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Category: Danish Culture

Danish culture-housing and language

In cities in Denmark, it is common for people, especially young adults, to rent apartments. In the country however, where more families live, it is more common for the families to own their own homes.

In Denmark the primary language is Danish. While there are no secondary languages, both German and English are commonly spoken. From someone who has gone to Denmark without extensive knowledge of the language, there are many important words and phrases that you use on a day-to-day basis that would be very helpful to know.  These include:

English dansk (Danish)
Welcome Velkommen
Hello Hej / Hallo (on phone)
How are you?
I’m fine, thanks. And you?
Hvordan har du det? (inf) Hvordan har De det? (frm)
Fint, tak. Hvad med dig?
What’s your name?
My name is …
Hvad hedder du?
Jeg hedder …
Where are you from?
I’m from …
Hvor er du fra? Hvor kommer du fra?
Jeg er fra … / Jeg kommer fra …
Pleased to meet you Rart at møde dig
Good morning God morgen
Good afternoon God eftermiddag
Good evening God aften
Good night God nat
Goodbye Farvel
Good luck Held og lykke!
Cheers/Good health! Skål!
Bunden i vejret eller resten i håret! (bottoms up or the rest in your hair) – only used with friends when very drunk
Have a nice day Fortsat god dag
Bon appetit
(Have a good meal)
Velbekomme!
Bon voyage
(Have a good journey)
God rejse!
I don’t understand Det forstår jeg ikke
Please speak more slowly Vil du tale lidt langsommere?
Please write it down Kan du skrive det ned, tak?
Do you speak Danish?
Yes, a little
Taler du dansk? (inf)
Ja, en smule / Ja, lidt
How do you say …
in Danish?
Hvordan siger du … på dansk?
Excuse me Undskyld mig!
How much is this? Hvad koster det? Hvor meget koster det?
Sorry Undskyld!
Thank youResponse Tak / Mange tak
Tusind tak (thousand thanks) Tak for … (thanks for …)
Det var så lidt / Ingen årsag
Where’s the toilet? Hvor er toilettet?
This gentleman/lady
will pay for everything
Denne herre betaler (for alt) – gentleman
Denne dame betaler (for alt) – lady
Would you like to
dance with me?
Vil du danse med mig?
I love you Jeg elsker dig
Get well soon God bedring
Leave me alone! Lad mig være i fred!
Call the police! Ring efter politiet!
Merry Christmas
and Happy New Year
Glædelig jul og godt nytår
Happy Easter God påske
Happy Birthday Tillykke med fødselsdagen
One language is never enough Ét sprog er aldrig nok
My hovercraft
is full of eels
Mit luftpudefartøj er fyldt med ål
Min luftpudebåd er fyldt med ål
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Danish culture-food

Danish food has always been traditional. One of the most common delicacies are open-faced sandwiches with numerous toppings, which include eggs, onions, capers, tomatoes, herring, and smoked salmon. It is served on a special thin whole wheat bread and is very good! In addition, Danes eat most of their meals at home and in private settings, although public dining places ranging from small hot dog stands to fancy restaurants are available and are used. Eating traditions vary from the city to the country. In the cities, many “American” foods have become popular in the recent years such as pizza, pasta, and chicken. Since Denmark is surrounded by water, seafood is a really common staple in the Danish meals, especially herring and smoked salmon. Furthermore, for breakfast, a danish, cereal, or bread are typically eaten at home. Sunday breakfasts are usually fancier, commonly including fresh bakery bread, boiled eggs, juice, tea or coffee.

Smoerebroed, Danish open-faced sandwiches

Bouchon danish, a common breakfast pastry

Danish Culture-religion, entertainment, and sports

Religion is a very important aspect to Danish culture. The majority of people in Denmark are Lutheran. The breakdown of religious groups in Denmark is 95% Lutheran, 3% other Protestant and Roman Catholic, and 2% Muslim. There are no religious cults in Denmark.

The fine arts is a popular way for people to socialize in Denmark. Danes love going to plays, ballets, operas. and folk dancing performances. Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, is the world’s 4th largest fashion city. Every year, they have their own fashion show where people from all around the world come to see the latest fashion trends and where both new and established fashion designers get into the fashion scene. Clothing is very important in Denmark. In Copenhagen, they have a street called Strøget, which is a pedestrian-only street that connects east and went Copenhagen. This street is packed with both boutiques and major fashion designers, both carrying the latest fashion trends. People with all different types of budgets will be able to find something they like on Strøget. As in America, how you dress is important to identifying your place in society in Denmark, especially for young people. They are always looking for the latest trends to wear in public with their friends.

Copenhagen’s pedestrian-only shopping street

Just like the fine arts is a way to socialize in Denmark, many people participate in sports to socialize. Almost 2 million Danes actively participate in sports. Almost 2/3 of children and young adults participate in sports in their free time. There are tons of different sports people can partake in which include, rollerblading, biking, Danish football, Parkour, BMX, walking, and windsurfing. It is very important for the Danes to stay physically active.

Danish Business Etiquette, political structure, and socal classes

Denmark is a constitutional monarchy. Their political system is a multi-party structure, where several parties can be represented in Parliament at any one time. Danish governments are often characterised by minority administrations, aided with the help of one or more supporting parties. This means that Danish politics is based on consensus politics. In addition, since 1909, no single party has had the majority in Parliament. To help counteract the recession, 70% of Danish income-earners will only be taxed at 42%. The government hopes that this will increase the labor supply by almost 20,000 new jobs. In addition, this tax reform will be accompanied by many other initiatives to kickstart the company out of the recession. In Denmark, there are five social classes, which are divided according to level of education and occupation.

Business culture is very important in Danish society. They pride themselves on their many characteristics of business culture. For example, before the meeting has begun, you are supposed to have set an agenda and to try to not stray from that during the meeting. Business decisions are made only after everyone has been consulted. It is thought to be rude if you do not look someone in the eye when speaking to them. Finally, Danish business people do not enjoy engaging in small talk-they have a purpose for meeting and would rather get to business quickly

The culture of Denmark-geography, topography, family life, and education

Denmark is located in Northern Europe, borders both the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, on a peninsula north of Germany. Denmark also also includes several major islands-Sjaelland, Fyn, and Bornholm. The weather is very temperate. They have mild, windy winters and cool summers. The topography is rather low and flat, with many gently rolling hills. The nuclear family unit is very important in Danish culture. Children are raised to be independent from an early age. Most are put in day care centers at about 1 years old.
In addition, marriage is not a prerequisite to starting a family. Many couples live together without legalizing the arrangement with marriage. In addition, women are highly respected in business and generally receive equal pay and have access to senior positions. Danish women expect to be treated with respect in the office. Working mothers can easily arrange flexible hours so that they can maintain both a career and a family. One interesting fact about education in Denmark is that it is free. It is required that students go to school for at least nine years. The elementary and lower secondary is comprehensive, which means that children are not divided based on ability or social background. Once a child gets to their secondary education, they can decide for themselves if they want to continue their education.