• Sweden edition
 
Danes in Sweden
'The bridge made Malmö a suburb of Copenhagen'
Danish nationals Søren and Maibrith Lørup at their home in Bunkeflostrand, Malmö. Photo: The Local

'The bridge made Malmö a suburb of Copenhagen'

Published: 25 Jun 2014 08:59 GMT+02:00
Updated: 25 Jun 2014 08:59 GMT+02:00

Just over 40 kilometres separate Malmö from Copenhagen and thanks to the Öresund Bridge, made famous in the hit television show The Bridge, the cities have never been closer.

Out in the plush Malmö suburb of Bunkeflostrand, near to where the bridge begins, there are lots of Danish registered cars and flags with the white cross on the red background on display. Indeed, Danes are now the third largest nationality group to live in Malmö according to figures released by Statistics Sweden.

But it wasn’t always this way.

Pre-bridge it took a long and complicated journey by boat and then bus to travel from Sweden’s third largest city to the Danish capital. These days you can go from Malmö to Copenhagen in barely 30 minutes by train.

“When Danes used to come here it was to get a cheap car and that was about it. ” Maibrith Bredvig Lørup tells The Local at her home in Bunkeflostrand.

Lørup has lived in Skåne for the past seven years with her husband Søren and their two children. She says it wasn’t a difficult decision to up sticks and move to Sweden.

“At the time we were living in Copenhagen and looking for something bigger that was also a bit cheaper. We could find that in Sweden and it was also very easy to get to work in Denmark,” says Bredvig Lørup who commutes daily to her job in Copenhagen.

Along with cheaper housing and lower car taxes it was Sweden’s famed social benefits that convinced the Lørups to make Malmö their home for the foreseeable future.

“What you pay for daycare in Sweden would cost you three times as much back home. For example in Denmark children over the age of three have to bring their own lunch to school whereas here it is free,” says Bredvig Lørup.

Fellow Danish expat Tine Danielsen adds; “The bridge has made Malmö a suburb of Copenhagen. You can get a better deal on things in Sweden and the daycare system is superior.”

The Danish krone is stronger than the Swedish Krona with 100 DKK netting you around 120 SEK. Your money goes further, particularly when shelling out for a new car.

Want to know more about Copenhagen? The Local is now reporting from Denmark.

Denmark’s infamous 180-percent car tax has certainly been good for the Swedish automobile industry. While the tax mainly hurts those buying new cars the trickle-down effect means even second-hand motors are sold for eye-watering prices.

“I came to Sweden because at that time I was a young guy and wanted to buy a fast car,” the aptly named Kim Ferrari tells The Local.

Ferrari moved from his native Copenhagen to Malmö in 2007. 

Of the 8,450 Danes who live in Malmö many have made the switch due to the vastly different marriage laws which exist on both sides of the bridge (pictured below).

In 2002 the Danish government introduced the ‘24-year rule’ which prohibits marriage between a Dane and a foreigner if one or both are under the age of 24. The law is not without its critics and highlights a fundamental divergence in migration policy between the two Scandinavian neighbours.

“After 2002, when the rule came in, things changed,” Danish academic Garbi Schmidt tells The Local.

Schmidt, an expert on migration studies based at the University of Roskilde, is in a good position to compare the two countries. She studied in Lund in the early 90s and is currently a guest professor at Malmö University.

“If you were to ask the average Dane what they think of Sweden’s migration policy they would say the Swedes are naive. In Denmark the idea of immigrants is treated with scepticism.

“You have an elite in Sweden that suppresses the common man’s view. In Sweden political correctness rules and Swedes stick to that. There is definitely a different tone in that debate between the two countries,” says Schmidt.

Kim Ferrari, who was previously married to a Tunisian woman in Sweden, is forthright on Denmark’s 24-year rule; “It’s awful. You should be able to marry whoever you want.”

Despite the close proximity between the Scandi cousins there is much that makes them different, especially the people, says Maibrith Bredvig Lørup.

“Swedes are definitely more private and difficult to get to know. There is a reluctance to want to change things, like you always have to take lunch for one hour. Do I really need that long? Danes are a bit more open to new things,” she says.

Kim Ferrari adds; “Danes are more curious and like to interfere. If you scream on the street a Dane will react whereas the Swede will just carry out on with their business. I prefer the Swedish approach.”

Then there is the Systembolaget, Sweden’s state controlled liquor store which bolts up for the weekend at 3pm on a Saturday. Suffice to say it won’t be exported to Denmark any time soon.

“There would be a revolt,” says Garbi Schmidt.

“In Denmark there is a binge-drinking culture which isn’t on the same scale in Sweden. Danes can’t comprehend the Systembolaget. It will never happen here,” she adds.

In southern Sweden the links to Denmark are strongly evident. The province of Skåne was part of Denmark until 1658 and the local Scanian dialect has much in common with Danish.

All that being said, regional rivalries still endure.

“You are still in another country and you have to ask yourself if you want your kids to become Swedes. One of the biggest things I noticed was when my daughter started speaking English with a Swedish accent! That took a bit of getting used to,” says Tine Danielsen.

