Economic emigrants around the world - lost or saved?

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Economic emigrants around the world - lost or saved?
Economic emigrants around the world - lost or saved?

Rumyana Konstantinova is one of the thousands of economic emigrants in Italy. We talked to find out what can make someone fall in love with an unknown country and an unknown language. She says she emigrated because she was unemployed for 12 years in Bulgaria and was exhausted raising her two children. So she faced the dilemma of whether to remain unemployed in Bulgaria and be one of the victims of the system or to save herself by going abroad. Today, she thanks God that she found the strength to go in search of her happiness in the world and sees in this her economic salvation.

You lived in Italy for many years, what impressed you the most there

My first impressions were of Naples - a wonderful city, with the most cultural monuments in all of Italy. In the last century, however, it was built up haphazardly, unmaintained and polluted, today it has become an unpleasant place to live. After 4 months I got a job in Capri and then I saw this country in its true glory. I fell in love with this place so much that I wished to stay there for the rest of my life.

What is the rhythm of life in Italy

The rhythm of life is like everywhere, work during the week and fun on the weekends. Italians are used to working and not waiting for anything ready. If, however, it happens that they are not paid their wages, they immediately go on strike en masse and things are settled. There is no such thing as "I haven't received my salary for a whole year".

What is food - is it the reason there are so many centenarians in Italy

Their food is very clean, there are no GMOs and other similar perversions of nature. Even in many places their water is clean and drinkable, but they are not interested in he althy eating. For example, they would not eat garlic, even though it is recognized as medicinal, even in medical journals. I have told them that we eat it and that it is good for he alth, I have even shown them the statements of their doctors, but they just shrug their shoulders. I found it interesting that they feed their children pasta before they are even a year old. And in general, they consume it every day, even with bread. Indeed, there are many centenarians, but they are not he althy at all, the most common diseases are diabetes and Alzheimer's disease.

What are people interested in there

I find it strange that people there don't read. I have an impression of the oldest being 70-92 years old. In 6 years I have not seen a single book in the houses where I have worked. Last year, for the first time, I came across an elderly woman with two university degrees who had a library at home. The young people I know besides my sons read, are interested in politics and culture. For the old Neapolitans, Italian is foreign and even those who are 40 years old today went to school without knowing the language. And there the press, television, radio, everything is in Italian. Adults say that for economic reasons they did not learn the Italian language, but we foreigners learn it in 6 months.

Do you see a connection between the lack of intellectual pursuits and the senile dementia that most elderly people in Italy suffer from?

Maybe. Just as our muscles atrophy when we don't exercise them enough, so the brain suffers when we don't make it work. Since a 92-year-old woman who continues to read and enrich her knowledge is with all hers, and the others are not, then there is something true in this. There is an Italian Dr. Levi who is 102 years old, a Nobel laureate, and she says she is the same as before, only her body is not as strong and young.

What do Italians do and what do Bulgarian emigrants do

Italians have access to any job, and the majority of expats can only look after the sick, elderly and children. Younger people can work in restaurants or construction.

Is it easy to be an expat in Italy

My sons and I adapted very quickly. Most of our friends were Italian, and my sons also had friends from France, Canada, Russia, Senegal, Germany. And it's the best thing that ever happened to us, having friends from all over the world and speaking the same language. Italians have a very humane attitude towards expats, compared to other European countries.

Would you go back there again and why

I will return to Italy, because here in Bulgaria I feel like an emigrant. My sons aspire to settle there. They have adapted so well and speak the language so well that they are mistaken for Italians. One of their friends - a Bulgarian who has been living there since he was 12 years old, is currently finishing his secondary education and at school he is considered an incredible intellect, he is the best in terms of success.

You hope to get a better pension from Bulgaria or Italy

In Italy I won't get a pension, because in Naples there is illegal work, so we will go to the north, where the laws are respected, and in Bulgaria they changed the law so that I can't retire at 55 with 20 years of work internship. They took away my opportunity to work because I turned 40 and they thought I was old and I couldn't find a job. So, I will only be able to receive a social pension from Bulgaria when I turn 65, but we all know that it will not be large. In Italy, there are about 30,000 Bulgarians, in my position, who survive in Italy. So I hope to have strength, he alth and be able to work as long as I live. I don't count on or expect a pension from anywhere.

What is your favorite Bulgarian food that you miss in Italy

Before I left for Italy, I didn't think about what my favorite food was, but there we missed Bulgarian banitsa the most.

A favorite Italian recipe

I don't have a favorite recipe. I have a favorite fruit – it is an Italian variety of mandarins (clementini).

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