Greenland – over the seas and far away?

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Do you know anything about Kalaallit Nunaat, land of greenlanders, besides cold? This is the biggest island in the world, and in German it’s called Grönland rather than Grünland, in Danish, Grønland. It’s an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark. Although it’s called Greenland, only one small part is covered with Vegetation. The name originated from a Norwegian-pirate who explored the northern part of the globe. He found a small green area in the south of Greenland and named it after it.

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Greenland is an island of ice, there are lots of different glaciers in the island. The most part of this island is unsuitable for people to live, its freezing cold. With a population of 56,615 living in 2,166,086 km2 (836,330 sq mi), it is one of the least densely populated dependencies or countries in the world. Even though, there is also a university, which is called The University of Greenland, (Kalaallisut: Ilisimatusarfik)

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People would ask, what can we do in Greenland, besides seeing the ice. Actually there is a lot to do. Most people here have an Inuit Origin, and the Inuit culture is well preserved here and you can explore the culture of Greenlanders. You can watch the Midnight sun, arctic wildlife; you can climb the mountain, fish at sea, etc. There are various activities you can do here; for more details please see things to do in Greenland.

I really thought, people in Greenland would be smart and knowledgable in terms of surviving in a natural uncivilized land, because they know how to survive in the ice cold weather. They are able to build igloos and know how to hunt, know a way of life that civilized people in Europe, America and Asia would not know anymore. I thought it is more of an ancient culture, that still exists and yes – it is. Trying to be civilized, too. They have internet, a University, and everything that makes up a civilized society.

Nontheless, alcohol is the best friend of people in the northern sphere to keep them warm, however, too much alcohol will cause problems. Surprisingly, I found out that Greenlanders have a lot of social problems going on in their country. According to wikipedia, the abuse of alcohol is a widespread cause of illness. Most crimes, such as assault and homicide are done under the influence of alcohol. That’s probably the reason, why many students are thinking about leaving Greenland, because social problems ruin the country. Only 2 percent of students actually attain a university degree.

Kirsten Berngaard is a psychiatrist on the East coast of Greenland. She says that the consum of alcohol, the lack of a sense of responsibility, and the problematic jobmarket are the main reasons why people do not want to survive this life and commit suicide. Greenland has a high suicide rate, probably the 3rd highest in the world. Not only the alcohol consum is part of the problem but adding to that, also the rate of sexual abuse is really high. Every 3rd girl in Greenland is sexually abused. The problems are really hard to solve. Greenlanders do not talk about problems and feelings. Berngaard states, that you could sit with a Greenlander for 30 minutes without saying a word, because they are really uncommunicative. Also, the education at home is lacking. Parents let their children do whatever they want, there is no control over them. According to UNICEF every sixth child suffers from malnutrition and goes to bed and school hungry social problems.

Greenland – even though it is governed by Denmark – seems like a third world country with a lot of problems going on. Who would have thought that?

Co-written with annirdmn

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