Danish Hype

Denmark is very “in” right now. It often tops (or almost tops), lists of the Happiest Countries. Foreign journalists have been invited on lots of wonderful trips to Copenhagen after the hype from excellent Danish drama series; and they report back breathlessly about their experiences.

Something curious happens as soon as I blog about something that is not so good in Denmark, even if all I do is translate the news:

Danes think I am picking on Denmark. And they get the hump with me.

When I make the point that Denmark is no better than a lot of countries; they read that as Denmark is worse than other countries. And they tell me that Denmark is no better than a lot of countries.

They dismiss my concerns about privacy, fairness and rule of law as hopeless idealism. As if no other country in the world managed to give depressed people sickness benefits without threatening them with a treatment that their doctor has recommended against. As if no other country in the world managed to balance the different needs of a child in a custody case so that they did not end up full time with an abuser.

If I go too far with them, for example saying that I am afraid of starting a family in this country; they scream at me to go back where I came from.

If you are serious about moving to Denmark, you need to read those comments carefully. Because these attitudes are quite uniform and Denmark is never going to change. You will have to find a way to live with it until you can arrange the shipping container back to where you came from.

4 thoughts on “Danish Hype

  1. The hype is nauseating, barf by the bucketful, penned by bias as it were, journos who make a living churning out appeasing crap minus substance, and by fleeting foreigners, who never stood still long enough to taste the atmosphere. It takes a while to realise that the natives are on the whole hostile, because at first you check your own presentation for lumps, in disbelief, and along the line you find out that your not alone, there are others in the same boat, and not just on blogs, but all over, even in your own front room, manipulating what you have just said preferably into something negative, and excusing it as ‘danish humour’, or as something ‘you’ don’t understand. They really must have a sick vision of the rest of humanity, since they feel so obliged to refute anything and everything about ‘Darcadia’ unless it’s embossed in gold.

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    1. Well said.

      If you are even slightly critical, they freak out because they have never been taught how to deal with it. Dish it out, sure. But if it comes their way, they panic and just start spouting clichés. I know them all by heart and I have not been here long.

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  2. You just have to admire Denmark’s PR for creating perfect illusion. I guess all PR people have to come here for a hyggelig short course.

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