I don’t feel foreign in Denmark even though the colour of my skin is different from most people. But others can make me feel foreign, if they claim that what I do is not accurate to Danish norms. Some have even said that my view on children’s upbringing is due to the fact that I am Vietnamese.
When I first arrived in Denmark, I was choked when I saw how children addressed their teachers. Later I learned that Danish children learn how to negotiate and speak their mind. But I still think there should be limits. This is probably due to my background as a pedagogue, and not due to Vietnamese culture.
I was 13 when I arrived here. I brought a packed lunch with fried rice to school, and wanted to share with others. It dawned on me that this is not what the Danes do. I thought it was rather selfish. I am grateful to live in a country where nobody goes hungry to bed and where there is help for the sick and disabled. I don’t understand refugees who con the system. Denmark is a paradise, apart from the climate.
When I arrived in Denmark there was snow and I rushed out to roll myself in it and to eat it. I had never seen snow in Vietnam. A nice dinner lady at my school gave my sister and me a red sledge. She also inspired me to study pedagogy and teaching.
I like working with children with a diagnosis. I like to solve problems others give up on. I also do volunteer work. If I had the health and the money I would travel to Vietnam and help vulnerable children and the war veterans who are treated like dirt. I have been to Vietnam three times, and I cried when I saw the beggars. It made me feel a foreigner in my country of birth.
Mira Truong / 48 / female / in a relationship / teacher / Aarhus / from Vietnam / came to Denmark in 1983 as family reunification