The ones who came from the South


10:00 . (Giuseppa) “I am the way I am and if people love me for it then good. That is what my parents always taught me back in Italy. And if people do not like me well… I guess they just have to deal with it.”

Giuseppa, Mohamed and Reda work at the main self-service canteen of the European Parliament.

(Giuseppa) “ – Sometimes people ask me why I look serious. They even ask if I am in a bad mood. I am actually almost never in a bad mood. I just look serious because I take my job seriously. And yes there are times when I want to smile to clients, others not.
Personally, I think it is because I am a woman that some people simply expect me to put up a smiling face at all times. But I have a strong personality. And I dont want to put up a certain face or smile simply to please people.

– Our work requires us to be very disciplined. I wake up everyday by 5 am and have to be here before everyone, to check what there needs to be done for the day, know which instructions to give, etc. We are not EU workers per say, because we technically work for an external company. But given that we have all evolved in this environment, then we became EU workers in a way.

(Mohamed) – I have been working here for more than 20 years now. Reda as well. We’re used to how things work by now. And we do sense that our work is linked with that of everyone else working in this institution. They wouldn’t have access to wonderful food if it weren’t for us .
– I came from Morocco initially when I was a teenager. I do miss it sometimes, but my life is here now. My kids as well. I am Belgian as well as I am Moroccan. And I am European.

(Reda) – I come from Algeria originally. Mo’ and I are really good friends. We share a lot of jokes at work and it makes it an agreeable atmosphere to work in. We also feel that we share similar backgrounds and cultures.

(Mohamed) – Do we ?”

(They both laugh)



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