This column originally ran in the Danish tabloid BT on August 27, 2019.
Fall is one of my favorite times of year, because it is time for one of my favorite types of speaking engagement – introducing Denmark to some of the smart, motivated young people arriving from around the world to study at Danish universities.
The university people have wisely decided that another foreigner might be best suited to explain some of the quirks of Danish culture when welcoming newcomers to Denmark.
So since the publication of my first book, How to Live in Denmark, I’ve been speaking regularly to audiences of new arrivals, and I probably learn as much from them as they learn from me.
What Danes are most proud of
One of the things I’ve learned is that the aspects of Danish culture that the Danes are most proud of can be troublesome for newcomers.
To celebrate the fifth anniversary of the “How to Live in Denmark Podcast” – which launched in summer 2013 and has since racked up more than a million downloads – I wanted something special and memorable.
I had long been a fan of Danish cartoonist Claus Deleuran’s 1992 image, “Danes, Danish, More Danish”, done for an exhibit at the Nikolaj Kunsthal, but had always been frustrated that it only seems to exist online small, low-res versions.
I thought it would be fun to recreate it – and as long as I was redrawing it – to reflect the Denmark of today.
Although I have drawn cartoons in the past, this particular image is not drawn by me. I commissioned Polish graphic artist Karolina Kara to help me to create it, explaining to her exactly how I wanted each of the characters to appear.
I also gave her photos to work with, such as a picture of the trademark “Copenhagen bench” the beer drinkers are sitting on in the foreground to the right.
Denmark vs NYC – what’s the difference in working in Copenhagen vs. Manhattan?
#DenmarkinNY – the Danish Consulate in New York’s blog – recently took time out to chat with Kay Xander Mellish, a longtime New Yorker who now lives and works in Copenhagen.
Kay Xander Mellish’s TEDx Talk “The Privileged Immigrant” looks at highly-educated immigrants who choose to relocate for professional or personal reasons.
What responsibilities do these privileged immigrants have to the places where they’ve chosen to live?
In the talk, which was delivered April 14, 2018 at TEDx Odense, Kay suggests that immigrants with options need to research the basic values of the place where they intend to move in order to make sure that their own values are in line with the people who already live there.