Mother of a 3 year-old son
Back in Ukraine I studied International Relations and first came to Geneva for internships at the Ukrainian mission to the UN. I continued with my Master’s and then the PhD and met my husband in Geneva. It has been fourteen years now.
We speak four languages at home, depending on the subject: Italian, Ukrainian, English and French. If we talk about family, it’s Ukrainian, when we talk about food, travel and other broader topics, it’s Italian, if it’s local culture or shopping, it’s French, and we speak English about work. I understand that my children will not be fully Ukrainian or Italian and it’s clear that they will have a big Swiss dimension in their lives, so they have to feel comfortable in French.
One needs to be embedded in the local culture to have a sense of home because the feeling that you don’t belong anywhere doesn’t help in life. My children’s home is here. For me Geneva cannot be home entirely because part of my heart is somewhere else and it’s normal for people who migrate and leave their own countries. I will always have this complex identity, which integrates some new local features and keeps some of the old.
Geneva, May 2015
My daughter was born in 2016.
Geneva, February 2017
- Marina Cavazza
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- Contained in galleries
- Portrait of a (Working) Mother_new Exeter edition