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A country of happy people. Everyone has the right to live here as they want

Mar 18, 2023

Denmark is the best place in the world?

depends on whom, sentences can be divided.
The rankings created on their basis are clear in this matter.
Denmark, as you write about in the book, has been on the podium for years in the classification of the happiest countries.

Indeed, all the stories that the Danes are telling about themselves, have confirmation in facts, in very
specific test results.
Denmark is considered a place of happy people and satisfied with the standard of living.
But I do not know if the Danes themselves would think differently without these research, because talking about how a wonderful country is dishes, belongs to their daily narrative, their national pride.


Why not?
Since even independent researchers confirm this.

clear, it is hardly surprising.
Since others also think so, why not use it in the promotional strategy on the international arena.
Because as to the fact that she entered her happiness in national branding, we probably have no doubt.
Of course, its part is probably already known to all hygge , although it seems that dishes, at least in Poland, are still the least recognized Nordic country.

Channel in Nyhavn

(Private archive)

Why at Scandinavianist at the University of Adam Mickiewicz, where you lectures, Danish philology is not as popular as Norwegian or Swedish philology, which is literally besieged every year?
art_paraph “> I can’t fully answer why it is so.
Perhaps – which I write a lot about in the book – this is due to a false view about the exceptional difficulty of the Danish language.
He really is not much more difficult than Swedish, and this one, as the Lord mentioned, is besieged with us – more than 20 people are trying to have one place on Swedish philology.
Interestingly, in the interwar years the dish seemed best recognized, at least at our university, where Danish has been taught from its beginnings, i.e. for over a hundred years.
The Danes with the reviving Polish state shared their knowledge of high -standing agriculture or a great idea of folk universities, which were to educate the least educated social groups – the first folk university in Poland is opened near Gniezno.

Read also:

A city of education, liberals and democrats.
“History does not falsify here”

or maybe this less popularity is also because Denmark does not seem as attractive landscapes as Norway or Sweden?

I think
that something is there.
We associate Norway with spectacular fjords, Sweden with picturesque forests, and dishes?
Most people probably do not associate her with anything characteristic landscape.
I will add that wrongly, because nature is an extremely important element of the life of the Danes who can take care of it like hardly anyone.

When I think about Denmark, I think about prices – very expensive.

consent, dishes are not cheap, which is associated with such and not another economic model of the state.
High taxes entail high prices.
But I would not say that Denmark is particularly different in this matter from the rest of the Nordic countries, because they are all quite expensive.

I started reading your book with curiosity, but also caution that always accompanies me while reading books written by lovers of a country.
The lady is undoubtedly fascinated by Denmark.
Nothing negative there.
This, of course, does not mean that nothing bad is happening in Denmark, because I watch Danish information programs or documentary films and about this world that goes beyond the idea of the plush hygge , I also write in the book.
I also tried – I hope that you can see – to use irony in matters of Denmark championship in everything, because despite the undoubted achievements of the paradise is not a paradise, certainly not for everyone.
So I am delighted with Denmark, but not blindedDenmark is a country where you can breathe, stop, calm down.
A country whose architecture does not scream, only harmonizes with nature.
This is finally a very safe place, one of the safest in the world.

Modern blocks over the fjord

(Private archive)

friends who lived in Denmark told me that it was difficult for them to fully integrate that they always felt and often still feel the distance between the Danes and them.
Knowledge of the language changes it?

is certainly crucial.
Knowing the language, we simply begin to function differently, we can freely communicate with the Danes and talk to the topics of interest to them.
This distance you are talking about must not necessarily be an expression of a lack of interest, but an expression of respect for someone’s privacy zone, which in Nordic countries is greater or simply different cultural expression.
The Danes never seemed to me somehow more difficult to make friends, I did not feel that someone was closing the door for me.

In the book, you write about public opinion research on danmarkanon – canon of Danish intangible values.
Therefore, I suggest that we go through these elements of Danishness, because they really talk a lot about this country.
Element one – a state of prosperity.

This seems quite obvious, because it is a Scandinavian model known all over the whole thing, in which citizens agree to pay very high taxes, thanks to which the state organizes on
High level various social services.
In the case of Denmark, we can also add something that is called the Danish model and involves regular negotiations by employers and trade unions of working conditions: the length of the work week, the duration of the leave or the amount of salary, because in Denmark there is no such thing as a minimum statutory salary.
Her level is established every few years with employers and employees.
This is the fruit of a consensus culture, regular negotiations, continuous conversation, so this system regulates itself – and quite effectively, although sometimes there is also strikes.

A footbridge over the channel and a playground playground

(Private archive)

Element second – Freedom.

Freedom for different people means something different that can be seen in parliamentary debates, where each party has its definition.
Generally, for Danes, freedom means that everyone has the full right to decide about themselves, but within established social norms, which in Denmark is called the paradoxical term of collective individualism.

which led to the fact that in Denmark abortion was legalized half a century ago or to adopt in 1989 the first law on partnerships.
All this is associated with the third element – tolerance.

again – under the social agreement, everyone has the right to live as they want.


