In Brazilian Portuguese the words “Foreigner” and “Alien” can be translated as “estrangeiro/estrangeira”, with the correct spelling. However, if you were to pay close attention to how the Brazilian people pronounce the word, you may notice that the “i” is silent, leading to something like this: “estrangero/estrangera”. Interestingly enough, if one takes the first and last vowels out of the portuguese word one will get the english “stranger”, which according to language dictionaries, and the thesaurus, means “foreigner” or “alien”. Full circle!
In order to go a little further with this word playing, I looked up the definition of “Stranger” in the dictionary, and it reads:
a person whom one does not know or with whom one is not familiar: don’t talk to strangers | she remained a stranger to him.
• a person who does not know, or is not known in, a particular place or community: I’m a stranger in these parts | he must have been a stranger to the village.
(stranger to) a person entirely unaccustomed to (a feeling, experience, or situation): he is no stranger to controversy.
humorous used to greet someone whom one has not seen for some time.
ORIGIN: late Middle English: shortening of Old French estrangier, from Latin extraneus.
So, here I am: a Brazilian woman, whom in the past 8 years has been living the American life. I am an alien, a foreigner, a stranger, or simply an immigrant. To be honest, that really never bothered me, but now, like many others who were not born here, I am in the spotlight.
Although this whole new situation which is still not bothering me, it is interesting to notice how behavior has changed around “strangers”. Up to a month ago, people were usually curious about my accent, and the reasons that brought me to the US; but now things are different, and, as a result, I get questions about: my paperwork, my immigration status, my citizenship, and every once in a while, a funny “aren’t you too white to be Brazilian”.
eSTRANGERa.com has been up for years. I created the blog to talk about my views, and my different experiences as a “Brazilian soul, living an American life”. Since I wanted to keep writing in Portuguese (my natural language), the posts were mainly directed to the Brazilian public. But, that is about to change.
It is time for people (all over), to understand what it means when we talk about a world that is bigger than border limits. By saying this, I don’t mean that I am against immigra
tion policies, but I believe there are cases and “then there are cases”. I believe in the social rules, and citizen commitments we all have (some may be fair and some may not). For instance: don’t be a criminal, respect the laws, pay taxes, don’t run naked in public, recycle, etc, etc, etc. Nevertheless, I believe in the human race; in that everyone is looking to improve themselves, and their surroundings.
To sum up, I believe that when a (good) person decides to make such a big move for their life, the decision has to come with knowing the consequences. For example, there are going to be different customs, and maybe a different language. Agreeing with this, will make the transition easier and worth it. In this way, people are showing respect for the place they’ve chosen to be their new home.
MORE?… in the future posts of this new eSTRANGERa.!
By the way: I am here due to a very universal reason: love. A love that is so big it taught me, that we are all destined for good. But, we have to pay attention to the simple little things around us. I left my big city life, for the woods. I left my well establish career, to become a house wife. I left the comfort of knowing my language, to struggle with an accent. I left my family: my loving parents, the bond with my siblings, the nieces and nephew that I’m not watching to grow, and the friends I will never replace, to start all over.
So far, this journey has been incredible and I’m happy to share, that when I opened my heart, and mind to the new, I started to discover myself all over again.
‘till next time 😉