Sehaeta Karalic

I have always been preoccupied with aesthetics and remember the first time I visited Skagen’s Museum. Krøyer’s painting of people standing around the midsummer bonfire is to me the epitome of Denmark. I love Skagen a lot and I love old things.

My first encounter with recycling – and fascination with saving things from the loneliness of the recycling shop – probably stems from when I was a kid and we were having a dress-up party at the asylum center. We were given some money, and since I have always been mad about TCM movies and Audrey Hepburn, I bought some 50s sunglasses, a scarf and a red lipstick.

I can’t even begin to imagine what sort of person I would be if I still lived in Montenegro. I often think of that. Guess it is my luck that my parents fled. Going to extremes I can have the same feeling of guilt as someone who survived a war. Especially the independence young people have in Denmark. I bought my own flat when I was 27. That would never have been possible in Montenegro. In Denmark education is free, while there they end up with a huge debt.

I am mostly scared of losing my independence. It is the foundation for living the life you want.
You are a foreigner in Denmark the second someone hears your name, otherwise I don’t notice it. But it does annoy me when people say: your Danish is incredibly good. Yes! Of course I speak Danish, I have lived here for more than 20 years. On the other hand, I feel clearly foreign when I return to Montenegro, because I bring my Danishness with me. I speak fluent Montenegrin, because I think it is one of the things that shape me. But I am quite aware that I am a tourist when I am there.

30 / female / in a relationship / school teacher / Horsens / from Montenegro / came to Denmark in 1996 / residency permit in 1998