Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Evening Strolls in Denmark

As my time draws to an end here in Copenhagen (I leave May 18th for the States), and the weather here has gotten nice and spring-like, I have taken to going outside and just sitting, reading, watching, strolling. This picture above is Kongens Nytorv (Kings Square, funny since its actually a circle), where I live. Isn't it lovely?? This is the heart of Copenhagen. I've taken to sitting here in the evenings with a book, just soaking it all up - to be in the moment - really when will I ever get such a chance again in Copenhagen, to call Kongens Nytorv my home and this my front yard?? It doesn't get dark here until 9:30, so after reading my book or just people-watching, I'll stroll along the main canal, walking, meditating and enjoying - before heading home to say my Magrib (evening) prayers.

On a completely different note, I passed my Danish language level one exam - yay!

In preparation of the exam I began reading the free newspapers they hand out in the Metro. In the paper I picked up yesterday, this ad was inside. It is for some radical racist party here in Denmark (because all countries have these loons), opposing Muslim women judges who wear head scarves in the court. They say that because these women wear head scarves they are certainly going to start implementing sharia law in Denmark. It is a bit ludicrious, but there you have it.

What makes me scared is the tag line at the bottom of the ad, it says "Gi us Danmark tilbage," which essentially means "give us Denmark back." To which I ask...back from whom? Muslims in Denmark are for the most part Danish citizens, so who do you mean when you say "us" - white Lutheran Danes only? Does that mean that despite having Danish citizenship, speaking the language, serving the military, a Muslim cannot be a Dane? It is the same radical ideology the Nazi's had, that no matter that the Jews spoke German, had German citizenship, were fifth or sixth generations German, served the military, they were not German. Could it not be possible that Denmark, like the rest of the world is diversifying, so this idea of "giving back," really just means "we don't want anything to change, we liked it the way it was," in which case, I worry...because it is radical parties like these ones who when the economy goes south, rise up and attack minorities (in Denmark Muslims are the largest minority). I just pray that what happened in Germany in the 1930's, doesn't happen to Denmark in the future.

Finally, to end on a happy note - take a look at my little plant, its blooming again - see it seems I'm not an all-out plant killer after all! I've already found a loving home here in Copenhagen for said little guy and the other plant I have, who is also alive, just not blooming : ) So my wanted picture can come down off the plant world post office's : )


Blogger Molly Malone said...

ugh. that mindset is distressing. i assume judges in denmark have to take some sort of oath to uphold the law and constitution, etc. like they do here. how bloody stupid to assume that one cannot have a professional (and emotional and spiritual) devotion to her country just because she has religious devotion. look at her record not at her hijab. would these same danes want to ban orthodox jews from the bench because of the yarmulke? ... maybe so. you're right about the stirrings of hatred.
i must say i'm kind of sad you're having to leave copenhagen so soon. it seems like you've really been having a blossoming experience out there! (all puns intended.)

9:48 PM  
Blogger Lost said...

Oh crap - plants have a wanted list???? I'm in big trouble. I'm an unrepentant plant killer from wayyyy back - a black thumb if you will. Leafy bounty hunters will be out to get me. Dogwood the Bounty Hunter LOL

10:29 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

The later evenings really make a difference in these northern countries, don't they? I've taken to sitting outside in the garden with a cup of tea after dinner, and it really makes it feel like spring. Shame you'll not get to experience the nights where it's light until 11:30 or so, and even then never gets totally dark. I love those nights!!

As for the nutters - you're right, they are in every country. We just have to pray that they never get any kind of power, but I agree that they're scary.

Enjoy your last few days!!

5:09 AM  
Blogger mommanator said...

I hope the sane! outnumber the insane for the rest of time! Thee are crazies everywhere, but we must be strong!
Poor little posies-what will you do with them when you leave??
I too am almost sorry foryour leaving there, I have seen other parts of the world thru you!

10:11 AM  
Blogger shannon said...

Sigh. It's the same sort of mentality you see in our country about immigrants of any nationality that looks Hispanic, really. Even Ernie, who is a US citizen, Filipino by birth, and has been in the country for 17 years, encounters the "go back to where you came from" from time to time.
He always says "Virginia Beach? I didn't like it there very much."
I wish the bigotry on all fronts -- ethnic, religious, etc. -- would fade away. It looks like those of us who are good, decent human beings have more work to do, eh?

12:39 PM  
Blogger Virginia Gal said...

Molly - yes I am sad as well, to be leaving just as I'm getting adjusted to life in Copenhagen...but excited to see all family and friends. Loved the pun as well : )

Lost - you crack me up - Dogwood the bounty hunter, hee hee : )

Kate - yes prayer is all we can do, as my friend Peter says, we must pray that all those in the darkness come to the light (smile).

Mommantor - you are so sweet, seeing Copenhagen through me, goodness I hope I provided good insight (despite my lack of photography skills).

Shannon - Yes it is sad, and I always think these people must be VERY afraid to cling to these notions of identity. You're right we just must work harder as decent folk to keep these nutters down.l

8:34 PM  
Blogger my mind wanders said...

I am so excited you are coming home soon, but I think you are really going to miss Denmark and your life there. I can't wait to see you though and hope you are well. H

8:38 PM  
Blogger Virginia Gal said...

H! - I can't wait to see you either, but yes I am definitely going to miss my life here in Denmark : )

8:58 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home