Savita – A migrant’s perspective.

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Flavia Simas is from Goiás, Brazil. She has lived in India, U.S and is currently trying her luck in Ireland. Here’s a poem she wrote and which was recited at the vigil in Eyre Square, Galway to mark the anniversary of the death of Savita Halappanavar.

Flavia Simas is from Goiás, Brazil. She has lived in India, U.S and is currently trying her luck in Ireland. Here’s the poem she penned.

Savita – A migrant’s perspective

This is not a speech. I don’t know how to do speeches. I would define it as A woman from the Global South Attempting to figuratively denude herself Hoping somebody will listen Before I came to this island I’d heard about Savita But somehow failed to Connect all the dots. So as her globally known tragedy Unveils to me, I immediately remember Her story – Was that in Galway? I’m beyond terrified now The news – it was given to me By another migrant woman Just like myself We look at each other and there’s horror In our eyes What binds us together – beyond the fact That we are women from the Global South Is that what happened to Savita Could very well happen to us I look everywhere around me And I see breathtaking places Beautiful colors Friendly people Judging by its cover It’s very, very easy to forget That living here As migrant people Is a constant struggle In order to prove that we are ready We have to prove we are good enough To live in Ireland That’s the Western way of telling others How they should behave And setting standards even the West itself Fails to meet That’s the scenario We have today But make no mistake Nobody says goodbye to Their roots The food, the smells For any reason other than striving For a better life Savita’s husband And then Savita herself Had to go through a Via Crucis In order to be deemed ‘ready’ To try to make a living in Ireland Ask any migrant person Ask any asylum seeker Anyone who’s just managed to get through How arduous the whole process is It literally tests a person’s limits And the limit in Savita’s case Was her own life I am here telling you this Because one of the first things I hear whenever I meet a fellow migrant Is the very puzzled question Is Ireland ready for us? I’ve been living here for a year and guess what? Ireland is not ready for me And each and every migrant woman I come across here Confirms to me that Ireland is also Not ready for them But as we move on with our lives And try our best to adjust As we clean your homes And serve your tables Or provide any high qualified service As doctors, engineers, dentists – Like Savita did As we dwell into Irish culture We realize there is actually a whole spectrum Where racism and xenophobia Are on display It’s a whole range of misogyny Where the veil of religion still Prevents issues from being directly addressed It’s a shame things are the way they are now It’s a shame to come here and realize you will Always, no matter what Be the other Perceived as somewhat inferior Or exotic But what hurts me more, somehow Is the very realization That besides not being ready for us migrants Ireland is also not ready For its own women.

Flavia Simas  is co-founder of the Brazilian feminist collective Ativismo de Sofá and a blogger at Afro Latina .

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