I wish I grew up in neighbourhoods like Danish kids, where the grey communist flats are replaced by red brick houses and green lawn… Where every hundred meters there is a football pitch, a basketball court, a playground, a barbeque and a bench to sit down. Where the forest and the beach are next by and where black, Middle Eastern and Danish kids play together. Where you don’t have to justify who you are, where your ancestors come from and why your name is different.
I wish I were a student in Denmark where education is free, foreign exchanges are regular, where I have access to all the academic journals I want to, where the State pays me an allowance each month to go to university and where that allowance covers my monthly rent and food.
I wish I were a grown-up in Denmark, not having to worry about tomorrow, not having to avoid taxes, not having to think that the pension I pay today will not be there tomorrow. Where the taxes I pay do not go in some corrupt politicians’ pockets, where I get free medical care without having to slip an envelope into the doctor’s pocket. Where my kids can grow up in nice neighbourhoods, have a stable future ahead, where if I lose my job the State takes care of me, where the road taxes I pay turn into highways and where I am respected at work and properly paid for my job.
I wish I were an elderly in Denmark, having a stable pension, kids who do not have to go on the other side of the globe to have a proper existence. Where I can retire at old age, have proper medical care and not have to worry whether the ambulance will come or not.
But then again I wasn’t born in Denmark, but it made me who I am, it made me respect my work, the work of my parents and grandparents. It made me realise that what for some seems normal, for me it seems like utopia and it made me appreciate where I have come so far, which I am not sure people who grew up in this system can fully do.
Aarhus, Denmark, 25 March 2012