(Some belated thoughts on my last exchange mixed with life here and now)
I am currently sitting alone in my room, after several intense but unforgettable days with some of my best friends from my Erasmus exchange in France visiting my city. My 20 square meters room and student corridor became the base of this Lund invasion that included many smiles, stressful moments, running, laughs, stories & lots of things that we shall remember for a while.
Yes, definitely empty here. However, how not end up with a smile on my face? The same week that Front National got 20 % of the votes in France, sending yet another sign that nationalism grows stronger in Europe, there is no time to lose hope. Some are talking about the Erasmus generation and here we are. Enjoying the company of each other - arguing sometimes, but learning from our differences and how each country is good in its own way. This time, our reunion included Czech, French, Germans, Swedish and British. Add to this my corridor mates from Australia, Japan, France, Spain, Poland and Sweden. Add to this the meetings with people from other countries here and there.
We are a generation not afraid to meet each other, for the better or for the worse, and that makes me damn happy. We can proudly stand up for our own roots but also for the roots of others. We can stand up against those seeing multiculturalism as a threat rather than a tool.
After an afternoon debate on integration and after yet again getting goose bumps of the pathetic, scary and never ending thought of “we against them”, I can without doubt claim that the Erasmus generation has values that won’t be easily broken. We won’t sit and watch how extreme ideologies get accepted into everyday life so lightly. We will stand up for our diverse and beautiful Europe.