Every time defeating yourself: the real story of an immigrant from Kazakhstan
“The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence” – people say. Thousands of Kazakhs leave their beloved homeland in search of greener pastures, however, appear as the rosy picture at a distance "abroad", welcomes not all with open arms.
Sometimes, to somehow get settled abroad, it is necessary to pass more than one test for strength, and not everyone can stand it. As a result, many return home, cursing and giving hell to an unfriendly foreign land. The ex-citizen of Kazakhstan Janna Adil, who moved to Germany for a permanent residence 20 years ago, became one of the few who managed to go through all the difficulties and prove her worth in an absolutely foreign country. Now she is a successful businesswoman, head of a successful medical firm for the care of patients in critical condition and elderly people, under her leadership there are about 25 people, including native Germans. But it was not always so. Many years ago she first stepped onto the land of the Swabians with her family.
In Kazakhstan, Frau Adil worked as a doctor, however, on a new land, the Kazakh diploma of a doctor still had to be confirmed. Another big obstacle was the German language – here without knowing it in perfection, it was possible to let go of dreams of success without hesitation. The allowance allocated by the German government was sufficient only for food and the opportunity to dress more or less tolerable. For many people from the former Soviet Union countries it was quite comfortable, but not for Janna. On the way to her goal, in the daytime she worked part-time, helping the elderly people in the household, and at night she worked hard at learning German. All this seemed a solid wall for those Kazakhstani people who not used at that time to a similar rhythm. However, to make the dream come true, this wall needed to be pierced by the diligence and perseverance. About what efforts it was worth to make the way from an immigrant to a full-fledged citizen of the Federal Republic of Germany, and what quality is most important in the most difficult life situations, Janna Adil told to the correspondent of El.kz portal.
- Janna, you moved to Germany in 1997. As far as what you see at the first time in Germany did not meet your expectations before the move?
- What surprised me pleasantly is that people here from the very beginning treated me very well. Whatever institutions I have applied to a specific request, for me, always tried to find a loophole in the law to help. I want to emphasize: they did not bypass the law, simply helped to use it correctly. It just struck me, because I was a foreigner and at that time had not invested a cent in their insurance coffers. And when I was practicing, they helped me financially, making it much easier to confirm my diploma.
I knew that some other immigrants were sent by local authorities to very hard work. For example, my doctor friend was sent to work in the cemetery ... They are deeply convinced that their allowance needs to be worked out, so the attitude towards some immigrants was not so humane.
In my case, I was given an excellent opportunity to achieve the goal, which at that time was the confirmation of the diploma. I took advantage of it in full and, I think, justified the hopes placed on me. After passing the practice, I received very good characteristics with an exclamation mark, which became a kind of my trip to a new life. I also want to note that sincere diligence, dedication, and diligence are valued here. Apparently, these qualities were noticed in me. Thanks to this, I immediately got a place in the local clinic, where I successfully worked as a doctor for three years. I worked in a rehabilitation clinic, in the department of orthopedics. At the moment, I pay for all social benefits, trying to help just as they helped me in my time.
- Tell us more directly about the process of confirmation of Kazakhstan's diploma in Germany. How long and how complicated the process is?
- To be honest – it was very difficult. The main barrier was a lack of language skills. It is very difficult to achieve something when you do not have a full opportunity to communicate with people. To overcome this, we need to overcome our complexes and practice the language precisely in the natural situation and in the presence of several people. The profession of the doctor obliges a lot to communicate with the patients' relatives, and if you show that you do not know the language perfectly, there could naturally be distrust. After all, any Aesculapius should be able to clearly and neatly tell about the patient's condition to his relatives. Therefore, learning to fluently speak German has become a vital necessity for me.
In addition, local doctors, for quite understandable reasons, also did not immediately begin to trust. And when I asked for a medical discharge, they just expressed they disbelief. They told me: "You - Russians - do not know how to properly express yourselves." (Editor’s note - It should be noted that in many European countries and in the United States, Canada, and Israel, the "Russian" called for all those who arrived from the CIS countries and the former Soviet Union with different ethnic roots – Ukrainian, Belarusian, German, Jewish, and Kazakh. Here, as nowhere else shows the duality of a situation when ethnic identity and native tongue indicate not the same thing. That is due to the fact that the representatives of such nationalities as Ukrainians, Belarusians, Germans(from Kazakhstan and Russia), Jews(from Kazakhstan and Central Asia, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus) and Kazakhs do not speak abroad in their native languages, but the language enforced, imposed and implanted in the Soviet Union - Russian.) I took the liberty at the weekend to take a medical history of the patients and make my own statement. It was also a long and painful process at first: to write half a page, I had to spend all weekends - Friday, Saturday, Sunday.
But, when it was ready, my colleagues were amazed and did not immediately believe that I compiled the extract myself. For this, I was given a unit with a plus, which here is the highest estimate. After that, I was willing to load work - the trust was deserved. At first, I was embarrassed to say that I spent three days on one statement, but with the advent of a large amount of practical work, everything began to fall into place. Soon, I wrote a few dozen such extracts - they are first recorded on a dictaphone, and only then transferred to paper. Already being a doctor, I barely had time to take a breath, because I learned to make statements very quickly. To develop speed for me the high-grade practice has helped.
