It turns into a bright sunny day on 14 August, 2016 after raining heavily last night. Red Cross staff are working hard on setting up the tents for delicious food and various activities early in the morning. It is the Open House Day for the Roskilde Asylum Centre.
By Marion Chen
The Open House starts at 11:00 am with a lot of visitors coming from Roskilde locally. They visit the centre and have friendly talks with the asylum seekers to get a real sense of the camp life – a true and live impression of asylum seekers.
A band that plays Arabic music enthuse people to sing and dance to the rhythm. Puppets by Avin, an asylum seeker from Iran, gets the attention of the children. There are children standing in line outside a small tent where they can have their faces painted beautifully in different colours. Football fun fair is played by most of the male asylum seekers but the medal goes to a woman from Iran.
Delicious food is always the part that is most welcomed. A stand that serves beef burgers makes almost everyone stop and enjoy their burgers with salad. People are sitting in the sunshine enjoying talking and eating together – this makes for a perfect picture of the Open House Day.
“It’s important to show people that those who did the stealing in Hillerød are the minority. Refugees who don’t interfere negatively in the society are the majority”, says Peter from Red Cross in Roskilde asylum Centre.
Back when Roskilde asylum centre was a mental hospital, Jan used to work there. That is forty years ago now and today Jan is showing people around in the asylum centre. Jan feels that all the surroundings has not changed in such a long time. It is still as quiet, peaceful and beautiful as it was before. After Jan has had a tour guiding around the centre, he says, “It is very good for it to be used as an asylum centre. It gives a good impression on the people living here. I have a feeling that those who are here like it”
Khalil Rahman, an asylum seeker from Afghanistan, who has been waiting for more than sixteen months, came to enjoy the Open House Day with her lovely daughter. “It’s good”, she says: “ You can see everyone is out and being together with others, everyone is talking to the each other and everyone is happy. Happiness is very important to everyone here.”