I met Elena through Erika, they have been friends for a while now and watching them laugh at each other´s jokes or silly faces is heratwarming.
Elena is a second genration immigrant, born in Cologne-Germany. her parents came from Kazakhstan looking for a better future for their kids. When she was born they had lived here for almost ten years. At the begining they worked in lots of mini-jobs, they both delivered newspapers in the morning and in the evening her dad delivered pizza.
After sometime, Elena’s father was able to go to school and become a plumber and open a small family plumbing business along with his two sons (who learned plumbing as well) while Elena’s mom stayed home most of the time taking care of their children and the house.
While Elena was growing up her parents wanted her to adjust to the culture and only spoke german with her (bear in mind that their german was not hundred percent perfect) so Elena had trouble adjusting at her school because people would make fun of her and her broken german.
What makes this more outrageous is that her own teacher, instead of helping her, also made fun of her in front of her entire classmates.
This was a very decisive moment in Elena’s life, the girl who was extroverted and loved to read and write, became shy and lost her passion for letters.
Nonetheless, her latent love for writing never died and one day she decided to confront her fears and wrote about her experience (if you want to read it click here)
This was a cathartic experience which led her to falling in love with writting again.
I hope I get to read more of her stories and that by telling her story, she can help others who are or were in her situation.
And maybe it will reach teachers also, so they can implement some learning methods for children with migration background, to make their transition into a new culture a little bit easier.