A country that is a suburb ...
The Kingdom of Denmark is a very small country, very far to the north in Europe. The weather's not worth mentioning, and the national soccer team is really a joke.
The country is a mess of tiny islands, we have no mountains and no rivers, our language (danish) sounds exactly like german to strangers, though we think german sounds ridiculous. The population is only 5 million people, over 85% ethnic Danes, irreligious lutherans; eating herring and pigs, served with snaps and beer.
Denmark was the centre point in the viking realm, vandalising the Baltic States, western Russia, northern Germany, France, England, Scotland, Ireland, Iceland, Greenland and north-east America. It's the oldest monarchy in the world, with the oldest flag.
Danes are designers, inventors and entrepreneurs, but on a small scale. This means more than 75% of all Danes work in a company with eight or fewer employees; one in ten of the workforce are a company owner. The average Dane does 16 years of school before joining the workforce.
Schools, and even a college education, is free. – you actually get paid! Doctors and Hospitals are also free. The average Dane pays 49% tax... 99% of all Danes agrees this is the best system in the world, but argues a lot about the finer details.
In Denmark we have a long lasting democracy and tradition of free speech, and we’re not afraid to use it.
Denmark was occupied by the nazi's during world war II, and all jews were forced to have a star of David sewn to their clothes. So the danish king Christian put one on his jacket as well, and a lot of Danes followed his example.
Before the danish jews could be transported to concentration camps, fishermen took them all(!) to Sweden.
– and in the national anthem there is a line explaining how the king will smash the germans helmet and brain with his axe …
No-one actually believes in the trolls and witches, but they are a part of the danish culture, never the less, and if you happen to be in Denmark for the summer solstice celebration (Sankt Hans), you will notice huge bonfires in parks, gardens and on beaches, all decorated with a witch doll on top, with howling fireworks inside.
Denmark is not for the faint hearted ...
A word of advice: If young people drinking beer from the bottle on a pedestrian street, homosexual men kissing in public, topless girls on the beach, or blasphemous cartoons in newspapers makes you uncomfortable; don't go to Denmark.
Also: All zoo’s put down healthy animals for the good of a healthy breeding programme, but only the Copenhagen Zoo informs the media, and makes a public autopsy, to educate visiting children.
If you do go, be aware we use a lot of irony, without any kind of warning or labelling. If a remark is slightly exaggerated, we probably mean the opposite of what we are saying.
You may have read that an extreme nationalist party has gained too much political power in Denmark in recent elections. That is correct. I have nothing to say in our defence.
Denmark is officially at war with Canada over Hans Island. The military of both countries periodically visit to remove the other guy’s flag and leave their own flag, along with a bottle of danish snaps or canadian whiskey.
I could go on and on about Denmark and the Danes, but honestly; If London was a country, it would have a population twice the number of Danes. And London is not a country, it's just a city... So what does that make us?
Claims to fame …
- Leif den Lykkelige – The first European to discover the Americas, some 500 years before Christoffer Columbus
- Hans Christian Andersen – Fairy tale writer
- Søren Kierkegaard – Philosopher, founder of Existentialism
- Karen Blixen – Writer (Out of Africa)
- Arne Jacobsen – Architect, Designer
- Jørn Utzon – Architect (Sydney Opera House)
- Henning Larsen – Architect
- Bjarke Ingels – Architect (BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group)
- Holger Bech Nielsen – Physicist
- Niels Bohr – Physicist
- Lars Von Trier – Film director
- Susanne Bier – Writer, Film director
- Viggo Mortensen – Actor (Lord of the Rings)
- Bjørn Lomborg – Controversial environmentalist
- Mads Mikkelsen – Actor (James Bond: Casino Royal)
- Prince Hamlet – Nope! Not real...
- Female National Handball Team – in the late 1990’s World Champions, European Champions and Olympic Games winners simultaneously
- Tom Kristensen – nine times Le Mans winner
- Mikkel Hansen – Worlds best handball player
- Caroline Wozniacki – Tennis player
- NHØP (Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen) – Jazz musician
- Aqua – Pop group (Barbie Girl)
- Lars Ulrich – Metallica drummer
- D-A-D (Disneyland After Dark) – Rock Group
- Bent Fabricius-Bjerre – Composer
- Lukas Graham – Pop musician
- MØ – Pop musician
- Maersk – the worlds largest shipping company
- Carlsberg – the worlds largest brewery
- Lego – the worlds most creative toy
- Bang & Olufsen – the worlds most overrated hi-fi producer
- Novo Nordisk – producer of insulin to diabetes patients all over the world
- Noma – the world's best restaurant
- Pandora Jewellery – concept jewellery
- Georg Jensen – heavily overpriced kitchenware and jewellery
- Vestas – Windmill producer