"In the new country, the only thing you have to invest is you”
When you see her for the first time when she moves her body gracefully and professionally leaning with the rhythms of Zumba music, you think she comes from Latin America, even her features seem that way. But she's not from Latin America. She's a professional dancer
She works as and instructor for both zumba and yoga. Luljeta Jetullahu came from Kosovo to Sweden with her family when her country suffered from war. Luljeta learned Swedish and received her high school education and university education in Sweden.
Besides being an instructor, she is self-employed and works on a daily basis as a consultant helping people achieve their goals with the help of career guidance, coaching, integration and training and lectures, for both young people and adults. She lives with her husband and two daughters, aged nine and five, here in Växjö.
– I love working with people and understanding the society we live in, so I chose to study "The program for social analysis and welfare development with a focus on sociology". I have a master's degree in sociology. When I came to Sweden, I focused mostly on creating a future in the new country and learning the Swedish language. I understood quite early on that if I want to go somewhere in the new country and create a future here, then no one but myself will have to work and fight for it. The school was a given place to take part in Swedish society and I cannot always say that it was easy to get in, but with great determination, humility and an openness to the unknown made me step by step know more and more about society and the people who live here, says Luljeta.
Dancing has been Luljeta's passion since childhood.
– My parents describe how I in my sleep, when I was around 1-2 years old, moved my feet when the music was on in the background. Already then they saw that I would like dancing.
Everyone thinks you're from Latin America when they meet you for the first time. Why did you choose to dance Zumba specifically and how do you learn it?
– I have heard it many times. I myself grew up with rhythmic movements and danced Albanian folk dance since school age. That I chose Zumba was partly due to. There is so much joy in the dance, but also the combination of the different dance styles, but of course I also dance other dances.
The corona epidemic affected dance classes as well as greatly influenced other activities, which eliminated the joy of meeting and dancing in groups.
– We cannot be seen physically and feel this tangible joy that is in the room and that you can "touch". In the meantime, in order to keep the routine alive and keep moving, I have Zumba via Zoom twice a week in collaboration with Sensus. The opportunities and the link are published before each session on Sensus Facebook, so if you want to join, just go to Sensus' Facebook page, she says.
What does dance mean to you?
– Dancing for me means joy, movement and a feeling of presence and awareness for and with one's own body.
In addition to dancing, Luljeta is also a yoga instructor.
– I discovered yoga about 12 years ago and since then I have practiced it in my everyday life. Sometimes more frequent and sometimes not, depending on the rest of life, but 10-minute yoga in everyday life is extremely important to me to balance the hectic everyday life with inner peace and quiet.
What do you want to say to those who come to Sweden and have difficulty integrating?
– Every opportunity in the new country is a lesson. The radio you turn on in the morning, the news, Bolibompa with the kids ... everything is important to listen to the rhythms and expressions in the new language. For the language is, as I said, the key to Sweden and without knowing the language in the first place, it is difficult to get in. Dare to say wrong, dare to challenge you because no one laughs just because you say wrong. On the contrary. People here are very humble and understanding, and what if it were the other way around, if a Swede moved to your home country. How would you like to respond to this person as he tries to learn your language, your culture and get into the society you live in?