Danish Flag                          Culture of Denmark                      

The unified kingdom of Denmark was founded by the Viking kings Gorm the Old and Harald Bluetooth in the 10th century, making the monarchy of Denmark the oldest in Europe.

Denmark proper has an area of 43,094 square kilometres (16,639 sq mi), and a population of 5,668,743 (April 2015).

The country consists of a peninsula, Jutland, and an archipelago of 443 named islands: Zealand is the largest, followed by Funen, Lolland, Falster and Bornholm, an island located in the Baltic Sea to the east of Zealand. (70 of the islands are inhabited).

 

The kingdom of Denmark is a small nation whose cultural unity is mitigated by regional traditions of rural, urban, and island communities with distinctions based on local language, food, and history. Markers of the national culture include the national flag (the Dannebrog), the national anthem, hymns, songs, and ballads.

 

National pride is strong - The Danes mandate that no other flag other than the Dannebrog should be flown in the country.The Danish Flag is hoisted on many Public Holidays and National Flag Days which includes all the birthdays of the Royal Family. Danish royalty are not only celebrities but demigods in Denmark.

The culture of Denmark has a rich intellectual and artistic heritage.

 

 

Folklore                           Folklore

Danish folklore today is part of the national heritage and consists of folk tales, legends, songs, music, dancing, popular beliefs, literature and traditions communicated by the inhabitants of towns and villages across the country, often passed on from generation to generation by word of mouth. As in neighbouring countries, interest in folklore grew with an emerging feeling of national consciousness in 19th century Denmark. Researchers travelled across the country collecting innummerable data while observing traditional dress in the various regions. 

The traditional costumes of Denmark, though varying from region to region, date back roughly to the period between 1750 and 1900 when clothes were often home-made from yarn spun from wool or flax. In rural communities, the fabrication of garments for both family members and servants was an important part of everyday life. Many of the patterns, based on a limited range of colours from vegetable dyes, were common to almost all parts of the country. The headpiece often consisted of a bonnet, a piece of linen underneath and a scarf to hold it in place, either in broad lace or in embroidered tulle. 

 

Numerous Danish folktales contain a range of mythical figures such as trolls, elves and goblins as well as figures from Nordic mythology like giants and "lygtemænd" (hobby lanterns). The "nisse" is a particularly well known legendary figure in Danish folklore, apparently dating back to pre-Christian times when it was believed there were household gods. Traditionally each farm had its own nisse living on the loft or in a stable. Dressed in grey with a pointed red cap, he was no taller than 4 feet. The nisse would be helpful if treated properly, for instance by giving him a bowl of porridge with a clump of butter at night, but, failing such treatment, he could become quite troublesome.

 

 

sandwiches                        Cuisine

Danes loves to eat and drink. Perhaps the most typically Danish contribution to the meals of the day is the traditional lunch or smørrebrød consisting of open-faced sandwiches usually on thinly sliced rye bread. The meal usually begins with fish such as marinated herring, smoked eel, crab, shrimps or breaded plaice filets with remoulade and moves on with slices of roast pork or beef, frikadeller (meatballs), hams and liver pâté. The sandwiches are richly garnished with onion rings, radish slices, cucumbers, tomato slices, parsley, remoulade and mayonnaise. The meal is often accompanied by beer, sometimes also by shots of ice-cold akvavit (Danish snaps 40% alcohol)
 
Although akvavit is the national drink, many in Denmark consider 'Gammel Dansk' (Old Danish) to be representative of their country and some Danes drink that thick brown Gammel Dansk with their rugbrød (rye bread) and coffee most mornings. They also believe that Gammel Dansk can cure some common illnesses. It is a strong, bitter liquor (38% alcohol) made of 29 herbs, spices and flowers but the recipe is kept a secret.
 
Everyone knows that Danish hot dogs (Pølse) is a very popular food garnished with fried onion, ketchup, maybe even a little Remoulade and marinated cucumbers and served around the country a special 'Snack Bars' (Pølsevogne). 
 
In the evening, hot meals are usually served. Traditional dishes include fried fish, roast pork with red cabbage (perhaps the national dish), pot-roasted chicken, or pork chops. Game is sometimes served in the autumn. Steaks are now becoming increasingly popular.

Popular traditional Danish desserts, 'Rødgrød med Fløde' (Red friut type jelly porridge with cream) and especially around Christmas, 'Æbleskiver', a small pancake doughnuts which are fried in oil in a special pan and are served hot with jam and sugar. Traditionally, the æbleskiver were made with small pieces of apple in the middle which is why the are called æbleskiver, literally "apple slices".

 

Danes are known for enjoying an open-minded drinking culture. Buying beer or alcohol is legal in shops at the age of 16, and in bars at 18. There is no minimum drinking age. However, teens are traditionally allowed to begin drinking after confirmation as 13- to 14-year-olds.

The current number of active beer breweries is 92 (plus 11 contract brewers) - impressive - remember there are only just over 5 million Danes. In Denmark the Carlsberg Breweries A/S Danmark (the fifth largest brewery group in the world) continue to lead beer in 2015 and brews more than 500 different types of beers.

