• 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)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Sport
Sweden's star striker Zlatan 'recovering well'
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is Sweden's top scorer in history. PHOTO: TT/Maja Suslin

Sweden's star striker Zlatan 'recovering well'

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is recovering well from the nagging heel problem that has stopped him playing for Sweden during its Euro 2016 qualifying campaign. READ  

International
Swedish sisters create viral Syria stir
A shot from the video on YouTube.

Swedish sisters create viral Syria stir

Two sisters from Södertälje near Stockholm are celebrating getting more than 1.3 million hits on YouTube, with a video calling for peace in war-torn Syria. READ  

Pirate Bay
Pirate Bay founder gets three years in prison
A 2013 image of Svartholm Warg. Photo: TT

Pirate Bay founder gets three years in prison

Swedish "hactivist" Gottfrid Svartholm Warg has been sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison for hacking crimes. READ  

Royal family
Princess Madeleine to make Nobel comeback
Princess Madeleine at a previous Nobel banquet. Photo: TT

Princess Madeleine to make Nobel comeback

Sweden's Princess Madeleine is scheduled to appear at the Nobel Festival in Stockholm in December, after taking time out from her royal duties to focus on looking after her daughter. READ  

Politics
'We knew that Israel would be critical'
Foreign Minister Margot Wallström (left), with Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven. Photo: TT

'We knew that Israel would be critical'

Sweden's Foreign Minister has told The Local she respects Israel's decision to recall its ambassador after Sweden officially recognized the State of Palestine, and laughed off comments about IKEA furniture made by her Israeli counterpart. READ  

Analysis
'Store up your sunlight hours before winter'
Doctors say we should make the most of the autumn sunshine. Photo: Shutterstock

'Store up your sunlight hours before winter'

Spending time outdoors this autumn will help you survive a cold, dark Swedish winter. Baba Pendse, Head of Psychiatry at Lund University shares his top tips for battling the seasonal blues with The Local. READ  

Sports
Plot for shared Scandi Winter Olympic bid
Skiers hit the slopes in Åre, western Sweden. Photo: TT

Plot for shared Scandi Winter Olympic bid

Norwegian sports officials have said they want to co-host the winter Olympics with Sweden in 2026. But there has so far been no official response from Sweden. READ  

National
Anti-Israel graffiti 'not a race crime': Court
Photo: TT

Anti-Israel graffiti 'not a race crime': Court

A teenage boy who painted anti-Israel slogans and symbols on the Concert Hall in Gothenburg has been convicted for the damages he caused, but he walked free from racial agitation charges. READ  

Entertainment
A closer look at Sweden's rising stars
Swedish actresses Sandra Huldt and Julia Ragnarsson. Julia (right) has been nominated for a Rising Star award. Photo: TT

A closer look at Sweden's rising stars

Like to be ahead of the game when it comes to the next big thing on the silver screen? We find out more about the Swedish nominees for the Rising Star award to be presented at Stockholm's International Film Festival next week. READ  

Science
Swedish women in two-year sex pill study
Contraceptive pills have been linked to mood swings. Photo: Shutterstock

Swedish women in two-year sex pill study

Three hundred women from across Sweden are taking part in a study designed to demonstrate that modern contraceptive pills don't lead to decreased libido or mood swings. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
Stockholm's shocking take on Halloween
Sport
Top ten quotes from Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
People-watching: October 30th
National
Sweden remains fourth best for gender equality
Blog updates

31 October

Editor’s Blog, October 31st (The Local Sweden) »

"Hello readers, Welcome to our latest 60-second round-up of the week’s news. First, Sweden made headlines around the..." READ »

 

29 October

Scariest day (Blogweiser) »

"This is what’s frightening me on Halloween. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4OFZVCu8J0&list=UUJu5J7jG4uoYSjWbpFsJBuQ Follow my posts on FB. ..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Timeline: Julian Assange sex allegations
Sport
World Cup ski race on 'fake' Stockholm slope
Society
An Arctic tradition: hunting and handicraft
Society
Stockholm taxis offer free therapy sessions
National
The Local meets Health Minister Gabriel Wikström
Gallery
Property of the week: Österåker
Society
Homeless turtles get Stockholm police ride
National
Construction worker has 'Sweden's best beard'
National
Italian musician jazzes up Sweden's Lapland
Gallery
Zlatan's career in pictures
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching: October 25th and 26th
Lifestyle
'Swedes are funnier than they think'
National
Swedish town 'like Venice' after heavy rains
Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st
Gallery
People-watching: October 22nd
Gallery
In Pictures: Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist
Lifestyle
Eight things to love about renting a Swedish apartment
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
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

989
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
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
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