When I researched for the definition of home, I couldn’t find a clear definition. But what I did find is that everyone has their own definition of home. Most common answers were that home is a place where you are safe where your family is. In an article that I read, I found an answer that I thought was fitting for my topic in this blog post:
“Only three words: safety, security, stability.” — Kathy (Habitat for humanity)
Me and my group members have been discussing about home and its definition. We spoke about our experiences and what we have noticed. Since we’ve already spoken of migration and reasons for this, I want to discuss the situation in countries that most immigrant have come from. Many immigrants who have migrated, have been treated badly and told to go back to where they come from. Let’s say they do go back; do you know what they have left behind? What is currently happening in their countries. If people knew, they wouldn’t tell them to go back. In this post, I am focusing on people from countries that are in war/civil war and had/have, that came to Finland. Some of them are Iraq, Russia, Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia etc.
There are wars happening around the world and people are dying of hunger and bombs. There are children experiencing trauma, parents experiencing trauma. There are people who are not able to get proper health care, education, shelter, security and other basic human needs. Some of these things that are happening around the world are being spoken of and some not. I still think even if they are spoken of, people aren’t giving them enough attention.
Do you know what is happening to Uighurs? Uighurs in China are not able to provide all of this for their children. Uighurs are minority group who are Muslim. They mainly live in china, specifically Xinjiang. Uighurs call this place their home, yet it is not their home. Why? Because China won’t let it be their home. Uighurs are sent to concentration camps. In the camps, among other things, they are being tortured, forced to pledge to CCP (Chinese Communist Party). Women have shared stories of sexual abuse, with some saying they were forced to undergo abortions or have contraceptive devices implanted against their will. Some released detainees contemplated suicide or witnessed others kill themselves (CFR. 2019,1). The children of the people who are sent to these camps are send to orphanages.
People in Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan Syria and many other, are dying because of war. They have lost their hospitals, homes, markets, schools etc., to air strikes, bombs and terrorist groups. Children are dying or becoming orphans. People are running around, trying to hide, and hope that the bomb doesn’t hit them. They are all traumatized and get scared of loud voices. Their women are kidnapped, raped and tortured. No wonder people want to leave these countries and try to find future for themselves.
These people that are told to go back home are going to face that. If they got this opportunity to leave all this behind, why not let them enjoy it. Instead of waking up to the sound of bombs going off, they could wake up to birds singing. Parents can provide for their children. Every child should be child and have a childhood. If they stay in their home countries, children wouldn’t have toys, friends to play with, parks etc.
This is why my title is ‘Home but NOT home’. These people are home. They are where they want to be, yet they can’t live freely. They would gladly stay in their countries and raise their children there, but they can’t because of war. They could stay in their home country, where people who look like them are. Where they don’t have to be embarrassed of their cultural background.
I hope that someday, people can live freely in their countries and that there are no wars. I hope that children don’t ever have to experience bombs and other forms of violence. I hope for a future of, no war, hunger, homelessness and poverty. I want to stay positive and believe that someday the world could be peaceful. I just feel like with the way the world is now, there is no hope for a peaceful future.
Habitat for humanity. What does home mean to you. https://www.habitat.org/stories/what-does-home-mean-to-you
Council on foreign repression. 2019. China’s repression of Uighurs in Xinjiang. https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/chinas-repression-uighurs-xinjiang
Human rights watch. 2019. Yemen events of 2018. https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2019/country-chapters/yemen
Human rights watch. 2010. Afghanistan events of 2018. https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2019/country-chapters/afghanistan