On Monday 7 November people were gathered in the Danish Seamen’s Church in Singapore. The theme of there gathering were Danish expats abroad, specifically in Asia.
Pastor Kirsten Eistrup welcomed the guest, and soon after the Danish ambassador to Singapore, Dorte Bech Vizard, said a few words about the importance of Denmark maintaining its relationship with its citizens living in foreign countries.
The main presentation of the night was given by Anne Marie Dalgaard, Secretary General of Danes Worldwide. Danes Worldwide was founded in 1919 and is a non-profit organisation. They provide guidance for Danes living abroad and advocate for their civil rights in Denmark.
In cooperation with Copenhagen Goodwill, Danes Worldwide has carried out a survey among Danish expats to analyse strengths and weaknesses in the way Danish expats are treated by the Danish government after a long absence from the country. The information gathered has been put into a report that was presented at the event.
The report also brings a dull realisation to the table.
78 percent of expat Danes contributing to the survey, disagrees that Denmark is doing enough to retain Danish expatriate’s attachment to Denmark – or as Dane living in Australia told Danes Worldwide: “I have seen nothing on the part of Denmark that even resembled an effort to hang on to us. We don’t exist anymore.”
The reports covers Danish expats in the entire world, but the debate especially sparked the interest of Danes with Singaporean spouses and the other way around. It would seem like there is a lot of confusion regarding Denmark’s citizenship policies. With both the ambassador and another representative of the Danish government present, people could let out their frustration regarding said confusion. Jan Lund from DABS did a good job controlling the debate and the impression was that a number of people left with their questions answered.