- How long does it take to learn the language in perfection?
- On average, about 3 years.
- How many hours per day did you spend studying German?
- To tell the truth, for the theory - a little. I have placed great emphasis on practice. I used textbooks only at the very beginning of my visit to Germany. To do this, I consciously began to work part-time, helping German families in the household to fully immerse themselves in the language environment. My responsibilities included buying food and housekeeping. In another way, this very environment for language practice is difficult to obtain. After all, who needs it, except yourself?
- Were people willing to make contact?
- Yes, very willingly. They knew who I was by profession, and treated me very well. I am grateful to Germany for having such opportunities in this country. Yes, at first everything is not easy. But if you try and go to the goal, despite everything, everything will turn out. Everywhere there are people who will try to help you in some way. The main thing is to clearly know what you want and work on yourself all the time. At least in Germany, these qualities are very appreciated.
- How did you imagine Germany, before moving to this country?
- Honestly, I did not expect that at first, it will be so difficult. It is in the part of learning the language. In addition, at first, the feeling of nostalgia for the Motherland, for my relatives and friends, did not leave. I was constantly drawn to Kazakhstan because I grew up in a large intelligent Kazakh family and I was sorely lacking in communication. Here, people communicate in certain groups. By this point in Germany are quite scrupulous, as a rule, rarely letting strangers into their circle of friends. These are the features of the mentality.
- Some people with a sense of nostalgia for the homeland can not part at all. When did you finally manage to do this?
- I will say this: the more work you have, the less time it takes to be bored. This applies to everyone, without exception. To find a permanent job, one would often have to move across the country. This would complicate the search for work every time, and soon I decided to open my medical firm, as I saw that there is a great need for such kind of social services as home care. And not only in the professional medical plan but also in terms of general care. Our staff provides medical care, which consists of distributing tablets and injecting, and also provides services for feeding, walking, bathing, medical rubbing and general nursing in general.
- Speaking about the Service for the care of patients, where did it all begin? What was the original staff of your company?
- At first, there was a great shortage of personnel, I had to do all the work of a nurse myself. Of course, from a psychological point of view, it was quite difficult for me to overcome myself because by that time I already had a confirmed German diploma in my hands. Therefore, being a qualified specialist, it was very difficult to engage in such work morally. But I always encouraged myself that I help sick people who really need such help, and this was for me the most important. After all, my whole life has always been associated with patients who needed my help. In this format, I had to work for two years, on a par with nurses.
- What supported You and helped to overcome difficulties in uneasy moments?
- Probably, the idea that sooner or later I will achieve my goal, and put this Service on its feet. And then, after a few years, I already began to see that there are results that the firm is developing, and this fact itself served as a great psychological support. By the way, in Germany, the shortage of personnel continues to be one of the main problems. I had to find the right specialists even abroad. In fact, everything looks much more complicated than it may seem at first glance. The issue of staff shortage is acute not only in the sphere of medical services but also in other areas. And it has yet to be decided by local authorities.
- What emotions experienced at that time? Did they not attend to the thought of abandoning everything and returning to their homeland?
- No, this was not. I always clearly saw my goal, and to achieve it always it was necessary to move forward, no matter what. If such thoughts appear, then you can not count on a positive outcome. And so in any case.
- In your opinion, how much would the similar service for nursing sick and elderly people in Kazakhstan be in demand? After all, Kazakhstan's mentality does not allow transferring its elderly parents to other people's hands.
- To be honest, I can not imagine any country without this side of the social support. Because, they attach great importance to the final stage of treatment, in particular - the subsequent rehabilitation of patients and care for them. Perhaps in Kazakhstan, this is not so common, but in Germany, the patient will not be discharged home until they are sure that home care is organized behind him. For comparison, I can cite as an example of Turkish patients - up to a certain point there were none at that stage. The immigrants from Turkey were very sensitive about this issue. But over time, the Turkish-speaking part of the German population also began to join it. After all, they also work full-time, leaving for work in the morning and arriving only in the evening.
That is, for the whole day, a sick or elderly person is completely left unattended. If both spouses work all day - and mostly so here it happens - it is unrealistic to take care of elderly parents in the daytime. After all, parents are transferred to the hands of the staff not completely, but only while the children are busy with work or business. I think this, on the contrary, is an indicator of caring for their parents. By the way, do not confuse this area with the home of the elderly. After all, this is the inpatient care for elderly people. Namely, our outpatient care helps to avoid such a radical decision as the surrender of parents to a nursing home. It is also useful from the side that a person has the opportunity to keep some ability to work around the house - he is doing some of his usual business without interruption from the home environment. And all this as a whole has the most positive impact on his health. After all, a person is in his house, he feels himself necessary. And to overestimate the role of the psychological component in such matters is very
- Who pays for these services - relatives or the state?
