Almost everyday I think about what I carry from my past. I use my background from Sri Lanka and all the good things about Denmark to make my very own "Santha mix".
After family reunification with my husband, I took a secondary education as well as an exam from a business college. But when I looked for jobs, the answer was always no. I think my name got in the way.
So, in the end I got an education as a social- and health service assistant. And that changed my history. Today I can say with a smile that I am like the ugly duckling in H.C. Andersen's fairytale. I had to go through an awful lot, before there was room for me on the Danish labour market.
I work with dementia patients in a care home. No matter how sick you are, you can always sense when there is another person in the room who cares for you. And I do. I’m used to having a large family and being surrounded by people of all ages. That's some of the good things I have in my mental backpack. And I say to my boss with a twinkle in my eye: "You actually can't do without me."
I do not feel foreign in Denmark, and there are really many things I like here.
One of the only things I don't like, is that so many people get divorced. To me, marriage is a lifelong commitment. It can embrace that we are different, and you should be able to tolerate disagreements when you love each other.So, I'm probably neither 100% Danish nor 100% Tamil. I'm my very own unique Santha mix.
Santha Selvam / 47 / female / married / children / sosu-assistant and interpreter / Aabenraa / from Sri Lanka / family reunification in 1995 / residence permit 1998 / citizenship 2000