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I Believe I Can Fly

I came to Denmark from my homeland Greenland for the first time at the start of the 60s. Back then there were almost no Inuit in Denmark what so ever.
A
av Ann

Photo by Tomas Leth

I came to Denmark from my homeland Greenland for the first time at the start of the 60s. Back then there were almost no Inuit in Denmark what so ever. My native language is Kalaallisut, but I speak Danish too. I used to be a hunter, and so was the rest of my family, but we moved to Nuuk when we were promised jobs and modern living quarters by the Danish government. I hear they wanted to build a military base or something, and that it would be put up on our hunting grounds. When I came to Nuuk I found there wasn’t really any work to support my family, and I didn’t settle well there. There were a couple of hard years, and we didn’t really stay together after we came there, so I up and left for Denmark to look for other work. I’ve tried going back to Greenland a few times, but it was difficult, different… I can’t explain it. After you’ve been living in Denmark for a while things change, and going back people didn’t look at me like they used to. They don’t seem to think I’m one of them anymore, even though I grew up there just the same as them, but now they think I’m an outsider. I guess after all these years I kind of am. I’m not always happy in Denmark, I get some attitude from Danes, but things have improved a lot since when I came here in the 60s. I used to get called names, people would be suspicious of us, and work was really hard to come by. It still is. Still, it seems like the younger generation of Inuit born here have an easier time. I’ve had heartbreak, and sometimes I miss my country. I miss my family and my culture. But then when I got back it wasn’t the way I remembered it. Things have changed, and people with it. It’s more modern now, and people aren’t as close-knit as they used to be. So I stay here in Christiania. I got accepted here early on, so me and a lot of the early immigrants who came to Denmark moved straight here. We have a Greenland house where there is always a spare bed, and where we look after each other. This is my regular bar, noon is a good time, not too crowded, but I won’t go into the streets. A lot of people do. They’ll just be walking around, bumming money for their next drink. But I don’t do that. I take odd jobs and I get by. I like hearing my horoscope. I’ll have one of my mates read it out loud. I’m a Capricorn, and today it said I have a dramatic life filled with travels, encounters with mysterious strangers and a wonderful future. It also said “You have met a stranger today, an interesting man who thinks differently from you.” I did meet my brother, and he’s crazy, so I guess there is some truth to it. The future? One day, I’ll get in my chopper and I’ll just fly, fly back to Greenland, and everything will be fine again. Hey, you need to stop taking my picture now. ANN