggest group of immigrants are persons who reside in Finland through marriage and a considerable portion of the foreigners are returned Finnish emigrants or their children, who have the citizenship of another country.

Likewise Portugal, who has about 4.3 million people living abroad, recently became the interest of migrants.

“The principles of democracy, respect for human and civil rights taken together with freedom of movement would seem,” in the view of John Parry, as he speaks about the European Union, “to demand a common citizenship which is inclusive, not exclusive and based on equality. It would not challenge national citizenship but broader in scope. Above all, it would respect different cultures, languages and costumes of its diverse population.” But this is only within our boarders for the “right to leave any country, including his own”, which part of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has no similar position regarding entry of non citizens.

Therefore this visionary Union faces (or cover) daily the tragic fate of those who cross the Mediterranean Sea and other borders, illegally, on the quest of a better life.

Today we will ironically welcome one of those immigrants, which sometimes the European Union seems to congratulate their failure, singing:

Ja, må du leva, Ja, må leva, Ja, må du (han,hon, dom) leva uti hundrade år.

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