“For me, Christmas means family. Honestly, I don’t see Christmas as a super special date but it is a time to reunite with the family. I’m from a really small town, so all my brothers and sisters moved out to study and work and Christmas was real time of reunion. This is my recollection. My greatest happiness is being with my family” says Nina, who after 10 years living in Australia decided to return to spend Christmas in Brazil for the first time.
For her, the decision to leave one of the best country dealing with the pandemic to return to one of the worst country facing the pandemic in the world, was not an easy choice.
“In the beginning I had the feeling of ‘am I doing the right thing? I left a super safe place, where the pandemic was already returning to ‘normal’ to come to a place where we can’t leave home or do anything…Being here, so close to friends, but not being able to visit them it’s hard,” she says.
However, being with the family is still the most important thing. “It’s worth spending more time with my family, though. I feel reconnected with them,” Nina says.
“We were lucky because my sister is also working from home. She lives in São Paulo and also came to my city. And my brother is also back to my mum’s house, so it ended up everyone in the same house. It’s going to be a Christmas that we’ll be able to reunite all the siblings and my mother,” she says.
Due to the pandemic, Nina had to ask the Australian government for permission to leave the country and will need to stay in Brazil for a few months, which allows her to enjoy daily life in her hometown. “We can’t really say that there is a good thing in the pandemic, because there isn’t. But to spend all this time at home, I am really enjoying my family. I feel that I am getting to know my siblings, my mother, my father… and I am really participating in their daily lives,” Nina says.
She still talks about what it is like to come back after so long and relive the times of adolescence when all the siblings lived in the same house. “Look, it’s really going back to the old days. I’m sharing a room with my sister, which was a situation that I thought would never happen again and we have those sister things, you know? So it’s not that visiting thing, that everybody’s is just nice with everybody. We do house chores, divide responsibilities…it reminds me of my teenage years, so for me it’s being good”.
Finally, she stresses the importance of reconnecting with the ones she loves this year. “It’s very important to spend this time here, especially because I’ve been away for so long. I’m not someone who talks on the phone or video calls often. I’m very shy, so I think we end up losing contact a bit. For me, physical contact is what works best. So being here to stay 3 to 4 months and spend Christmas, which is usually the time that we bring everyone together, that, for me, is the most special of all,” she concludes.