Stina Jansen Pederson grew up in Nuuk, Greenland’s capital- one of a small population of people living in the ice-free zones of the island’s coast. We asked her a little bit about the island, and what she thinks of the latest attempt to buy Greenland out.
Sputnik: What did you think when you first heard about Trump wanting to buy Greenland?
Stina Jansen Pederson: Well, honestly, I actually thought it was a joke. I thought it was a joke that was just put on the internet. That was until all my friends online started reacting very badly to it. I thought it was weird, but at the same time I get it. Greenland has lots of oils, gases, minerals and raw materials that have yet to be extracted. It's not the first time that the US has tried to buy it, and rumour has it China also has an eye on it. So it makes sense that Trump, the businessman, wants a bite out of that.
Sputnik: Since his plea to buy Greenland, the focus has been lifted from issues such as gun control in the US, and landed on Trump's cancelled Denmark visit instead. There's also been an increase in attention on Greenland. Some things have come to light, not all positive - for instance, Greenland has the highest suicide rate in the world - is that true?
Stina Jansen Pederson: Yes, unfortunately, it is. There are several reasons for that. As far as I know, one of the main things behind the high suicide rate is that in Greenland, we're not taught how to deal with emotions. It's a very taboo thing to deal with emotions, and things like alcoholism, as a result, is a big problem. Lately, there has been lots of attention on that, with a lot of people trying to figure out what to do about it. Unfortunately, it's been going on for years. But as far as I know, people are trying as hard as they can. Like the politicians, and just the people in general, really want to make it better.
Sputnik: How would that change if the US was to succeed in buying Greenland?
Stina Jansen Pederson: Oh, gosh, that's a good question. I can't see a nice outcome from that. People I know in Greenland think it is grotesque that the president of one of the largest democracies in the world, thinks that he can buy another democracy (Greenland) through a third democracy (Denmark). It's mad. It would be a strategic purchase - but I don't imagine it will be a good outcome if Denmark is to sell a country, and essentially, all the people in it.
Sputnik: There're not many people living in Greenland- with a population of just 56,000 or so. That's fewer people than in Edinburgh! What's it like living there?
Stina Jansen Pederson: I grew up in Greenland. I was born in Denmark, but I grew up in Greenland and did not move away until I was 18. It's beautiful. It's amazing. It's very small. I came from the capital, Nuuk. Everybody knows each other and it's just amazing. It's an easy life I would say. Especially when you are a kid, if you want to hang out with some of your friends, you don't have to call, you just like pop by, knock at the door, and say, 'hey, it's time for a cup of coffee!' There's so much to Greenland. People don't know that much in general about the country, which I think is a shame. But then again, there aren't that many of us. So check it out. Visit the country. You do have to have a lot of money to visit but when you can, if possible, do it, because it will change your life!
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