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4 tips for staying connected, from migrants who live far from family

Keeping close relationships

Forced separation, while new to most, is a fact of life for the world’s migrants. Many continue close ties with relatives, despite years or decades of physical distance.

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4 tips for staying connected, from migrants who live far from family

4 tips for staying connected, from migrants who live far from family

http://theconversation.com/4-tips-for-staying-connected-during-coronavirus-from-migrants-who-live-far-from-family-134362

theconversation.com

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Key Ideas

Keeping close relationships

Forced separation, while new to most, is a fact of life for the world’s migrants. Many continue close ties with relatives, despite years or decades of physical distance.

Phone calls

Video communication can be too draining and may make feelings of separation more intense. Written communication can feel too impersonal and may not be accessible to people with visual impairments.

Migrant families rely on phone calls for almost all of their communication as calls are intimate and convey emotions without the constant visual reminders of separation.

Communicate to connect

Migrants greet something like this: "I send greetings to you to my grandchildren, to my daughter-in-law, and to all those who surround you."

Such elaborated greetings articulate family relationships that stretch across space. They continually create and re-create connections despite the distance.

Manage conflict carefully

Migrant families avoid explicit disagreement and signal concerns in subtle ways. 

For instance, if they lack money, they may relate a story of their father's visit to the doctor and include a quote from him lamenting that he cannot afford his new prescription.

Celebrate together

Migrant families often reminisce about times when they lived together, recalling humorous incidents or past mishaps that lead to shared laughter.

Sharing these memories not only reflects their past together but also encourages them to imagine what it might be like to live together again.

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