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Denmark and the Danish people

Opinions on what they are like

Janie
post 10.Jun.2009, 09:19 AM
Post #1
Joined: 18.Jul.2007

Further to my Finland thread, I also have an opportunity to live in Odense, Denmark. Does anyone know anyhting about this place (other than what can be found online)?

Has anyone had any personal experience with Danes? What are they like to live with, and are they easy to meet? Comparisons with Swedes would be appreciated.

Also do Danish men tend to be as attractive as Swedish ones?
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Eel
post 10.Jun.2009, 11:04 AM
Post #2
Joined: 30.May.2008

If your´re English I reckon the culture shock would be much lesser in Denmark than in Finland. Have a few Danish mates, been to Denmark loads - Odense four or five times - and in many ways it´s a bit more similar to the UK than Sweden is. People are slightly less uptight, there´s a pub culture and people aren´t quite as hysterically conflict shy as the Swedes. On the other hand this call a spade a spade mentality means that (non-European) immigrants can be treated in way that you wouldn´t normally see in Sweden or the UK. The Danes don´t seem to be too keen on multiculturalism like in the UK or Sweden - instead they expect you to adjust to the Danish way of life. Not that this would affect you that much if you´re European.

Of course Denmark is Scandinavian first and foremost so if you´ve lived in Sweden or Norway (Finland isn´t really Scandinavia) you´ll know pretty much what to expect. It´s not that different. People look the same, have the same basic outlook on life and speak English well.

My impression of Odense was that it´s a nice small city/big town. There´s a pedestrian shopping street that runs through the city centre and quite a few cosy pubs and bars. Only real drawback I can think of - apart from the fact that it´s a bit on the small side but then again that might be what your´re looking for - is the Vollsmose estate. But I haven´t really noticed the gangs from Vollsmose when I´ve been in Odense so I´m not sure they´re that much of a problem unless you happen to live on the estate.

Hope this helps.
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skane refugee
post 10.Jun.2009, 11:39 AM
Post #3
Joined: 14.May.2008

Denmark is very regional ... big differences between attitudes, dialects etc around the country (eg Southern Jutland Vs Northern Jutland, Fyn (including Odense), Copenhagen, elsewhere in Zealand etc) ... i.e. you'd be moving to Fyn rather than 'Denmark'

Odense (on Fyn between Jutland and Zealand) ... looks close to Copenhagen on the map ... but in practice people rarely go to Copenhagen if they are based in Odense ... the storebaelt bridge is expensive to drive across and in many ways it's cheaper and easier to jump on a Ryanair flight to London for a big city getaway for Fyn-based Danes

my experience with the Danes via friends and a couple of girlfriends there is sadly restricted to Copenhagen and Åarhus (Jutland) ... but FWIW:

agree with the point upthread that Danish culture seems much closer to UK culture than the rest of Scandinavia, particularly the ironic humour ;o) ... the capacity to be spontaneous ... the ability and confidence to talk to strangers ... and the much more relaxed attitude to rules (except tax-related!)

therefore Danes are ... generalising wildly ;o) ... much easier to socialise/have fun with for Brits in particular ... though the country is unmistakeably Scandinavian of course

I know a Doctor from Odense (now based in CPH) who's a great bloke ... but have to say that he sees Fyn as a sleepy backwater where most of the people with get up and go have got up and gone! ... not sure if that's fair ... but that's his take FWIW

also sadly have to agree with the point upthread that Denmark is currently openly hostile to non-caucasian immigrants ... though at least this issue is out in the open and debated rather than covert/denied like in the Swedish job market for example


Good luck with whatever you decide!
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Janie
post 10.Jun.2009, 01:49 PM
Post #4
Joined: 18.Jul.2007

Ok well I have to make a decision very soon, like within the next couple of days. I'm 25 and want to have fun and meet people, so what do you think, Odense or Helsinki? (I am caucasian so that racial stuff shouldn't make a difference to me I guess.)

If I was just hanging out in the city or a pub or something in Helsinki, do you think Finns would start talking to me, as Swedes always have in Stockholm?
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skane refugee
post 10.Jun.2009, 02:18 PM
Post #5
Joined: 14.May.2008

If it was Copenhagen Vs Helsinki, IMHO Copenhagen would win hands down as Scandinavias undisputed (except by delusional 08's) party capital ...

But if you're looking for fun, then (though I'm guessing ;o) ) I would have thought Helsinki is a much better bet than smalltown Odense ...

... not least because you've got Tallinn (with arguably the best looking people in Northern Europe) just a short hydrofoil ride over the water from Helsinki ... with cheap and excellent Brit run nightclubs, bars etc that have made the Estonian capital a magnet for 20 something weekenders from all over Europe.

