Debate on colonialism sparks comment in Nuuk



“How good Danes do we Greenlanders have to become, before we are acceptable? It is time that we take the responsibility for our own history and our own lives as a people, if we are to reach mental independence.”

These comments came from social anthropologist Aviâja Egede Lynge, during last weekend’s debate on “Independence or Voluntary Colonialism” at the Teacher Training College in Nuuk.

Lynge said she learned in school — from Danish teachers and books in Danish — that Greenland was the best colony in the world.

“The Home Rule Government has not succeeded in creating the ethnic identity that the elite originally fought for. On the contrary, the Home Rule Government can be characterized as the result of a Danish presence since 1721. Even though ethnic Greenlanders constitute the majority at Parliament, most leading positions are still occupied by Danes, who have a great deal of influence in the decision-making.

“In South Africa, one of the strategies behind apartheid was to keep people’s self-esteem down. This was normal during the colonization process. We do not know whether the Danish State intentionally thought of keeping people’s self-esteem down. But the question is, whether it is worse to rob people of their bodies than rob them of their souls,” Lynge said.

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