 

Sports                       Sports

Sports are popular in Denmark, and its citizens participate in and watch a wide variety. The National Sport is football (soccer), with the most notable results being qualifying for the European Championships six times in a row (1984–2004) and winning the Championship in 1992 .  Other significant achievements include winning the Confederations Cup in 1995 and reaching the quarter-final of the 1998 Wolrd Cup.


Denmark's numerous beaches and resorts are popular locations for fishing, canoeing, kayaking and a broad-range of other water-themed sports.


In speedway racing Denmark has won several world championships, including the Speedway World Cup in 2006 and 2008. Other popular sports include golf, mostly popular among the older demographic; tennis, in which Denmark is successful on a professional level; Danish Ruby Union, which dates back to 1950; and indoor sports such as badminton, handball and various forms of gymnastics.

The National Hand Ball team is ]a the current reigning European champions and the team with most medals won in European championship history on the men's side with a total of five medals, those being two gold medals (2008, 2012), and three bronze medals (2002, 2004 & 2006).

 

bycyclingCycling - In recent years, Denmark has made a mark as a strong cycling nation, with Bjarne Riis winning Tour de France in 1996, and Michael Rasmussen reaching King of the Mountains status, in the Tour 2005 and 2006.
Most Danes are active cyclists, often using their bikes to commute to work or to go off on trips at the weekend. With its well-engineered cycle paths, Copenhagen is especially suited to city cycling. Every day 1.3 million km are cycled in the city, with 36% of all citizens commuting to work, school or university by bicycle. Cycling is generally perceived as a healthier, environmentally friendlier, cheaper and often quicker way around town than by public transport or car and it is therefore municipal policy for the number of commuters by bike to go up to 40% by 2012 and 50% by 2015.

Ride down any Copenhagen street and you’ll hear a symphony of bicycle bells. Ringing bicycle bells is not only a common form of stress-relief for Danish cyclists but also an expression of felling good. A lot of Danes even take the train outside the cities and bike through nature so they can freely ring their bells without distraction or distress. They don’t call it the happiest country in the world for nothing.

There are lots of National and regional bicycle routes throughout Denmark. They are all marked and include rest areas with benches and other necessities.                                             

                                         

                                                      Fine Arts

paintings Copy  Paintings - Danish painting goes back hundreds of years. Earlier work is often manifested in churches, for example in the form of frescos such as those from the 16th-century artist known as the Elmelunde Master. But it was not until the beginning of the 19th century that the Golden Age of Danish Painting emerged with a marked increase in truly Danish art inspired by the country itself with its lifestyle and traditions. Some years later, a number of painters including P. S. Krøyer (1851– 1909) - Michael (1849–1927) & Anna Ancher (1859–1935) moved to Skagen in the far north of Jutland to paint the natural surroundings and local people. In due course, the town developed into an artists' colony.
A little later, a similar phenomenon developed on Funen with artists such as Johannes Larsen (1867–1961) and Vilhelm Hammershøi - both well known painters.
Collections of modern art enjoy unusually attractive settings at the Louisiana Museum north of Copenhagen, at the North Jutland Art Museum in Aalborg and at the AROS art museum in Aarhus. The National Museum of Art and the Glyptotek, both in Copenhagen, contain treasures of Danish and international art.
 
 
mermaid Copy  Sculptures - Danish sculptures as a nationally recognized art form can be traced back to 1752 when Jacques Saly was commissioned to execute King Frederick V of Denmark while on horseback. While Bertel Thorvaldsen was undoubtedly the country's most prominent contributor. Many other sculptors have produced fine works, especially in the areas of Neoclassicism, Realism, and in Historicism, the latter resulting from growing consciousness of a national identity.
The bronze statue of The Little Mermaid (Den lille Havfrue) - now a Danish National icon was  created by sculptor, Edvard Eriksen in 1913.
 
 

f2 hans christian andersen 250  Literature - The principal contributors to Danish literature are undoubtedly Hans Christian Andersen (1805–1875) with his fairy tales known all over the World, the philosopher Søren Kierkegaard (1813–1855), storyteller Karen Blixen (1885–1962), playwright Ludvig Holberg (1684–1754), and modern authors such as Henrik Pontoppidan and Herman Bang.

 

 

photography Copy    Photography in Denmark has developed from strong participation and interest in the very beginnings of the art in 1839 to some of the strongest contemporary photography in Europe today.
Pioneers such as Meds Alstrup and Georg Emil Hansen paved the way for a rapidly growing profession during the last half of the 19th century while both artistic and press photographers have since made internationally recognized contributions.
 

opera house australia Architecture - The architecture of Denmark has its origins in the Viking Age but became recognizable in the Middle Ages when first Romanesque, then Gothic churches and cathedrals sprang up throughout the country. Inspired by French castles and with the assistance of Dutch designers, architecture during the Renaissance flourished with magnificent royal palaces. Neoclassicism came to Denmark from France and, in the 19th century, slowly merged into the National Romantic style  when Danish designers came into their own. It was, however, not until the last half of the 20th century that Danish architects entered the world scene with their highly successful Functionalism. This, in turn, has evolved into more recent world-class designers such as Johann Otto Spreckelsen who designed the Grande Arche in Paris. Internationally, perhaps the most celebrated of all is the Danish architect, Jørn Utzon, who designed the iconic Sydney Opera House.

