When you move to a new country, you need to become part of a new community.
Therefore, it becomes necessary to reach out and find your bearings. Monika Pedersen explores how to adjust, settle in, and eventually settle into your new homestead.
Pictures: iStock / Private pictures
If you land in a cosmopolitan area, then you are in luck, as there are usually other like-minded people and, better still, a volunteer group to help with the transition. These sorts of welcome groups are invaluable and a lifeline for newcomers.
Lolland is growing as an international hub. Owing to the efforts of some very altruistic and dedicated individuals who have lived abroad or possess vision, there has been considerable energy exerted to start up a host of welcome groups. Their valiant efforts have made a difference to internationals coming to Lolland and the local community as all sectors of society benefit from their total devotion to their environment and fantastic work. Tanya Von Rosen, Tomoko Kitamura Nielsen, and Kirsten Sydendal are three such pioneers!
Lolland-Falster International Community
Lolland-Falster International Community began in 2015. After bidding for and gaining funds from ‘Landdistriktspuljen’, they formed a local network to welcome and retain international talent. In addition, they make available services and activities to help internationals integrate and understand Danish culture whilst also supporting repatriating Danes reacclimatise. At the core of their volunteer work is the desire to bring about connectivity, understanding, and appreciation among the various groups and create a harmonious society.
"We highlight the contributions of local women to celebrate the attractiveness of the region." - Tanya Von Rosen
Quality Lolland Falster
Lolland-Falster International Community is a separate voluntary group linked to the Quality Lolland Falster association, which started in 2009 and is currently headed up by Tanya von Rosen and others. They highlight the contributions of local women to celebrate the attractiveness of the region. Their publication, ‘Det gode liv’, showcases their diversity and the value they have added.
Tomoko Kitamura Nielsen
Tomoko Kitamura Nielsen, one of these inspiring ladies, knows firsthand the challenges of moving to a new country and culture. Arriving from Tokyo and landing in Lolland over two decades ago, she is a celebrated translator, journalist, consultant, and innovator, among other things. Tomoko spends her time investing her energies into promoting the wonders of Lolland to the Japanese community in Tokyo by organising visits and workshops. In addition, she is a consultant connecting Japanese journalists with Lolland’s industry chiefs and is also involved in setting up a new international culinary high school and running as a candidate in the local council elections. Her mantra is clearly about maximising the power of the diversity of people in the area for the betterment of Lolland.
“Tomoko spends her time investing her energies into promoting the wonders of Lolland to the Japanese community in Tokyo.” - Tomoko Kitamura Nielsen
The Lolland-Falster Lovestorm initiative, also initially connected to the Quality Lolland Falster, sprung up in 2015 after a very controversial Danish documentary about seven families in Lolland. The series really blighted the reputation of Lolland.
Lolland-Falster Lovestorm’s mission is to share and promote positive stories about events, activities, and happenings in the local area. They firmly believe a sense of pride and community is built to encourage the community to invest and be recognised for its true merits.
It is spearhead by Kirsten Sydendal, a very influential member of Fejø and Lolland’s community. She returned to Fejø in 1998 and has been busy with projects to increase the population count by enticing a younger generation and internationals. She, too, is involved in the new culinary high school, which will focus on food production, consumption and sustainability. Thus, ironically, she will follow in her late father’s footsteps by her involvement with food.
The value of a community working in unity cannot be underestimated, as clearly illustrated by just a few persons. Lolland is standing at the precipice of its most exciting and shaping chapter yet, moving from being a local community to a truly global one.
"Lolland-Falster Lovestorm’s mission is to share and promote positive stories about events, activities, and happenings in the local area." - Kirsten Sydendal