Bad and good things in Denmark

How can I write about everything
About Denmark on this piece of paper?
It’s so difficult!
It’s one culture one life!
And the paper is so small!
When we talk about Danish people,
We talk about a simple people,
Very well organized,
Very honest,
Very punctual,
Very practical,
Always responsible
Even in small things,


Very hard workers.
We can see all that,
In the way they carry out their daily routine,
Even in the simple things of life,
When they push two babies’ pram
With lots of things, under the severe conditions of climate.
When a Professor who has written lots of scientific papers
A member of Parliament or even a Minister
Wear a common kind of clothes and ride a bike!

How can I explain what I feel,
When I can see,
Parents teaching their children how to ride a bike,
How to cross the streets and how to respect the traffic light.
When they routinely walk with the daog,
And very quickly and patiently remove the dog’s dirtiness,
Even if the person is alone on the street.
This is called individual responsibility!


The way that parents help their children,
To start working very early,
To get independent very early,
To have their own house and life.
Although this is a very good starter,
May be this is the point of origin of individualism and sadness.

I feel Danish people are very sad and serious
And they are not very spontaneous.
They are extremely polite
And everything must be well organized.

On the other hand,
How can I feel…
When they build nice churches,
But few people visit them, especially the youth?
When I greet 5 persons in doctor’s consulting room
And nobody answers me just “Hi”?
It’s terrible!

How can I feel…
When by chance in the Metro,
I sit next to a beautiful Danish lady
And she stands up, very quickly
To get off two stops later?
It’s terrible!

In Africa – the poorest countries of the world
We have lots of social and economic problems,
But we are used to sharing,
Even a small piece of bread!
We are used to knowing our neighbors,
Because in an emergency they are the first helpers.
We are used to greeting everyone
And this makes us very happy and open!

How can we interlink all these feelings?
It’s very difficult! It’s quite impossible!

As there is day and night,
Sun and moon
Wealth and poverty
There are different languages, habits and cultures
And different ways to see other human beings,
And to face life.
That’s why we are white, brown and yellow.


We have to join our good features,
With good features from the other cultures.
There will be better relationships in this world


(quoted from a bulletin board in the library of Danida Fellowship Centre)  


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Søderberg, Marie Tourell, and Kathrine Højte Lynggaard. 2016. Hygge: the Danish art of happiness.


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