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A foreigner in Denmark

Reader comment on item: Something Rotten in Denmark?

Submitted by Sandra Larsen (Denmark), Mar 21, 2005 at 10:18

I have been reading the contents of all of the responses posted and there is a lot of truth in what you are all saying. Let me first start out by explaining my situation. I am British/American, I speak fluent Swedish and Finnish, hold a degree in journalism and am about to finish up a BA in Finance. I am another one of the well educated but unemployed in this country. I have been in Denmark for 3 years and cannot find a job, I have applied for over 400 jobs and have a pile of rejection letters that would be great fuel for a huge bonfire.

I have been called an f#@ing swede and a bloody foreigner, a bloody bosnian and asked, to my face, why the hell I just don't go back to where I came from. I expected more from Danes, in general, and often ask myself why I don't just throw in the towel and leave. Because I love my husband and apart from my frustration with the situation outside my home, things are great in my home.

I lived and worked in Sweden for some 10 years, had no problems finding jobs with the skills I had and although Swedes can also be very insular it seems that there is more tolerance for "foreigners" who integrate.

The muslim problem here in Denmark will most likely only increase as the years go by. Many of the Danes I have spoken with about this issue have said that they do not want "these people" but that the attitude of the government in recent years has been to let refugees in without thinking of the consequences of their actions and the repercussions in years to come.

Ok these people are here, they refuse to integrate and what now? If they don't want to integrate and want to carry on their traditions and customs fine, go back to your countries. If the government was to round them up and ship them all back there would be massive outcry from the global community but these ethnic groups are allowed to continue antisocial behaviour here in Denmark and in many other European countries without stringent repercussions. I have often heard cries of racism from muslims in the Danish papers as soon as they are slapped on the wrist for doing something illegal or immoral. I have heard them cry racist if they aren't given free reign. So what is it going to come to? Are lawmakers going to be afraid to inforce laws on these ethnic groups for fear of being dubbed racists? Why is it that laws should apply to some people but not all people.

Another thing that irritated me last week was an article in a local paper about a bosnian man who called the municipality leaders racists because they did not supply him and the other bosnian immigrants in town with bosnian television on the district cable network. Well my answer to that is if you want to see bosnian telivision then go back to bosnia. You live in Denmark mate, the war is over and no one is keeping you here. I am a foreigner living here who does her best to adapt and fit in, I basically speak the language, can read it and write it and do my best just to live a normal daily life. Yeah, I would love to find a job where I could use my skills but in the meantime I am content with keeping myself busy in other ways.

This is a free country (well basically) and if these ethnic groups don't like it then they can leave. They forget that they moved to Denmark and the customs and traditions were in this country long before they were. They need to do their best to meld if they want to have a life and if the ethnic traditions and customs of their homelands are more important then maybe they need to rethink where they are living.

I could keep on going on about this but I think you all get the gist of my opinion. All comments welcome!

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