Respect the differences – For sanity’s sake!

30/03/2011 Off By Akalpreet Kaur

akalblog2After years in Denmark as foreigners (and clearly so) filled with positive experiences, sadly our family had to witness something completely different.


All we usually arouse in Danes or people from countries other than ours is curiosity, interest in our food, culture, language, religion, and the list could be endless.


A couple of days ago in the late afternoon we were getting ready to go shopping and I was scolding our 2-year-old daughter for trying to run away, while making her sit on the stroller. Ripu, my husband, in the meantime was standing holding our 3-month-old son, waiting for his turn to be kept in the stroller.


A real Italian is loud, and especially so while scolding a child, so I guess our  loudness drew attention on us… Anyway, two young men were walking towards us, and after passing by and turning the corner they started shouting. We couldn’t really get the words, but the tone itself made the meaning crystal clear. When Ripu took a step back to look at them, they turned and said they would be back.


How many thoughts came to my mind: are they really coming back? If so, what are they planning to do? Are we supposed to argue with these drunkards (oh yes, they had had a bit too much to drink)? Will they spit on us, will we need to physically fight? Can they have a knife with them or anything else that can be used to harm others? While keeping the phone in my pocket I just reminded myself that the emergency number is 112, so that would be my plan of action in case things would get… bad.


We started walking towards the supermarket and we saw them coming back. We kept walking, and when we got close to them one of them asked Ripu “Kan jeg snakke med dig?” (“Can I talk to you?”) Talk?? Are you serious? You’ve just abused us (and scared at least one of us). We just left with my Sardarji gently addressing them in his native tongue 😉


OK they were kind of drunk, OK Denmark is usually a safe place, OK nothing serious happened; still they managed to spoil our moods real bad, so we kept walking in silence for the rest of the time. I had many things in mind, I was afraid they would follow us, and I still hope they won’t come to bother us again, now that they know where we live.


Yet what hurt most was the thought of my children having to experience this, even though none of them actually realised what was going on. I still wonder how these young men could behave like that in front of my babies. If not the sight of children, what else can remind us that we are all equally human?



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