- In most cases - the state. If patients do not meet insurance conditions, then they are already relatives. But these were isolated cases, at least in my practice. Basically, the German insurance system covers this part of the treatment.
- You had a chance to get acquainted with the healthcare system in two countries. True, 20 years ago, in Kazakhstan it was completely different. Nevertheless, you probably get general information about the development of Kazakhstan's healthcare. In your opinion, what is the most significant difference?
- I am very pleased that Kazakhstan's healthcare system is also gradually developing." But, in my opinion, in Kazakhstan, so far, the system of rehabilitation of patients, care for them and help to return to normal life is not very developed. As I said before, I happened to work in a rehabilitation center, where patients who had a stroke or those implanted with prosthetic knee or hip joint could not be kept in the hospital, that is, there was no further meaning. However, it was also unrealistic to send them home immediately. They were sent to rehabilitation centers, and after them, the third stage of treatment was needed. Then, they contacted the medical firms, which carry out careful care for such patients. I'm sure that these 3 stages are inextricably linked, and you can not give up one of them. This is still not enough in Kazakhstan. The main treatment, rehabilitation and care for patients for their return to a full life - each of these stages is very important. And together they form a high level of German medicine.
As far as I know, there are rehabilitation centers in Kazakhstan, but they are usually not stationary. And care for patients at home is not at all. In addition, the German insurance system has an additional mandatory type of general care insurance, which covers the costs of the above types of treatment and provides patients with medical care at the highest level.
- In Kazakhstan, the system of compulsory social health insurance is also actively implemented. Not all citizens immediately realized the need for this innovation. The main problem was that people expected to see the immediate result ...
- Immediately I will say - this is unreal. This is not done momentarily. Most quickly, citizens will see the result only in the treatment of acute diseases. Here it is necessary to emphasize the need for competent organization of this process - if people see that something is organized in an inappropriate way, they will immediately lose confidence. For example, in Germany, to begin to operate the second and third stages of insurance, you need to be insured for at least 2 years. That is, during this time, a certain amount of capital must accumulate. In addition, Germany has the opportunity to choose the most health insurance company, and we have more than 50 such cash registers. And the right to choose any cashier is reserved for patients for two months. Insurance should also provide for the possibility of an alternative choice, thanks to this, a high level of medical services is also maintained.
- In general, in your opinion, how much is it necessary to introduce a compulsory form of health insurance? And how many years will it take to make the System of Mandatory Social Medical Insurance really start showing results?
- This need to be implemented necessarily, this is the experience of many countries, and it has proven itself from the best side. I can not even imagine the health system right now without this element. As for the time, in my opinion, to see the first fruits of this, you need at least five years. But it's worth it. A momentary result would be too optimistic. After all, this insurance covers emergency medical care.
- Returning to your history, it is curious to know your plans for the future - is there a desire to return to your homeland and try to introduce the Service for the care of seriously ill people in Kazakhstan.
- Probably, every person has a desire to return to their homeland. And I'm not an exception. In addition, there was always a desire to help some of our compatriots, and give them the best experience. Much of what is introduced here could be very useful in Kazakhstan. Germany is not in vain ranked among the leading countries in the field of medical and social security, and it would be nice to somehow project its experience on Kazakhstan. Especially in terms of medical care.
- At the very beginning of our conversation, you said that one of the main barriers to moving to another country is ignorance of the language. What is your advice to those who still chose this path and want to learn the language in perfection?
- Probably, it is necessary to organize special clubs of communication in parallel with language courses. After all, when studying any language, the main thing is practice. In general, if you are already firmly determined at all costs to master the language, you need to concentrate on this all your efforts, and use every opportunity to get a language practice.
In general, much also depends on the person himself, on his purposefulness. No one will force anyone to learn a language against his will, but if a person has a great desire, then no one will prevent him from achieving what he wants. Now there are a lot of different training programs in the same “Youtube”, you just need to allocate time for this and do not waste it.
- As you know, in Kazakhstan the trilingual program is being actively implemented now. How relevant is it on a global scale?
- It's great! The English language is rightfully considered the most popular in the world, and at least worse from mastering it definitely will not be anyone. Knowledge of languages opens new unknown doors to people. As for the Kazakh and Russian languages, in Kazakhstan, the entire population speaks for them, so for living in this country, their possession is vital. It is necessary to take courses in the study of languages affordable because from this whole country will only benefit.
- I can not but ask your opinion about another innovation, which was introduced quite recently - less than a month ago, Kazakhstan switched to spelling with Latin letters. In your opinion, will this help the development of our country's integration with other states?
- I'm sure that this is a big step forward because Latin characters are written in most of the world, Latin is understandable to virtually everyone, without exception. Honestly speaking, I even write in Russian for a long time in Latin letters. As for integration, I think that it will not play a big role because it is already going at full speed. But it will help to popularize the Kazakh language because the Turkic group of languages is very rare in Europe. And Europeans will be much easier to understand the Latin alphabet than the Cyrillic alphabet. I want to note that all Europeans-Muslims write exactly in Latin. In any case, I see in this a positive moment.
- Thank you for the interview!
Translated by Akhan Tuleshov