The party after dark

Publish date 14-09-2022

by Marco Grosseti

Hassna is one of the first girls we met when we started playing along the streets of the multi-ethnic neighborhood that develops around the Arsenale della Pace. Today she graduated in Nursing Sciences at the Little House of Divine Providence in Cottolengo, a hospital in Turin that has an agreement for this course of study with the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Rome.

Laurel wreaths and bouquets of flowers, champagne for toasts and cin-cin, selfies with relatives and friends, doctors and doctors ready to celebrate immediately, and others like her destined to wait a few more hours , as the great event fell in the middle of Ramadan. In the front rows of the auditorium where discussion and proclamation took place, there were also the colored veils of her mother and her aunts.

In one of his books, the journalist Domenico Quirico, referring to the phenomenon of the radicalization of young people belonging to the second generation of immigrants who grew up in Europe, speaks of "not economic but human, psychological marginalization": the intimate feeling of being both tolerated and pitied at the same time, the suspicion and contempt they see in people's eyes when they get on the bus, show up for a job interview or stand in line at the entrance to a nightclub. The perception of a sense of inferiority and above all of profound loneliness, an experience that risks nourishing and amplifying phenomena of deviance, marginalization and ghettoisation especially in large European cities.

There are many young people like Hassna, born and raised in Italy or who arrived in our country when they were still children, who are trying to break this circle, where the linguistic, cultural and economic disadvantage that so many minors and their families live, they determine a condition of poverty, exclusion, subordination that is handed down from father to son. Some of them follow courses in English at the University of Turin and could be the first of the family to reach the daring goal of the master's degree, even if their parents, after a life in Italy, still struggle to understand and make themselves understood in the language of the country where they are spending most of their lives.

Various donations have enabled scholarships to be activated to support their path, some professionals have given the availability for tutoring paths that accompany students in their academic adventure. Hassna waited for the arrival of the night to celebrate with her family, but also with the classmates with whom she shared exams and lessons for years, the fear of not succeeding, the pride for having passed the last test and congratulations. for the ultimate glory.

The sociologist Zygmunt Bauman wrote that "the ghetto is not a house of common feelings. On the contrary, it is a laboratory of social disintegration, atomization and anomie". We all need to belong to something to endure the existential marginality in which we live. A natural form of narcissism leads us to want to plant the flag on the mountain to affirm, at least for a moment, our supremacy. We can't do it alone, to do it we need someone who protects us and watches our backs, to feel ourselves in a place where everyone around us wants nothing more than our good.

Marco Grossetti
NP May 2022

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