Good luck!
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Eel
post 10.Jun.2009, 02:25 PM
Post #6
Joined: 30.May.2008

Would have to agree there. Although I found Odense nice I´d probably get bored with it very quickly if I moved there. Agree about the CPH bit as well - largest and liveliest city in Scandinavia.

Helsinki? Don´t have a clue. Only been to Finland once and that was way out in the sticks.
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Puffin
post 10.Jun.2009, 02:26 PM
Post #7
Location: Dalarna
Joined: 5.Apr.2006

I lived in Denmark for a year - I found it much harder than moving to Sweden

Don't get me wrong - Denmark is a great place for a holiday an on the surface the pub culture seems great. However Danes are extremly nationalistic and expect everyone to conform to the *doing things the Danish way* which can feel quite oppressive and makes even Eurpoeans feel like outsiders - for example I knew a woman from Canada who used to get told off in the street by complete stranger for speaking English to her own children because in Denmark you speak Danish.
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Janie
post 10.Jun.2009, 02:27 PM
Post #8
Joined: 18.Jul.2007

Really? Do you think I'd face that kind of problem in Finland?
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Johno
post 10.Jun.2009, 02:53 PM
Post #9
Joined: 23.Jul.2008

Only by hearsay, but Jante Law is the supposedly Danish way. Discussion here has been that while it can figure in Swedish culture, it is really a Danish thing. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jante_Law
There are also some typical Wiki articles on Danish and Finnish culture. Take them or leave them as you wish.
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Eel
post 10.Jun.2009, 02:55 PM
Post #10
Joined: 30.May.2008

QUOTE (Puffin @ 10.Jun.2009, 03:26 PM) *
..makes even Eurpoeans feel like outsiders - for example I knew a woman from Canada who used to get told off in the street by complete stranger for speaking English to her own ... (show full quote)


Where was this? I have a few non-Danish mates who live in CPH and they love the place. Have never heard of anything this extreme from them. The woman you know USED to get told off by strangers for not speaking Danish? You sure she wasn´t living next door to Jonni Hansen?

And yes, Jante Law is pretty universal for all of Scandinavia.
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dresdnera
post 10.Jun.2009, 05:08 PM
Post #11
Joined: 30.Jul.2008

Most importantly, hearing the danish language will make you want to puke.
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VikingHumpingWitch
post 10.Jun.2009, 05:41 PM
Post #12
Location: Gothenburg
Joined: 21.Dec.2005

QUOTE (Puffin @ 10.Jun.2009, 03:26 PM) *
Danes are extremly nationalistic and expect everyone to conform to the *doing things the Danish way* which can feel quite oppressive and makes even Eurpoeans feel like outside ... (show full quote)


Is that really much different to Sweden? I've been told off by Swedes for speaking English in conversations in which they weren't even included, and there's an awful lot of Swedes who don't ever seem to have even questioned that The Swedish Way may have its flaws. Frinstance cloakroom charges, if you moan they tend to respond with yeah well at least it's not an entrance fee. Well no, but if I had to pay the same money for an entrance fee I'd be financially no worse off, I'd have my coat when I go out for a cigarette and I wouldn't have to accept that if they just lose it I have no recompense.
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Greg in Canada
post 10.Jun.2009, 09:07 PM
Post #13
Joined: 2.May.2009

Hard to stereotype people but based upon my experiences the Danes are generally friendlier to strangers than are the Swedes. Not that Swedes aren't friendly, but you have to get to know them first. Also the comments about the Danish pub culture are true. Any true Brit would miss the pubs at home, but the Danish pubs are good also.

On the otherhand, as a Canadian I have ice hockey and nordic skiing in common with the Swedes, so it would probably be easier for me to live there. Denmark might seem just a little too geographically small for me since we could drown the entire country under any one of the Great Lakes.:-)
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jack sprat
post 10.Jun.2009, 09:36 PM
Post #14
Joined: 15.Sep.2006

QUOTE (VikingHumpingWitch @ 10.Jun.2009, 05:41 PM) *
Is that really much different to Sweden? I've been told off by Swedes for speaking English in conversations in which they weren't even included, and there's an aw ... (show full quote)


Think yourself fortunate VHW. There were some places where I lived on the East side that charged both entrance and cloak fees, thats if you got past the ill mannered gorillas on the door.
By the time I got to the bar I was nearly skint.
By the time I got a round in I was skint.
I used to moan a bit about the coat job but never pushed it.
Wonder what they do if you hang on to it.Physically sling you out or just accept it?
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Bender B Rodriquez
post 11.Jun.2009, 12:14 AM
Post #15
Joined: 25.Mar.2006

The cloak fees are mainly mob money. Unlike ordinary "protection" money the big advantage with they cloak rooms are that money laundry is included. It is much easier to force a club owner to let you operate the cloak room than to run a regular extortion scheme...
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