Before my first visit to Denmark, around 4 years ago, Michael had sent me Xenophobe’s Guide to the Danes to ‘prepare’ me for what I was going to find. Now that I am permanently living here I thought it would be useful to read it again.
The book offers a light-hearted look at Danes, their characteristics and their foibles. Having visited Denmark regularly over the past years, I feel that the book accurately dissects the Danish psyche and exposes it without any indication of malice; in light of all the strong feelings written about foreigners and Denmark, it is uplifting to read something about Danes and foreigners that is not completed skewed one way or another.
The best thing about the book, though, is the quotes. When reading the book you will find gems that you will chuckle over for quite some time and you will want to remember and recite whenever you feel the need for sanity to return to your world! Reading quotes such as:
Pollution is generally frowned upon. Smoking is not. The atmosphere in many living rooms is thick enough to cure herring.
which perfectly illustrate what I have been thinking (and said in previous posts) was definitely heart-warming. I think you might find a few of these quotes sneaking in to posts in the future!
So if you are coming to Denmark, or in any way want to understand Danes better, I do suggest you read the book…you can also get a sneak preview here. On the other hand, if you are already here, I think you might find this post by a Danish blogger/historian interesting. And finally if you want a more serious and in-depth book about coming to Denmark check out Worktrotter’s Guide.