“One of the women who wanted to take part in the beauty competition, the husband locked at home”

but are you sure?
The media has been reporting for years that the Danes are becoming more and more xenophobic, which is associated with increasing immigration from Muslim countries.
The lady herself writes that the immigration law has already been tightened several dozen times.

is true, for over 20 years the Danes have been moving to the right in terms of immigration.
She even did it, sensing social moods, one of the strongest parties – social democracy.
Anyway, not only in Denmark, because this is a pan -European trend.
It has always been difficult to become a Dane, and today – especially if you do not look like an ethnic Danish – it is even more difficult.
There is no denying that in Denmark, as in many other European countries, Muslims became a figure of a stranger, which strengthened the famous scandal years ago related to the publication of Muhammad’s caricatures.
Having said that, it should be added that when writing about the xenophobia of the Danes, it is worth looking at the nuances, because, according to research, the Danes do not have a great problem with the fact that their neighbor is a non-people, provided that he will assimilate.

The community of the kingdom also consists of Greenland and the islands next to DenmarkSheep, about which we have interesting reporter books: “People from the Greenland Island” and “Migot. From the end of Greenland” Ilona Wiśniewska and “Kanska. Love on the Faroe Islands” Ula Chylaszek.
When it comes to treating the inhabitants of both parts of the kingdom, the Danes did not show off either.

Denmark, although he likes to think about themselves as a land of happiness, of course he has dark cards in its history, for which
You can include not only the treatment of peoples from the lands incorporated into the Kingdom, but also the Danes themselves.
Recently, a large report appeared in Denmark how children were treated several dozen years ago, which were considered intellectual disabled – they were taken away from parents and placed in closed centers where the conditions were terrible.
Then, when these children became adults, they were stigmatized socially.
One of such people was the father of the former prime minister of Denmark Poul Nyrup Rasmussen.
Today, the Danish state is settled from it – it officially apologizes and sometimes admits financial compensation.

Sunset over the channel

(Private archive)

Fourth element of Danish – trust.

This is in my opinion the most valuable resource of Danes, because the activity of the entire state and the functioning of society are based on trust.
Thanks to it, it is really better and more pleasant to live.
Due to this great social trust, you do not need great bureaucracy, stamps and certificates.
“Control is good, but trust is cheaper,” wrote one of the Danish researchers.
And it’s hard to disagree.

fifth element – equality.

This is all about the equality between the sexes that succeeded in the Danes in many aspects of life.
Women in the Danish parliament constitute over 40 percent.
The composition, women are also at the head of Denmark – the head of state is Queen Małgorzata II, and the head of government Mette Frederiksen.
But there are also things that failed.
One of them is the lack of a hesteries, which the Danes are only starting to make up for, noticing how many women had an important impact on their country, and they have been omitted in historical narrative.

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Jews in Krakow have always been.
In places that nobody associates with them

The sixth element is the language we have already talked about a little.
Danes are not a large nation.
In this connection, do they particularly guard the Danish?

Danes often start a story about themselves: “We have a small country and a difficult language.”
A language that is of course very important in the assimilation of immigrants.
Danish is an admission card to society.
On the other hand, the language of the language is not necessarily taken care of at such a level as, for example, in Iceland, where we will not find many direct borrowings.
There are alarmistic voices in Denmark talking about a Danish boat, which can sink in the sea of English, but English words constitute only about two percent of the Danish.
The problem is the loss of domains, i.e. the transition of certain specialist fields to English.

The seventh element is of course hygge, but I don’t have the strength for it anymore.

I understand you perfectly.
It cannot be denied that promoting hygge as a way of life for everyone was an organized marketing action, about which I write more in the book.
But it cannot be hidden that the Danes used it, because the fashion for hygge significantly affected Denmark’s recognition, although at the same time it banned it, bringing it to life in a warm blanket at the candle.
A hygge is something much more – it is simplicity, security, familiarity, egalitarianism, unpretentiousness.
I think that many people live like that, only the Danes have one word to describe this.

and finally the eighth element of Danish – Christianity.
Understood, I think, as a Christian culture and Protestant ethics.

In Denmark, there is talk directly about cultural Christianity, because few Danes go to church, this is a very upset society.
The Danish approach to religion is that everyone can believe what they want.
Everyone except the queen.
And if someone wants to know why, I encourage you to reach for my book.

Sylwia Izabela Schab, author of the book ‘Denmark.
Here monthsZka peace ‘

(Magdalena Miśkiewicz)

Sylwia Izabela pork. Danish philologist, translator and literary scholar, professor at the Department of Scandinavian studies of the Adam Mickiewicz University.
She worked at the Danish Institute of Culture in Poznań and the language school in Roskilde.
Co -input and co -organizer of the Poznań Festival Time for Scandinavia.
She co -created film retrospectives, including
Icelandic cinema, films with Asty Nielsen or in the direction of Søren Kragh-Jacobsen during the Summer Film Academy in Zwierzyniec.
Author of the books published by the Poznań Publishing House “Denmark.
There is peace here “.

mike urbaniak. is a cultural journalist of the weekend magazine news.infinitum.Tech, “Wysokie Obcasów” and the Polish edition of “Vogue”.
He lives in the countryside in the Knyszyńska Forest.

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