I looked out through the plane window, and down below, the yellow rape fields were blowing in the wind. “Where are all the houses? Is Denmark such an agricultural country?”, I can remember thinking. I wore a shoulder bag. And a heavy suitcase without wheels. I was carrying two photo albums, dictionaries and my father's medical books. I wore my traditional Afghan clothing which was very heavy. I was 16 years old - an "adult teenager".
I had great expectations for the future. And of the great joy of seeing my father again. The weather was nice that day in April. My father picked me up in Billund and we drove by car to Aabenraa. The sun was shining. But the next day it started to rain. And it was absolutely pelting down. Real April weather - I know that now. And I remember thinking: “I guess I have to get used to this”.
I was looking forward to a peaceful country. I had read about Denmark, about openness, understanding, respect for the fact that there are many different ways to live. And at the school I was welcomed with smiles and warmth. But Denmark also became a culture shock, and especially the language was difficult.
Today I do not even think so 'Afghan' as I did before. I think more "Danish". I speak Danish, and I feel Danish. But that also means I can mix the different cultures: I listen to K-pop, study, drink saffron tea. And I will always love the Afghan values: my mother tongue, the Persian traditions, our New Year, Eid.
Nilofar Azmoon / 21 / female / single / no children / student / Aabenraa / from Afghanistan / family reunification in Denmark in 2014 / residence permit 2014