What does resilience mean in your language?

If there’s one thing that requires resilience, it’s moving to a new country. Whether you move for positive reasons, or you’re forced to leave behind difficult circumstances, it can be lonely, daunting and exhausting.

Our session this week with recent migrants at Radiant and Brighter  was like a masterclass in resilience. It was amazing to see everyone working together to support each other to learn English and navigate life in a new country. And it was fascinating to ask people who have come from far flung places about what resilience means to them.

We learned from people from  Eritrea that the closest word to resilient in Aramaic is “brave”. A participant from France told us that it translates as “resistance”.

We heard that in Iran, the Persian word for resilience translates as “echo”.The Iranian attendees told us that “it means to shout, and hear your voice reflected back to you. That is resilience: an echo.”

In the Ugandan language Luganda, it means “to overcome”, whereas in Portugese “resilienca” is about being open and adaptable.

It was so interesting to really understand that there is no one definition of “resilience”. Our concept of what it means to be strong varies hugely, both between and within cultures. It can come from within, or it can be about the situations and people around you.  Every individual, in every situation, will have a different perspective on what it means to be resilient, and how we can support people to develop that resilience.

The group worked together to make their first ever video all about what resilience means in their diverse languages. If it gets you thinking about what the concept means to you, why not let us know through a blog, video or by entering our #mwresilience photo contest. 

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