I have lived in Denmark for most of my life, so I don’t feel foreign. But little things can make me feel different, like for instance when my peers talk about watching Bamse & Kylling when they were children. And I will never be a licorice fan. One of my first memories of Denmark is about licorice. My sister and I bought a couple of bags of licorice. But it tasted very strange so we threw it out.
I am a bit like Albert Einstein. He was asked about his nationality, and replied “I was born on Earth”. I did not chose be born in Bosnia, and it was the war which led me to Denmark. If I have any national spirit it is linked to the language and the music.
After four years in Denmark I started at school. I was shy and sort of hid myself behind my Walkman. Then I met a Bosnian refugee boy, who introduced me to American rap. Later I got to know German and Danish rap. Rap music is a great shortcut to learning languages. The rappers use everyday words and pronounce them just like we say them. The music and rhymes make it easier to remember the words. Since then I have used rap music when I taught German and English, and at the language center where I teach Danish to foreigners.
At the refugee center I learned to play table tennis. In Esbjerg we lived next door to a table tennis club, and they let me teach the beginners, even though I did not speak Danish. Five years ago, I suffered from a depression, and my doctor advised me to do some sports. I started with table tennis again, and after two weeks the depression was gone. Table tennis and rap music has kept me alive and integrated me.
Zoran Lekovic / 35 / male / single / educated in language and communication, studying to become a German teacher and works voluntarily as a teacher at a language school / Aarhus / from Bosnia / Serbian background / came to Denmark in 1992,/ residency permit in 1995.