Milos Tomic: My year in Danish capital - short anecdotes of Serbian student about Denmark and Danes (part 2)

Danes leave their bicycles unlocked on the street

This is true. At first this notion was very hard to believe in, considering the fact that city is full of bicycles, so if someone steals one it’s really hard to find it in the city of 1.5 million people. Nevertheless with time they invented a system under which it is possible to find your bike through the specific code that every “two-wheeler” has. And if Dane decides to buy old bike, you will probably be asked to give its proof of purchase, just to make sure that you haven’t bought it through the “left hand, right pocket” method.

Danes are the happiest people on the planet

The reason why this claim is always present as the one of the epithets considering Danish people is the fact that they as a nation don’t have high expectations in their lives, unlike us. They aim for not so high life goals (which in general are not in connotation with material thing) and by doing that, they remove the possibility of being disappointed if the goal isn’t reached. So if you ask Dane what is the thing he or she craves for in their lives, you will very rarely hear good car, winning a lottery, big apartment and so on. They get pleasure from the small things in life and these small things is what fulfills them and creates a sense of satisfaction, and therefor the happiest people of on the planet.

Danes drink a lot

True and they mostly drink beer. Denmark is land of Carlsberg, but beside Carlsberg there are many Danish beer brands that can be found on the shelves of all supermarkets. For example, during the Oktoberfest in Germany, on public places or even University campuses all over Denmark can be organized events inspired by this festival, where they serve large amounts of beer. Also great number of Danes likes to have their beer during lunch or dinner, after work or University time in a local pub.

All Danes are tall and blonde

This is false. There is a great chance that you will find on the street large number of blonde and blue-eyed people but you will also find loads of redheads or people of medium height. Of course you will notice more blonde haired people on the streets of Copenhagen than in Belgrade but don’t be fooled with the sterotype that every Dane is in truth a Scandinavian tall blonde Viking prototype.

During every celebration Danes are using their flag as a decorative accessory

True. If this is a case of extreme patriotism, high national consciousness and pride or of something else I don’t know, but the truth is that on every corner you can find Denmark’s flag. Moreover, Denmark’s flag is the oldest of its kind in the world, and is used by Danes since 1370. Some say ever earlier. The cross in the middle of the flag symbolizes Christianity, and this pattern will be later adopt by other Scandinavian countries. So don’t be surprise if you come to your friend’s birthday or Sunday lunch and find napkins, balloons and other accessories decorated with Danish flag.



The project ‘Nordic Reading Corner’ is financially supported by The Royal Norwegian Embassy in Belgrade