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Benjamin Dajic


I can feel 100% Danish and 100% Bosnian. Emotionally I am mostly Bosnian. When I think clearly and rationally, I am mostly Danish. But above all I am 100% human. I have friends of all nationalities. In the fitness center, where I am the manager, the whole world is united in one room.

I have been doing sports ever since I was a child. Especially basketball, but also football, handball, American football, volleyball, athletics and boxing. The people who know me perceive me as a person with surplus energy, smile and humour. I think those traits are expressed because I get the frustrations out through training.

From Bosnia I have some values of being a tolerant person, and to educate yourself as long as you live. When we fled, I had nearly finished the second year of technical high school. In Denmark I had to wait for two years at a refugee center before I even started school. Two of my friends and I asked a headmaster at a high school if we could be admitted. We only spoke English, so he said no. But the headmaster at Silkeborg High School said yes. Today we are all well-educated and contribute to society.

The actual approach to people is often what determines if they utilize their potential. If you meet people with respect and trust, most will seize the opportunity. If you meet them with distrust, they lose their motivation and confidence.

Refugees are people like everybody else. Grief and pain, happiness and smile are the same for all people. I wish more Danes would recognize that. The negative publicity causes a lot of people to fear refugees. When Danes come to the fitness center they are often surprised by the good atmosphere. They discover that sports and smile bind people together.

Benjamin Dajic / 43 / male / MSc in history and social studies / manager in Fitness World, / Aarhus / from Bosnia / came to Denmark in 1992 / residency permit same year

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