I feel 100% Danish. Colour of skin, nationality and religion do not matter to me as long as you participate and contribute. Countries and borders are man-made. When people ask me where I am from, I tell them that I am a citizen of the world. I brought with me my Afghan culture, and I speak several languages. It is so cool being able to communicate and work with people from all over the world.
Back home my dad always said: “Take the best from both cultures. You are in Denmark. There are so many opportunities.” At weekends we were taught Farsi. After school we had extra classes in Danish, English and math. We went to youth school, where we learned photography, cooking and how to make bonbons. During the summer holidays, we participated in excursions.
According to statistics, the school I went to was labeled a ghetto school. But the majority of pupils in my class were ethnic Danes. To me it was the best time of my life. We had a lovely time socially, and the teachers were incredibly committed. They took us to the theatre, to Danish attractions, and on travels to Germany and the Faroe Islands. It was a relief for me to finally be allowed to be a child and play again.
In my spare time, I volunteer as a lifeguard for a team of women with different ethnic backgrounds. It is so much better to get people activated instead of letting the women stay indoors and risk that they end up with increased cholesterol levels and diabetes 2. They, if any, deserve it. There is always a great atmosphere. My biggest wish is that people who come to Denmark are treated properly. That rules and opportunities are made clear to them. That they are allowed to contribute. A lot of them are resourceful and can be a benefit to all of us.
30 years old / female / single / pharmacist / Roskilde / from Afghanistan / came to Denmark in 1996 / residence permit in 1996