Mirela Demo

Soura

I can’t remember a life before Denmark. Nevertheless, I feel more like a Danish-Bosnian citizen of the world than just a Danish one.

I have Bosnian relatives, who I see most summers, and then there’s Leo Tolstoy. He was a rescue kitten I brought back to Denmark after a visit to Bosnia some years ago. To begin with he was ever so gentle, hence the name, but today he is a little devil. But I adore animals and always have done. Ever since I was a teenager, I wanted to be a vegetarian, because I like animals so much. My father would like me to at least eat fish. But now I am a vegan and my mother a vegetarian.

My family and I travel to Bosnia once a year, and I feel quite conformable down there. But when I was a teenager, I felt like a stranger. I did not speak like the youngsters down there, I did not dress like them. Like I said, today I feel like a citizen of the world – or a European. I have relatives in Sweden, Austria, Slovenia, Germany and Norway, but I belong in Denmark. I was just 14 months old when my family came to Aalborg, and I can’t imagine living anywhere else. I realised that when there were issues with my permanent residence permit in connection with my 18th birthday. I was scared of being deported, because where would I go? I like Bosnia a lot, and I have taken Leo Tolstoy down there a couple of times, but we always return back home to Denmark.

26 / female / single / unemployed / Aalborg / from Bosnia / came to Denmark in 1994 / residence permit 1996