Thursday, April 23, 2009

Danish culture

Trying to catch up on the Danish culture I have missed out on by ignorance or simply by living abroad, I have watched a lot of Danish films lately. Yesterday, reviewing Idioterne, I came to think about how little censorship was and is enforced in Danish media.
Naked people? No problem, show it on the silverscreen, show the kids on primetime TV. Naked people by Lars von Trier? The same... however these characters engage in explicit sex, in broad daylight, 10+ people in the same scene. No big stir, no uproar, except outside Denmark. So I am wondering: does this give Danish culture an image of tolerance, or plain blunt insensitivity?

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Tinas smykker

Tina has a selection of hand-made jewellery for sale. You can visit her website to have a look at the options, and if you live near Odense, Denmark, you can make an appointment to view the selection at her home address.


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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Jacob Holdt in the news

I am a big fan of Jacob Holdt. When I was in elementary school he was touring the Danish schools with his dias-show "Amerikanske billeder". These pictures of ghettos and racist confrontations made a big impression on me. Both the pictures themselves, but also the story of this self-declared tramp, who went on a journey to places where most people would be afraid to go, and in these places portrayed the faults of the American society.

Jacob Holdt is now making headlines again with his new photo exhibition "The Ghetto in our Hearts" where he declares that Denmark is more racist than present-day USA.

Read also:
Wikipedia about Jacob Holdt
From Politiken: "Danmark har overhalet USA i racisme" (in Danish)
The new exhibition "Ghettoen i vore hjerter" (in Danish)

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Friday, September 12, 2008


I toes curled up as if I was hearing nails on a blackboard when Philip said that you can "...almost count Lithuania as Scandinavian". It made me immediately object and I sought the aid of Wikipedia to clarify and rectify the facts about Scandinavia. The term is used by many and often used wrongly, at least in the eyes of the Scandinavians themselves. Scandinavia is a term for describing collectively the countries of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, which makes it a geographical term although these countries have many other cultural, ethnical and historical ties.

Check out the Wikipedia entry on Scandinavia or
Illustration courtesy: this clickable map of Scandinavia

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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Carnaval in Copenhagen

Warm up all week, and today the Copenhagen carnaval starts with a magnificent parade through the centre of Copenhagen!

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Friday, February 15, 2008

Copenhagen burning

I got a subscription to Politiken Weekly for christmas, which means that I since January have been a bit more updated on the Danish news, at least more than was by browsing randomly on once in a while.

The front page of Politiken Weekly this week featured a picture of a bonfire on a street in Nørrebro. The text below the photo was a press release from Ritzau, saying 11 people were arrested for starting bonfires last Sunday. There was no mention of who or why.

Today I see that the front page of the Politiken online features an article about how the bonfires have spread to more cities: Århus, Nordsjælland, Ringsted, Slagelse. But still not a single reference to answer the first obvious questions of the alert reader: who did it? and why?

It is no secret that there has been a lot of attention to the Danish reprinting of the Mohammed cartoons which followed the Danish police intelligence discovery of a planned attack on one of the cartoonists. And without any further hints. I would automatically assume that these bonfires was started by angry mobs of muslims who feel their religion has again been set aside to advertise for the Danish freedom of speech.
But why does the newspaper not mention this? Are they afraid to blame someone by speculation? And can it really be that there has not been a questioning of the at least 11 people who were arrested for starting bonfires? I do not think so. But I am puzzled by the way the newspaper handles this.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Ayah was born on September 14th, 2007 at 02:50 AM. Congratulations and all my best wishes to Angelo and Anne-Mette. I am really looking forward to visit you next time I come by Denmark!

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Monday, May 07, 2007

New Center for Protein Research

In the news: The Novo Nordisk foundation has given a grant of 600 million Danish Kroner (approx 80,5 m) to the establishment of a new Danish centre for protein research. The new centre will be placed within the Panum Institute in Copenhagen. The first two scientific leaders of the centre have been appointed: Matthias Mann, a world leader in Mass Spec research, currently positioned at the Max Planck institute in Munich and Søren Brunak, the current leader of the bioinformatics facility CBS at DTU.

The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research is now in the news worldwide. Read the article in Nature News.

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Why Danes are smug - a scientific study

The World Map of Happiness published from the University of Leicester, showed that the Danish population is unrivalled the most satisfied in Europe. Why is this? Because blondes have more fun? Because of the infamous "Danish Cuisine"? Or just because Danes love football?

Have fun reading the full article in the British Medical Journal: Why Danes are smug: comparative study of life satisfaction in the European Union

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Sunday, December 24, 2006

Cloves in oranges

I never knew that it was a special Danish christmas tradition until I presented the idea for my Dutch housemates: In Denmark we put cloves in oranges for christmas for the scent and decoration. Often the oranges are also decorated or hung up by red silk ribbons.

My housemates now think Danes are crazy as far as christmas traditions goes...
Illustration and step-by-step instructions from

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Monday, December 11, 2006

Danish christmas decorations

I am glad the Dutch are not as crazy as the danes as far as christmas decorations on the house is concerned (decorating the house for the World Football Championships is a completely different story). The Danish television channel TV2 have made a collection of the most decorated houses they could find all over Denmark. Most of them I find quite ugly, over-decorated. In the Netherlands you mostly find houses decorated with lights around the 'edges' of the house, like a cake-house decorated with white icing. That is more to my taste.

Photo courtesy: by Jørgen Schytte

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