After hosting back-to-back Eurovisions and creating a joint international TV series hit the Swedish/Danish connection is strong. They could still learn from each other though, concludes Bredvig Lørup.

“The Danish government should look at the Swedish social system and see how well it works,” she says.

And as for the Swedes.

“They could be more open-minded and learn to relax a bit more.”
 

Patrick Reilly (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week
Photo: Fastighetsbyrån

In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week

All aboard! We're off to the island of Gotland for our Property of the Week - a home right in the heart of Medieval Visby. Whether you're looking to buy or dying to look - this is the place for you. READ  

Stockholm Pride 2014
Stockholm Pride glides into seventeenth year
Stockholm Pride. Photo: Erik Mårtensson/TT

Stockholm Pride glides into seventeenth year

The largest pride festival in Scandinavia is back for the 17th year in a row. The week promises to be packed with activities - and a glamorous opening gala with Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst. READ  

Preschool teacher arrested for child rape
Photo: Hasse Holmberg/TT

Preschool teacher arrested for child rape

A man has been arrested on the suspicion of raping a child at the preschool where he is employed. READ  

Police arrest 17 people after fatal shooting
Police at the scene. Photo: Niklas Luks/TT

Police arrest 17 people after fatal shooting

Seventeen people were arrested during the early hours of Tuesday after a man was shot dead in central Sweden. Several of the suspects were already known to the police for gang crimes. READ  

Cops find 15kg cocaine stash in woman's car

Cops find 15kg cocaine stash in woman's car

A 35-year-old woman faces charges for aggravated narcotic crimes after police found 15 kilogrammes of unusually high-concentrated cocaine in her car. READ  

Opinion
The top six ways the US and Sweden differ

The top six ways the US and Sweden differ

Back home in the US and with a solid Swedish stint under his belt, contributor Steven Schier has listed what he thinks are the six biggest differences between Sweden and the states. READ  

Swedish expert slams Norway terror alert
Terrorism expert Ranstorp and a policeman in Norway. Photos: TT

Swedish expert slams Norway terror alert

A Swedish terrorism expert has come forward criticizing the way Norway has handled its recent terror threat, saying the day the threat began was a "total problem in intelligence". READ  

Swedish nurse reported for patient 'death wave'

Swedish nurse reported for patient 'death wave'

A nurse in southern Sweden has been reported for abuse at a senior care centre after she allegedly waved to a colleague with the hand of a recently-dead resident. READ  

Pandas Plopp and Polly born in Swedish zoo
Plopp and Polly, the offspring of Pandora the panda. Photo: Kolmården

Pandas Plopp and Polly born in Swedish zoo

A pair of red panda cubs have been born in central Sweden, a wildlife park announced on Monday. READ  

Green Party ranked 'most gay friendly' in Sweden

Green Party ranked 'most gay friendly' in Sweden

The Green Party's views are 88.6 percent "LGBT-friendly", a Swedish LGBT rights group claimed on Monday, making the Greens the most gay-friendly of all Sweden's parliamentary parties. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
People-watching, June 26th - 28th. Get inside Stockholm's hottest nightclubs
Gallery
Top ten Swedish taboos
Society
Seven-year-old Swede cycles to Berlin
Politics
'Gaza conflict needs help, not empty rhetoric'
Society
Swedes voted 'most beautiful' in the Nordics
Blog updates

27 July

Approaching Stockholm (Around Sweden in a kayak) »

"I woke up in the comfort of my own little cabin on Eva and Rolf’s boat, it was 7:30am and I was feeling a bit groggy after a couple of beers with all the lovely locals the night before. The previous day had really taken its toll on my body and I was very stiff and..." READ »

 

24 July

Sharing our Pride: Celebrating Love & the LGBT Community! (Stockholm in my American Heart) »

"It’s mid- July in Stockholm, and with much of the city on vacation, things can seem a little quiet – the streets, the bus, and the grocery store. One thing that has not paused for a summer break, though, is preparation for Stockholm’s Pride Festival, which will take place from July 28 to August 2...." READ »

 
 
 
Business & Money
Sweden demands EU clarity on Bitcoin tax
National
Swedish organic sales enjoy 'amazing' growth
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
Society
What's On in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching July 23
National
Swedish cops elect not to shoot 'angry elks'
Business & Money
New alcohol retail rules threaten micro-breweries
Gallery
People-watching Båstad
Business & Money
Sweden falls to third in global innovation index
Society
Swedish ornithologists keep webcam watch
Photo: Andreas Nordström/Image Bank Sweden
Gallery
Top ten Swedish beach hot spots
Tech
Swedish Wiki vet sets new content record
Photo: Fastighetsbyrån
Lifestyle
In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week
Photo: Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching July 15-16
Photo: Ola Ericson/Image Bank Sweden
Society
What's On in Sweden
Photo: Lisa Mikulski
National
Hope springs eternal for expat pet shop owner
Gallery
Princess Estelle steals limelight at mum's birthday
National
Swedes risk infants' lives by covering up prams
National
Swede runs for office just using Bitcoin funds
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

730
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se