Today the former American Ambassador to the Kingdom of Denmark James P. Cain (R) makes his departure back to the U.S. after serving in Copenhagen for the last 3.5 years. He left a few parting words with the Danish people via an interview posted on the tabloid newspaper B.T. The article’s headline, “The Ambassador to the Danes: You are 50 Years Behind,” refers to Denmark’s tolerance and attitude towards foreigners and lack of integration.
In the article, he says that Danes are not good at welcoming foreigners and that it’s extremely difficult for foreigners to feel at home and settle here. He underscores that it’s not about certain nationalities in particular, but all nationalities in general that has a hard time feeling at home in Denmark.
Cain also pointed out that it’s not about giving up traditions, but accepting that the world has become more global. And that Denmark shouldn’t be afraid of losing it’s culture/traditions/values and to realize that it’s possible to both keep them and and still encourage people who are different from them. He also said that it would make Denmark much stronger in the long run if they were able to welcome foreigners and accept them and the fact they have different belief systems.
I, like many other foreigners here, instead reach out and build a network among other internationals and form colonies of sorts, similar to the English in Andalusia or Danes in Solvang, California, or the Muslim community in Denmark. This creates further division or a sort of silent segregation that no one really speaks about openly. My hope is that over time this will change for Denmark too and the country will in fact become more global.
See additional coverage and video (in English) here on Berlingske Tiden