I still feel 100 percent foreign in Denmark, because the language is so difficult. When I arrived in Denmark, we were assigned a place to live in the small town of Gislev on Fyn. It was both strange and lonely, because there were almost no people in the street nor in the supermarkets. It was, as if we were the only ones in town.
There are so many things that are different in Denmark. I still remember the first time I experienced snow. It was really special, because I had never seen it in my home country, so even though I was a grown man, I immediately rushed out to play with it.
I belong to the Karén people, and we were promised independence by England after World War II. That promise has not been kept, and therefore there is still an ongoing conflict in my home country. If I hadn't fled when I did, I don't think that I would be alive today. In Denmark you are allowed to be who you are, and I admire this. I had a really hard time finding work on Funen, and so I decided to move to Esbjerg, where I knew other Burmese people. It’s a great place to stay, and I’m also happy with my work here. But I dream of being independent, so I can earn a little more.
My first wife, who was pregnant when we fled, died of lung cancer when our son was two years old. I later met my present wife, with whom I have had a daughter. We are happy together. I feel satisfied, and I think Danes are incredibly helpful. Among other things, I have gotten to know Rita through Children's Adult Friend Esbjerg, and she is also an adult friend of our son. She has helped my family and me tremendously, so I'm very grateful to her.
29 years / male / married / children / storage assistant at Red Office / Esbjerg / Burma / came to Denmark in 2011 as UN refugee / residence permit same year