Following the birth of my children here in Denmark, Denmark has become my home country, and I have become a Danish Kurd. I would not have anything against becoming a Dane, yet I cannot tear myself away from Kurdistan. My family is there together with my past, my idealism and my dreams.
I lost my faith when I studied theology in Ankara. By meeting professors, who were teaching Islam but never showed up for prayers, new questions arose. Didn’t people choose to study theology because of their faith? Why did one of my teachers smell of alcohol, and why did my flatmate not pray? As I confronted people, religion seemed to lose its truism, and for the first time I asked myself the question: Do I believe in religion at all? I did not and I still don’t. Instead I believe in human beings, and I believe that the best you can teach children is independence. The biggest strength of Scandinavia is that one raises children to be independent.
The Danish school system was an eye opener for me, despite the fact that initially it was associated with a lot of frustration, because how was I supposed to learn something at Teaching College when everything was negotiable? I did learn something though, namely that there is not one but several truths, and if I can argue for my truth, it can be just as right as yours. This is the mindset I attempt to pass on to my pupils. It is far more important than their score in some PISA survey.
58 years / male / in a relationship / children / school teacher / Brøndby Strand / from Turkey / Kurdish background / came to Denmark in 1985 / residence permit same year