I think that most refugees experience a 10-year crisis once they have completed their education, started a family, and got a job. When you have become part of the society, yet still feel foreign. I contemplated moving to the US where people are not judged in the same way, but then I calmed down again. I am neither Danish nor Vietnamese. I am just part of the society. When I arrived in Denmark, I knew that I wanted a good education.
When I told my social worker that I wanted to study medicine, she was very surprised, but she helped me find a way. Even though my language was rather limited, I ended up scoring the highest average in my year. Today I own a clinic in Hvidovre and one in Copenhagen, and I hope one day to start a chain of clinics. I plan to work until the very end. As a Buddhist I believe that I can bring everything I have achieved into the next life. I have never been overly religious, but my faith has nevertheless meant a lot to me in terms of how I define life. I haven’t been back to Vietnam that many times, but I was there when my mother and my father died. For a Buddhist it is important to die at home with your family. My mother’s last wish was that I drove her home from the hospital. She died in the lift on the way down, but I resuscitated her. My sisters and I then drove her the eight-hour trip to the village, while we took it in turns keeping her alive with a hand pump. She died at home.
53 years / male / in a relationship / children / consultant in gynaecology / Hvidovre / from Vietnam / came to Denmark in 1981 / residence permit same year