 

design  Design - Danish design is a term often used to describe a style of funtionalistic design and architecture that was developed in mid-20th century, originating in Denmark. Danish design is typically applied to industrial design, furniture and household objects, which have won many international awards.

The Danish Porcelain Factory ("Royal Copenhagen"), including Bing & Grøndahl, is famous for the quality of its ceramics and export products worldwide. Danish design is also a well-known brand, often associated with world-famous designers and architects Finn Juhl (1912–1989), Hand Wegner (1914–2007), Arne Jacobsen (1902–1971) is well know for developing the 'Danish Modern' style and furniture and interior design, such as the now world-famous and much sought-after  Swan and Egg chairs  - and Georg Jensen (1866–1935) is known the world over for modern design in silver.

The  Danish Museum of Art & Design in Copenhagen exhibits the best in Danish design.

 

 

                                                                Performing Arts

Music Music - Denmark's most famous composer of classical music is Carl Nielsen who is best known outside of Denmark for his six symphonies, but whose melodies for popular songs are cherished among Danes. Other well-known pieces of his are the incidental music for Adam Oehlenschläger's drama Aladdin (Nielsen), the operas Saul & David and Maskarade, the concertos for flute, violin, and clarinet, the Wind Quintet, and the Helios Overture, which depicts the passage of the sun in the sky from dawn to nightfall.

The Royal Danish Ballet specializes in the works of Danish choreographer August Bournonville (1805–79). Hans Abrahamsen, Per Nørgård and Poul Ruders are successful composers of contemporary classical music. Danish interest in classical music is exemplified by the prestigious Opera House completed in 2000. Strategically set on Copenhagen's waterfront, it has presented operas and musicals to full houses ever since it’s opening.

 

 

cinema Cinema - In recent years, Danish films have gained increasing recognition at home and abroad. Gabriel Axel's film based on Karen Blixen's 'Babette's Feast was awarded an Oscar in 1987. In 1988, Bille August also received an Oscar with 'Pelle the Conqueror' based on the novel by Martin Andersen Nexø. In 1992, August went on to win the Palme d'Or in Cannes with Ingmar Bergman's autobiography, 'The Best Intentions'.
Since the late 1990s, the Dogme movement and figures such as Lars von Trier, Thomas Vinterberg, Søren Kragh-Jacobsen and Lone Scherfig have continued to contribute to the international success of Danish cinema.
 

                                                           

Theatre Copy  Theatre - The theatre in Denmark continues to thrive thanks to the many theatres across the country which put on a wide variety of Danish and foreign performances. The flagship Royal Danish Theatre presents drama, opera, ballet and music. Since the 18th century, Danish playwrights have been successful in attracting wide public interest.
Ludvig Holberg (1684–1754) is considered by many to be the founder of the Danish theatre. Satirical comedies such as 'Jean de France' and 'Jeppe of the Hill' are still performed today.

In recent years, there has been something of a revival in Danish theatre. Another popular Danish theatrical tradition is the revue which has been thriving since the mid 19th century. Today revues are performed every summer to full houses in theatres across Denmark, poking fun at the politics of the day and even the monarchy. Among the most popular are 'Cirkusrevyen' in Copenhagen and the 'Nykøbing Revy'

Finally, Danish television has also contributed to drama with a number of successful series since the 1970s.

 

 

         

Science Copy                                              Science

Niels Bohr (1885–1962).was a renowned Danish physicist made foundational contributions to understanding atomic structure and quantum theory, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1922. He has been described as one of the most influential scientists of the 20th century. He was also involved in the Manhattan Project. Bohr founded several institutions in relation to quantum physics and both attracted and stimulated an important international and lasting scientific milieu in the country.

Denmark has a long tradition for scientific engagement in all fields. The intelligentsia was involved in the European scientific revolution of the renaissance early on, with prominent scientists such as Tycho Brahe (1546–1601), Ole Worm (1588-1655), Nicolas Steno (1638–1686) and Ole Rømer (1644–1710).

The contributions to science has steadily continued through the ages, with the fundamental discoveries of Hans Christian Ørsted (1777-1851), the contributions to linguistics by Rasmus Rask (1787–1832), and many others.

Danes have also made significant contributions to the field of computer science. Some notable figures include: Janus Friis, the co-inventor of Skype; Jens and Lars Rasmussen, the co-founders of Google Maps;

The science of archaeology, has further benefited from many Danish contributions, with prominent scholars such as Christian Jürgensen Thomsen refined and introduced the now universally recognized three-age system, dividing eras of prehistory into the well-known Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age respectively. Danish archaeologists have contributed with many defining archaeological discoveries including the Viking Age.

 

Copyright© 2017, Danish Sisterhood Canada, Dogwood Lodge #179