Yes, I am not Danish, yet. I don’t have blonde hair, blue eyes, and white Caucasian skin, plus still struggling with my Danish. So why on earth I join a political youth party? The answer here is simple. I have made my decision to migrate to Denmark and live here, meaning this country is now my home, and I care about what happen in and around my home. There will be a time when I later will obtain Danish citizenship, 10 years to go…(oh hell), but I don’t need to wait that long to start being active and contribute something for my country, isn’t it? Besides, I am always interested with politic.
I registered as member of DSU (Danmarks Socialdemokratiske Ungdom) around late of October 2012, 3 months after I moved in to Denmark. It is a political youth attached to Socialdemokratene, the current ruling party in the country known as worker party and tend to the left, though many of its policies are actually quiet relevant to maintain business growth and at the same time, buffer the social welfare. My encounter with DSU began firstly when I attended Danish society class at CBSI, where it introduced different types of parties. In the mid of October, Copenhagen celebrates its annual culture night, where people go out all night long enjoying everything the city has. I myself went to Christianborg, the parliament house where I popped in Socialdemokratene’s open house (read again my blog about culture night here).
It has been 6 months I join DSU. Still feel like a stranger due to my Danish and learn how to decode Danish friendship-wall. I gotta admit that I learn a lot about my new adopted country. From visiting Denmark’s finance minister and hearing the minister of social and integration, Karen Hækerup’s classical speech about how important it is for immigrant to speak Danish (in which both are Socialdemokratene, that’s why DSU serves as a bridge), to learn how to debate & discuss in Danish way, and to sit 8 hours straight in DSU general assembly voting.
These are all really fun, and funny at the same time. I remember during DSU general assembly, they used hours and hours about proposals on “how to make integration better” in Denmark. Watching all these danes voiced opinions is interesting, it was just I wished I could speak Danish in a such advanced level. Who’s best to understand the impact of integration policy better in the country but the immigrants themselves?? Those who have to endure 10 hours waiting in immigration department just to submit their application? Those who have to sign long pages of integration contract, in Danish, yes in Danish, without even understanding Danish? Those who have to spare times to learn one of the hardest language in the world, verbally speaking? And those who have to be open minded, learning other culture? Certainly not 100% the Danes; it has to be collaboration with immigrants — without insiders’ insight, the debate and the whole assembly about integration were just superficial. Yes, there are problems among immigrants who tend to hijack Danish social welfare system. Yes there are immigrants who refuse to learn Danish language. Yes, I agree that immigrants should learn the culture of their new country. On the other side, subscribing such prejudice (immigrants = problem) to the rest of immigrants who want to contribute is also not wise and disbenefit the country.
It takes two to dance. So, when knowing the definition of integration in Denmark as “the ability of foreigners to use their skills and talents to function in Danish society”, I was like…ummm…this is a very one way approach.
Ahh I just wish I could speak Danish way better so that I could voice my opinion on the level of values that DSU people understand. I am an immigrant, who have experienced bitter parts of struggling in muslim country. I know some parts of culture are just unacceptable, humanly speaking, and need to be seriously addressed by Danish social and integration minister. But I also know, that here in Denmark, there exist many foreigners, of whose connection and network can be profitable for the country’s economy and culture. I am one of them, but I also one of the few who decided to join Danish political youth party just few months after I immigrated. I am physically look like an immigrant, but I also expose myself to Danish language, trying to read Politiken with my Danish level, volunteer, buying property, and dedicate that I want to be useful for my adopted country. If I were Hækerup, I’d like to create a program that involves the Danes and immigrants to meet up, Drinking with The Danes for example, or appointing representative in each local kommune to ask women immigrants to join an activity along with the danes. No danish forced at first place, but sparing Danish language is always welcomed.
Anyway, so far people in DSU are nice, and they try to answer in english if i dont understand what they said. Some still look awkward perhaps because they are more comfortable speaking Danish. DSU people in general are very open and loud (in a fun way 🙂 ). Things that make me always miss coming to DSU meeting is to be part of its debate and discussion group about current affairs in Denmark (though I am still being a passive), and most of the most…to visit a place or simply to meet prominent people.
Joining DSU is part of my active integration and I love it!
- Freedom of Speech (unless we don’t want to hear it) (adventuresandjapes.wordpress.com)
- How to Learn Danish (adventuresandjapes.wordpress.com)