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Sumathy Thiruravichandran


The woman from our contact family stood there holding a young child. It was obvious that the child originated from Sri Lanka. The family became our best friends. From Sandholm the journey went to Hellerup and then on to Juelsminde. We were not familiar with Denmark, and when we had to choose a place to live, we just knew instantly that it had to be Randers, which is where they came from.

For 30 years I have worked as a native language teacher, something which makes me very proud. This kind of education helps the bilingual children well on their way through school and socially. It warms my heart when I see the books we have made together.
When I was young and living in Sri Lanka, I dreamt of becoming a nurse or a school teacher. And as it turned out, I have been able to work with both here in Denmark. Today I work solely as a social and health worker.

Hans Christian Andersen’s many fairy tales have been an inspiration for the theatre performances I created with the children in Danish and Tamil. From my very early days in Denmark, I took care of the children at the language school where we were and danced, sang, played music and theatre with them. It was in this context that a woman from the school management padded me on the shoulder and asked if I would like to become a native language teacher. Today I am very grateful for that.

In 2003 we took our two children back to Sri Lanka. But it was very sad. Our village was nothing like it used to be, so it was difficult for us to give our children a precise insight into our region and the place where we had grown up. This was when we realised that Denmark was our future.

53 / female / married / children / SOSU assistant and native language teacher / Randers / from Sri Lanka / came to Denmark in 1986 / residence permit in 1986

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