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Answer for Danish/American

Reader comment on item: Something Rotten in Denmark?
in response to reader comment: Life is not just about potatoes and gravy...

Submitted by Sammy (United Kingdom), Apr 10, 2006 at 17:13

I was born in Denmark and yes I speak the language to native level. No accent that might even remotely suggest that I haven't been in the country for that long. My parents wanted me to mingle with Danes at an early age by putting me in a nursery at an early age.
Both my parents are working and lead what everybody would call a normal life. And no, I never partcipated in any activities of malicious nature. At least I haven't done anything that would make me stand out from being any different from Danish children.
I don't want to make myself stand out as being a unique example, but the majority of foreigners are like me, or at least endeavour to be, but they have become transparent. No one wants to read about The Foreigner who is doing so well in Danish society. It doesn't sell, does it? However, juvenile deliquency mixed and shaken with youth of other ethnic origin, now THAT will sell a good bundle of newspapers. The main focus will always be on the bad fruits in the basket. But what about the rest?

Why did I face this discimination, you ask? It's been in conjunction with the aftermath of Sep11. Now I have experienced racism and discrimination prior to that, but it was very seldom and of a very vague nature that I never dwelled on it. However, after Sep11, it changed.

I remember the day after Sep11, I stopped a fight that was about to break out between some of my colleagues and some Danes. I remember one of the Danes saying :"We will not tolerate your kind trying to mess with good Christian people." I did reason with them. Pointed it out that none of us applauded the killing of innocents and that Muslims as well had been killed that day etc. etc. A moment of anger can often blind you from the obvious truth.

As for your cousin. Well, that's 15 years ago. Back then the racism was pretty much transparent. I mean it was there, but it had no strong roots. I'm sorry to have to be the one to tell you this, but your cousin's parents must have some pretty "right-winged" opinions of non-Danes. Children that young don't analyse so deeply into things. So this fear must have been induced by her parents or someone in the family, because why on earth would she refer to them as "those" people? A strange term to come from a 7-year-old, if you ask me. Again, I stress that 15 years ago Denmark was different; MUCH different.
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