I was 30 when the Berlin Wall fell. Nine months later our daughter was born and life was full of hopes. Many people believed that, with the fall of the Berlin wall, the other walls ingrained in people’ minds are also expected to disappear. After 25 years the history can only judge it or not.
I often remember the days that followed the so-called “revolution” in my home country. There was fear everywhere, young people dying on streets and too many unanswered questions. Killing the former Romanian dictator right on Christmas Day, following a silly trial, blurred the enthusiasm of ordinary Romanians and the credibility of the government in place.
If the “revolution” as such was seen with some admiration from outside the country, what happened on 25 December 1989 radically changed the worldwide perception of an attempt to gaining the genuine freedom.
I lived those years with hopes, which were born from a mixture of democracy and anarchy, silly steps into a real economy, timid decisions, many steps backwards, which delayed the so-called “transition” to a normal democracy.
It was not easy to understand democracy. For many of us, democracy meant to speak out about everything, to even hurt people’s feelings. Manipulation was something that the leaders of those years brought to our attention. To me the press was far from being neutral. It was either supporting the government or the opposition.
In eleven years that passed from the magic moment of 1989 not much happened. Freedom was something we enjoyed everyday, but in terms of economic and politic development I felt we went back in time. Ordinary people were disappointed. Some others praised the communist times, which were still in the minds of many others.
In eleven years that passed from the magic moment of 1989 I could not see any hopes for a decent life. So we left the country. We were aware of the risks, we were aware of the stumbling blocks to starting a new life from scratch, but the hope never dies.
There are still many walls, which separate people in the world. The Berlin Wall was physically removed, but some of us still bear it in our minds and hearts. To me the wall symbolically unifies two parts of my life, before and after 1989.
The “before” part reminds me of the need to escape from isolation, darkness, fear and stupid struggles, while the “after” part keeps me connected to both my home and adoptive countries and their cultures.