Italy Today

The helping hand to an aging society

Of the five million foreigners residing in Italy, one million are Romanians

The helping hand to an aging society

Claudia Astarita

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Of the five million foreigners residing in Italy, one million are Romanians. Turin, is known as the Bucharest of Italy, because it is the European city with more Romanians in terms of relative density.

Silvia Dumitrache, president of the Association of Romanian women in Italy (ADRI) told El Pais that: "Beyond the official figures, we are at least 1.8 million strong. Almost 70 % are women, employed in the home to care for the elderly or children. [...] Thanks to the fact that we stay at home with the elderly and children, you get to be part of the family, you feel integrated. [...] They iron and scrub. They wash the old, take them for a walk, listen to them and watch them at night."

Pietro Cingolani, author of the essay Romeni d' Italia and researcher of Fieri, the Italian and European forum about the immigration in Turin, added that: "There are several symptoms of integration: The most common mixed marriages are between an Italian man and a Romanian wife. [...] Also, they begin to form associations of people of the same origin, which often gather to celebrate the holidays and the typical rituals of their land."

In Turin, for example, an association of Romanian university students was born, where they claimed rights and initiated a protest against a Canadian multinational that wants to build the largest gold mine in Romania.

Cingolani said the insight, however, also has a sour face. In order to look after Italian families, the Romanian females have to give up their own families. "I'm noticing a significant increase of depression among these immigrants,"

Since 2009, Cingolani also notes another new phenomenon: "Many men leave Italy to reach Germany or return directly home. It became clear to me when I saw rural areas in Romania that were previously depopulated now becoming populated and active areas."

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