In many Slavic languages, the word “mir” has a double meaning: “peace” and “world.” Linguistics offers us in this dramatic moment the simplest of answers: the world must seek peace, as the only possible solution for the coexistence of peoples on this planet of ours.
Although it is often considered a simple form of recreation, tourism can and must also be a force for peace. Curiosity about other countries, respect for the ideas and lifestyles of other societies, the meaningful encounters we make while traveling: it is through intercultural dialogue that tourism builds peaceful relationships between people and communities.
Migrantour, in its own small way, also pursues this goal. Since the war in Ukraine began, now more than a month ago, many times we have questioned the meaning of our daily work and commitment. Some of the Migrantour network’s cross-cultural escorts are originally from Ukraine, have friends and relatives living in the conflict zones, and are trying to escape the violence. As in the case of Yuliya, an intercultural escort from Migrantour Naples, who told her story in a profound interview in the newspaper “Il Mattino.”
The “great respect that has always existed between Russian and Ukrainian citizens” that Yuliya speaks of is the same sentiment with which Anna, an intercultural escort from Migrantour Turin, originally from Kazan, Russia, led an intercultural walk on March 8, 2022 dedicated to the Maslenica, the great traditional festival that unites the Slavic peoples of Eastern Europe and is celebrated before the beginning of Lent for Orthodox Easter.
The entire Migrantour staff and partners huddle around the intercultural walkers who are suffering as a result of this war, and to all those(s) who in the tragic present of Ukraine see again the drama of their countries, from Syria to Afghanistan, from which they were forced to flee.