Will Denmark Accept Someone Like Me?

When I lived in the UK, I was very much in my comfort zone. I had my friends from school, from football, I had a very respectable part-time job and I could foresee a steady rise to a very comfortable life.

Moving to Denmark has been a great opportunity for me and it has without a doubt matured me in a number of ways. I like Denmark. I have been here for some years now, both as an exchange student and as a master’s student and one thing I will say is being here has been character building. I have met some great people and created some brilliant opportunities for myself.

But, as I write this blog, I wonder if Denmark is ready to accept a person like me. I wonder if Denmark is willing to let someone like me call this place home.

Sometimes, I just wonder.

I wonder why people cross the road when they see me walking.

I wonder why people don’t ask me if I need help when I am in a shop.

I wonder why strangers sometimes interrogate me over my ancestry.

I wonder why people bow their heads when I am near them.

I wonder why I can always feel someone staring at me until they look away after I catch them.

I wonder why I am seen as intimidating, just for being myself.

I wonder why I feel like an idiot just for writing this blog…

I have my health, I have a strong education behind me, and I have a small group of people that look out for me.

But, I am only human.

Sometimes it is a combination of the small things that can take their toll on a person.

I don’t want any special treatment.

I just want the opportunity to be me.

 

6 thoughts on “Will Denmark Accept Someone Like Me?

  1. Shaun I can sympathize. I have been the odd one out on too many occasions. Denmark is very homogeneous and I bet you stand out in a crowd. Microaggressions (overt and covert) happen everywhere and all the time. The factor that seems to make the biggest difference in dealing positively with microaggressions is self-confidence and being comfortable in your own skin.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I totally understand why you have problems with the danish culture. In Denmark it is not very common to ask people if they need help in the shops because many Danes think it is annoying.
    Janteloven is also still very present in Danish culture which is an ideology based on humbleness. Maybe that could explain why the Danes you meet have problems accepting you?
    From reading your posts, it seems you observe many problems linked with being accepted for ‘just being you’. Perhaps you could benefit from focusing a little less on yourself and work towards being a wholesome person that people will like.
    I hope things get better for you!

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    1. Thanks for your message.

      I probably wasn’t clear in my post, as it was slightly rushed.

      I feel I have a good relationship with many Danish people and I have also integrated into the society here quite well.

      I speak Danish, I have a football club I play for, I’m a coach for a youth football team, and have many friends from university.

      My qualm is with how I am perceived and dealt with in public – in particularly with strangers. So although I welcome your advice about focusing less on myself, I think it’s misguided and you have perhaps overlooked the entire point of this blog.

      But once again, thanks for your feedback 😊

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  3. Good to hear you have managed to make some friends here afterall!
    I think you misunderstood what i meant when I said you should focus less on yourself. I did not mean it in relation to being integrated in Denmark, because it is very clear that you work hard on that.
    I meant it in terms of being self-centered and boasting about your achievements. It’s generally considered to be an off-putting trait in Denmark. It might help you, when you engage with strangers to practice humbleness and kindness.
    Best of luck 🙂

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    1. I’m guessing you’re Danish, so I would just like to make it clear (as if it wasn’t already) that you probably won’t understand the perspective of living in Denmark as a black foreigner.

      Our experiences are not the same and that is fine. It’s not a bad or a good thing, it’s just different experiences.

      What I am less comfortable with is my negative experiences being put down to a perceived lack of humility or self-centred behaviour.

      FX – When I am in a shop and the sales assistant ignores me, but asks the person next to me if they need help, I don’t think that is because I am ‘boasting about my achievements’.

      I’ll once again just like to make it clear that I like Denmark as a country and I am doing my best to integrate and build a future here. So don’t see it as a personal attack on your country, see it more as an observation on certain areas of your society which could be improved.

      Perhaps the first step would be recognition… 😉

      All the best

      Like

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