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The text for Denmark is written in cooperation with two Danish lecturers and then translated into English, French, German and Russian. Many Danish companies’ and institutions’ foreign guests and business connections have been very happy to read Denmark. The newspaper can be read within 20 – 30 minutes. Its content can be characterised as “necessary and adequate”.
We are convinced that you will also value this little intellectual dish. (as a foretaste of that we bring in the text below a paragraph from the newspaper “Danes”).
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”THE DANES” – short excerpt from the newspaper ”Denmark”
The Danes are of course just as varied as people generally are. However, we regard certain traits of character as being typically Danish.
Denmark is the land of cosiness, privacy and associations. We Danes can hardly be described as temperamental. Others may regard this as an inability to show our feelings. On the other hand we are able to remain calm and collected when confronted by ideologies and slogans.
Our contact with others, and to a certain extent our view of ourselves, is characterized by certain irony. We have been described as a nation of shopkeepers for whom self-interest weight more than an intangible ideology. N.F.S. Grundtvig, a popular father of the country, has influenced us more than the world-renowned philosopher Soren Kirkegaard. In 1820 Grundtvig wrote in a song about the Danes: “…. staying down-to-earth, serves us best”, which is very much to the point.
Besides the constitution Denmark has an unwritten law (Janteloven) which we are not so happy about, but which is difficult to ignore. The first commandent of the law goes like this: ”Don´t think you´re anything special”. This contains a great truth about the Danes, and not just the ordinary Danes, because those divested with power have two other commandments: “Don´t think you´re any better than us” and “Don´t think you´re more than us”. We don´t care for authorities and despots.
Many foreignes notice the Danish urge to raise independent points of view that, paradoxically enough, thrives perfectly well with the widespread urge to do things collectively in a myriad of formal and informal societies and associations. Another paradox is that although we are generally very informal in dress and tone we have at the same time respect of the traditions in our lives, both great and small.
Danes travel widely both for business and privately. Thanks to this, and immigrants, the Danes have acquired a taste for many kinds of food. However, Danish cuisine will still be associated with the tradional rissoles, potatoes and gravy as well as smorgasbord, which always begins with herring and snaps.