Europe

A Video Guide To Exploring (and Learning) Danish Culture

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Posted on / by Alex Berger
Denmark 101 - Guide to Danes and Denmark

The Danes are a famously quirky bunch.  They’re much beloved, generally liked the world over, and a bit of an enigma.  These are the people that gave us Vikings, Lego, and Danish design. They are a people and country famed for their work-life balance, straight to-the-point style of communicating, odd blend of extreme homogeneity and their contrasting sharp brand of Danish individuality. They have been hailed as both the most shameless people in the world (in a mostly good way) and as some of the most humble people in the world. Talk to anyone who has spent time in Denmark (and yes, that includes most Danes as well) and one thing is consistent – folks are fascinated by the Danes.

In the past I’ve talked a bit about the difference between Danes (and the Dutch!), Scandinavians, and the Nordics.  I’ve also delved into communication styles and the ways in which the Nordic style of communication differs from the North American style and approach.  As part of my increased focus on video content, I recently decided to expand that exploration into a video series focusing on Denmark, the Danes and my own special mix of observations, advice, and opinion.

Denmark 101 is a series of 16 YouTube videos that seek to share the observations of an intercultural communicator, student, sojourner, global traveler, and now full time employee (that’s mee!) living and working in Denmark over the past four years.  In the near-future I’ll be expanding upon these 22 videos with a sequel that I expect to include another 10-20 videos.

From the age old question, “How do I meet Danes and make Danish friends?” to topics such as Danish fashion, nudity, talking to strangers, and Janteloven – these videos are designed to be a quick and conversational look at the Danes and Danish culture. They’re not a deep dive and their primary goal is to point out observations, give simple suggestions, and to get you thinking about how you interact with the Danes (or how you interact with outsiders if you are a Dane).

Ready to dive into the series and want to watch it from the beginning?  View the complete Denmark 101 series by way of the official playlist. Not ready yet? Here’s a quick preview with my video focusing on the concept of Janteloven (one of the absolute essential concepts required for understanding the Danes).

It is worth pointing out (as many Jutlanders are perpetually reminding me) that many of these observations are based heavily on Danes and Danish culture as it exists in Copenhagen. And yes, I fully admit and agree that Copenhagen is very different from the rest of Denmark.  Having said that, however, I find that many of the same things still apply – even when Danish friends from outside of Copenhagen adamantly disagree.

You’ll also note a bit of an exposure issue within the videos.  They were all shot on one (very) sunny winter afternoon and the light was not cooperating. So, I apologize for that and promise that the sequels will be much easier on the eyes.  I’ve also had folks ask that I shorten the outtro.  So, know that I’ll be updating that in part II as well. Having said that, PLEASE DO make sure to Subscribe to my channel on youtube, comment, share the videos, and give the ones you like a hearty thumbs up!

Alex Berger

I am a travel blogger and photographer. I also am involved in academic research into the study abroad and backpacker communities.

2 Comments

  • Noah
    May 18, 2015

    Very informative video … I’ll be sure to make use of these tips when I make it to Denmark in the future!

    Reply
    • Alex Berger
      May 19, 2015

      Thanks Noah! Glad you enjoyed them and are looking forward to a visit!

      Reply

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