When moving to Denmark and living with a Danish roommate, it’s first of all convenient for you to know about the Danish culture. For many years the Danes have been known for the Vikings, but today Denmark is much more than some strong red-haired guys. So let me tell you a little bit about the Danes and today’s life in Denmark.
The Danish culture and the Danes
Looking for a short introduction to the Danes and the Danish culture? Take a look at this blog post: 5 things to remember about the Danes. It’s about the 5 top do’s and don’ts you should know before moving to Denmark. However, there’re also things you should know about the Danes, which aren’t included in the do’s and don’ts blog post. I’ll give you a guide in the Danish culture now!
When you are moving to Denmark, it’s a good idea to know about some of the Danish traditions. The Danish traditions are important for the Danish culture. Take for example the Danish way of spending Christmas. We eat the same Christmas dinner each year and it hasn’t been Christmas if we haven’t walked around the Christmas tree singing Danish Christmas songs and hymns. And if one of us didn’t find the whole almond in the Danish Christmas dessert ris à l’amande, something went wrong.
At New Year’s it is a permanent tradition that all Danes listen to and watch the queen of Denmark’s annual speech. At 6 o’clock the queen of Denmark sits at her desk at Amalienborg and gives her speech to the Danish people about the year that has passed. The rest of the evening, we drink champagne and let off fireworks when the clock turns 12.
Talk with your Danish roommate about all the other Danish traditions like easter or midsummer. There’s more tips on how to get to know your roommate here: How to find out if you are the perfect roommate match
The Danish humor
Humor is an important part of the Danish culture. Some people might find the Danish humor a bit too much when we are being sarcastic. Besides being sarcastic, the Danish humor is also known for being very ironic and self-contradictory, which can seem a bit too much for other nationalities. We have this kind of humor because we in general don’t take ourselves too seriously. The Danish humor is also much more vulgar or off-color compared to for example the Swedish humor.
Democracy and freedom of speech
Democracy and freedom of speech are two important issues when talking about the Danish culture. Denmark has been a democracy for more than 160 years and we make a huge effort in keeping it that way. In general, the Danes are very proud of the Danish society and the Danish welfare model including the freedom of speech.
The best translation of the Danish word ‘hygge’ is ‘cosines’. But you really cannot translate the word directly into English. Hygge is when you for example spend time with your friends or family at home, talking and having a great time together. It’s not necessarily ‘hygge’ when you are out dancing at a bar – that’s a bit more wild than ‘hygge’ is ;). When the Danes are having this moment, it often includes soda, candy or just food in general (yummi!).
Popular Danish activities
Now you know a bit about the Danish culture. But you should also get to know the Danes yourself. Therefore, I’ve made a lift of some of the things Danes enjoy to do. You can use the list to get inspiration on what you can do with your Danish roommate in order to get to know your Danish roommate:
- Concerts – Danes love music and they love experiences like concerts, festivals etc. Take your roommate out for a musical evening and drink beers all night long!
- Home cooked dinner – Restaurants in Denmark can be quite expensive, so the Danes love to be invited to a home cooked dinner. It doesn’t have to be anything special.
- Out drinking beers – The Danes love beers! Invite your roommate out for a beer and you have captured his/hers heart ;)
- Drinking coffee – The next best thing to drink after beer in Denmark is coffee. Wow, we drink a lot of coffee. Coffee for breakfast, before lunch, after lunch, before dinner, after dinner – you name it! That’s also one of the reasons why almost every Danish kitchen is equipped with one of these Nespresso coffee machines. Therefore! Make your roommate a cup of coffee, invite your roommate to a café or something else that includes coffee – I promise you it will work!
- In case of sunny weather: spend some time outside – anywhere! If you are going to live in Denmark during the summer period, the best thing you can do is to spend time outside of your apartment – whether it’s with or without your roommate. However, it’s also an good idea for you to invite your roommate to take a walk around your area or maybe visit some of the parks near you.
... this guide and list of advices will help you get to know the Danes, the Danish culture and society. But most important of all that it will help you get to know your Danish roommate! I hope you’ll get a wonderful stay in Denmark!
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