18 Things About Living in Denmark That Made Us Jealous of Its Citizens
Denmark might make people think about fairy tales. After all one of history’s most famous Danes was the world-famous writer Hans Christian Andersen. And his famous story, “The Little Mermaid,” has been famously immortalized by a famous statue along the country’s Langelinie promenade. For some, it also helps that Denmark the home of the old amusement park called Tivoli, which is right in the middle of Copenhagen, inspired Walt Disney to create Disneyland. But the country is more than that.
We at Bright Side decided to dive deep into the culture and everyday lives of the Danish people and find out why they were deemed to be one of the happiest nations in the world. And in the bonus section, you will find out what funny situations might happen because of Danish politeness.
- The Danish government cares about making the everyday lives of the inhabitants of the country more interesting. To do that, the government organizes and sponsors different classes, sports activities, and other interesting events, and everything is totally free. The Danish people can create their own clubs, and get financing and a space for the club from the government. Always coming up with new ideas to engage people, the government once even recreated the country in Minecraft.
- In Denmark, they really support gender equality which is why local women are not afraid of being alone. They value their independence and single women who are over 30-35 years old are considered to be totally okay and there’s absolutely no social pressure on them. Danish women don’t rush to get married and have kids as soon as possible — usually, they create strong and happy families when they’re around 40 years old.
- Children are allowed to do anything there. Our reader Eli Moor wrote, “I’ve seen a kid on the restaurant floor that was just lying there and said, ‘Mom, I’ll wait for you here.’ Everyone just smiled and the boy continued to wait for his mom there because he wanted to.”
- Most children in Denmark begin going to child care when they are a year old or even younger. They are taken care of by trained professionals and begin to learn both the Danish language and the Danish social rules, like working in groups and taking turns.
- During the cold time of year, the Danish people don’t put a lot of clothes on their kids and let them sleep in strollers outside. This way, the kids get used to the cold and the harsh winters. Thanks to their strong immune systems, children can walk around without their hats, and they feel great even when it’s cold out.
- Even though there are not a lot of hot days in Denmark (around 2-3 months a year), they still manage to go camping several times, plant a garden, and enjoy resting in cottages out of town.
- In Denmark, there are no homeless cats or dogs just walking around in the streets looking for food. Shelina Andersen from Denmark says, "If someone sees a homeless cat or dog on the street, they have to call a special municipal service to take the animal to a shelter. If it’s proven that an owner just threw their animal away, they will be fined. Also, there are limitations on the number of animals you can have. For example, you can’t have more than 3 dogs because you won’t be able to pay enough attention to all of them.
- In Aarhus, there are small Vikings on the street lamps.
- Danish women don’t exhaust themselves with diets and fitness programs. What they care about the most is enjoying their lives, which allows them to keep the balance between playing sports and eating delicious food. Eating potatoes with salmon or soup, and then going on a bike ride is totally ordinary there.
- Foods from supermarkets are tasty and the prices are good. A Pikabu user living in Denmark says that pork, dairy products, and bread are pretty cheap, but eggs and bananas are more expensive than in other countries.
- People in Denmark wear very simple clothes. This is where you can really see the famous Scandinavian minimalism. It is very likely that you won’t even notice a millionaire walking by you on the street. The Danish love simple clothing, combining just a few colors, and not using many accessories. They love comfortable and practical clothes.
- The locals are okay with showing their feelings in public. Couples hold hands, kiss, and hug around every corner, and men are very tender and careful with their women. Danish men think that being sentimental doesn’t undermine their masculinity.
- The public order in this country is based on trust. A Pikabu user living in Denmark says, “There are no guards or cameras, and you won’t see any turnstiles on buses or trains. It’s amazing.”
- Danish people learn to ride a bike as soon as they learn how to walk. It’s the most popular kind of transportation, even if it’s snowing outside. However, they don’t really wear helmets.
- In Denmark, you can even see unusual trash cans that are tilted. They are tilted so that while riding a bicycle, you can throw away your trash without getting off.
- The ideology of the Danish people is perfectly described by the so-called Law of Jante. This term was coined by Dano-Norwegian author Aksel Sandemose in his satirical novel A Fugitive Crosses His Tracks. There are 10 rules saying that people shouldn’t show how wealthy they are, boast about their achievements and abilities, think they are special, or mock others. This explains why Danish politicians ride bikes to work.
- In general, Danish meals are highly caloric and nutritious. The people in this country eat a lot of potatoes and vegetables, boiled or steamed, and also a lot of pork and fish. And because Denmark is surrounded by the sea, seafood is a huge part of their diet. Some of the most popular everyday foods are herrings smørrebrød, and fish cakes. Besides, Danish people love sweets, especially cakes that are present at every dinner.
Bonus: Amazing Danish politeness
- I study in Denmark and because it’s hard to be a student and not have a job, I decided to start working in a company that delivers mail and other stuff at night. So, I was riding my bike downhill, and I needed to turn left. But I was going too fast and I slipped on some leaves. My knee and my nose were scratched and I hit my head pretty bad, so it was hard to get up. I was on the ground, resting. A Danish man was riding past me, looked at me, and said, “Good morning!” And he just kept on going. This is when I realized that being polite is always important. © Dryzd / Pikabu
After reading this article, do you want to go to Denmark? Or, maybe you’ve lived in this country and you can tell us more about it?