THE VILLAGERS AND THE WORLD

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Watching a volleyball tournament on a Sunday afternoon, that’s in itself an unusual activity for me and nothing I would actually enjoy. What made it even more unusual is that I did that in my hometown’s neighboring village, a place which I used to avoid and to view as a very conservative, narrow-minded and incredibly boring place. Nevertheless, yesterday afternoon I started to see it in a whole new way…
I got to witness that the bright side is being created, and being there suddenly felt like a little adventure. For about 2 months now, the little village has become new home for a group of 80 men who made their ways as refugees to Germany, away from their home countries Pakistan and Syria. After the matches, where locals and new-locals played against each other, I was hanging out with them in their accommodation, a house filled with delicious flavor of freshly baked chapati and generous hospitality. We had huge fun playing table football together, and asked each other for new words, eager to learn each others language. ‘Who is actually hosting whom?’ I started to wonder as one of them served me over sweetened chai. What I experienced yesterday is surely only a tiny snippet of the whole, and not all of their current reality is as much fun as it seems, and as one could assume from observing their truly happy faces. But photos on their mobile screens of new born babies, sorely missed girlfriends and other loved ones who are still back home give hints to the more difficult parts, as well as scheduled interviews regarding residence permits, and not even to imagine the circumstances in their home countries and their lives they decided to leave.

 

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