I don’t feel foreign. Discussions about integration are often inconsistent, because what are you supposed to be integrated into, and what does it mean to be Danish? I have experienced one Denmark in the Jutland countryside and another Denmark in Copenhagen. Just like Denmark, Danishness is a diverse and complex mass.
When I was 15 I saw my dad being beaten up by a group of Serbian soldiers, and I decided to go to war. The following years I lived with war very close by and with an awareness that life could end any time. After having been shot in my arm, the doctor who examined me diagnosed me with cancer with only a month to live, but it didn’t touch me. I had become used to the notion of death, and life had no longer any value. I thought about returning and spending the rest of my life fighting. But at the same time I tried to try find treatment abroad, and I finally ended up in Denmark. Two years later a doctor at the University Hospital in Copenhagen announced that I had recovered and I took another decision.
I would give something in return. Someone had given me a chance. It wasn’t Allah and it wasn’t Jesus. It was the University Hospital. It was the Danish welfare society. I will rather pay high taxes than being able to afford a fancy car, because I believe in the community, the Danish model, and the welfare society. Unfortunately society seems to develop in a direction with less solidarity, and the most vulnerable are blamed for all the problems in our society.
40 years / male / in a relationship / children / union secretary / Copenhagen S / from Bosnia-Hercegovina / came to Denmark in 1994 / residence permit in 1997