Nordia Geographical Publications (Jan 2002)

When two worlds meet: Greenlandic identities in change

  • Päivi Heiskanen

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 31, no. 1


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The article explores Greenlandic minority’s life in Denmark. Settling down to Denmark is studied as a process that most of the migrants go through. The study examines the factors that affect the construction of identity in different phases of the changing situation. This is carried out through individual migrants’ experiences. The key concept of the analyses is identity. It’s various dimensions show how identities are changed in a situation where two different cultures meet: how identity is constructed in relation to Denmark and Danish people, Greenland, the present and the past. Greenlanders have to connect different worlds and different roles in Denmark. In order to find the feeling of belonging to a place they have to cross the line between ‘self’ and ‘another’, ‘here’ and ‘there’. Thus, it can be said that the identities can at the same time be constructed in different places, in relation to different roles and environment. Belonging to a place and finding own role in relation to the Danish society is based on reaching the balance between two worlds.