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Xenophobe's Guide to the Danes

Xenophobe's Guide to the Danes by Helen Dyrbye
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Everything in moderation

Denmark is a land of modesty and moderation. This is largely a consequence of the Danes' sense of social responsibility. The touchstone of any activity or point of view is whether it is samfundsrelevant, that is, socially useful.

 

That's not funny

Danish humor suffers from the handicap of the Danes' literal-mindedness (“Can you play the violin?” “I don't know, I've never tried.”), and for their need to conform. In a country where all right-thinking people think the right things, no-one is sufficiently different to laugh at.

 

Combined forces

Danes cooperate. Lego comes from the Danish words leg godt, which means “play well,” and this is just what the Danes are good at. They get along well with other people. In any brochure translated for the world market, the word cooperation will appear at least three times per page along with a generous sprinkling of “joint ventures.”

 

Frankly speaking

They say what they think about sex, politics, religion, everything. Small talk can assume monstrous proportions. They will tell you frankly how much their mortgage is, how much they earn per hour, and whether or not they shave their armpits.

Oval Books; October 2008
92 pages; ISBN 9781908120243
Read online, or download in secure EPUB
Title: Xenophobe's Guide to the Danes
Author: Helen Dyrbye
 
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