Today twenty-five years has passed since the Germans from both sides of the Berlin Wall could reunite with relatives, friends and lovers from the other side of the wall. This is indeed a day to celebrate!
In so many parts of the world, walls are built rather than destroyed. Strong borders can both be seen as a way to prevent others to visit, but even more sad is when national borders are used to prevent people to travel out of a country and find their happiness elsewhere. Who wouldn’t want to be as happy as possible? What if you wished to move to another city and a law said no… or what if you wanted to move to another country, and your prime minister had said that it was against the law to leave your country without permission? I cannot fully comprehend what it would be like to be trapped like that, but I have met people in my life who have shared their stories. My relief over not having to think about how to leave my country is monumental.
When borders aren’t there and people are allowed to move between countries, they may still end up in an aleniated reality in a segregated suburb, or they may realize that despite the struggle and hardship they have experienced, their new life as excluded from the feeling of ”we” is far from what they had anticipated in the first place. When poor citizens in a certain country move to places where many rich people live, they may meet such features as gated communities, because the rich fear the poor.
Not only national borders or gated communities are obstacles in people’s lives. Sometimes borders are built within each human, in fear of another religious belief, another political idea, a different set of ethical rules etc.Let’s not build walls! Let’s tear them down! Plural societies are stronger than monocultures in the long run.