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"You can be who you really are"

"You can be who you really are"

Photographer:Fotograaf: Loraine Bodewes Fotografie

Emmelie Odberg Rosengren (25) from Varberg, Sweden, master’s student of European Studies and A-member of the Onafhankelijk DamesDispuut Diablo

Loves: Diablo

“I arrived in Maastricht during the Inkom week 2010. I had no food, no kitchen equipment in my room and realised I had to go out for dinner. I wandered through the Tongersestraat, not knowing the city at all, and passed café Ma van Sloun. A group of guys was standing outside and asked if I needed any help. They were from Spiritus Vitalis and introduced me to different sororities. Everybody was nice, but they were sceptical about me joining them, considering that I didn’t speak Dutch at that time. Diablo wasn’t sceptical at all. They said if you’re willing to learn Dutch, of course you can join us. Now I’m an aspirant member. I speak a little Dutch, and I understand a lot. It’s the fastest way to learn the language. Diablo is fantastic. We’re all different, but still a fabulous group together. You can be who you really are.”

 

Hates: how language creates barriers to integration

“I didn’t speak Dutch when I arrived here in August. That disqualified me as a possible member of some sororities. Previously, I was an Erasmus student in Poland, where I lived in that small international student bubble and didn’t make friends with Polish students. That was a pity. My wish, coming to the Netherlands, was to integrate better with domestic students. I’ve already achieved that goal. I think every foreigner should be open to the culture they’re living in for one, two or three years. It’s rude if you don’t show any interest in the language or the culture you live in.”

 

Riki Janssen

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