Celebrating International Migrants Day –
December 18th is the United Nations International Migrants Day.
My life would not be what it is today without migrants. My family story began with my Great-Great-Great Grandfather traveling from Ireland thousands of miles on a boat with his sisters to start a new life in Australia. Back then there were people who would sponsor migrants to relocate to another country to start a fresh life, usually as laborers or workers.
My family all came from other shores, England, Ireland, and Scotland, oh yes, and via the United States of America. They had free passage and built lives that showed me how to be a hard worker, how to care for others, and what it is like to live freely.
Living in Australia I was fortunate to experience so many different cultures Italian, Greek, Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese, Korean, Malaysian, and Nepalese. This allowed me to experience different languages, beautiful and different food, different ideas about life, and sharing in cultural experiences that I wouldn’t have had if these migrants had not been living in Australia.
We all live in a very multicultural world.
What I love about that is the diversity of experiences that I can have each and every day. What a gift. I am proud to trace my ancestry back to migrants. I love that I can call myself an Irish descendant, a Scottish descendant, and an English descendant. People could travel freely then without persecution.
The modern governments of today look at things differently. They want to cut off immigration and not allow people to experience life in other countries. I can see that on one hand, they think that with so many people entering their countries it will be difficult to support them. And yet, I can also see the wonderful value of diversity in life.
I am sure that whilst people are entering a country to live, there are just as many exiting the country to go and live elsewhere. That is the great value of air travel. The ability to easily move from one country to another. Yes, there are processes to follow. Back in the days of my ancestors, I am pretty sure that they didn’t have half the amount of paperwork to complete in order to make the move.
I am a migrant.
I have now become a Permanent Resident of the United States of America. It is not my native country. I appreciate the ability to move to this country in order to be closer to my family. I appreciate that the government of the USA allowed me to make this life change. I appreciate that I can now experience, in part, what my ancestors experienced picking up their lives and moving to somewhere new. The only difference for me is that I have visited this country many times in the past, but for my ancestors, that wasn’t the case. They were moving to a brand new place, totally unfamiliar to them.
So today, I honor and am grateful for migrants and the ability to migrate.