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Thread: Worlds Apart: The Danish - Swedish Culture Clash

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    Worlds Apart: The Danish - Swedish Culture Clash

    Worlds apart: The Danish - Swedish culture clash


    Even if only a 16 kilometre bridge separates Sweden from its ”more Continental” neighbours, the Danes, the distance between the two cultures far surpasses their physical proximity, argues Alannah Eames. ''

    The Danes have always been proud of the fact that they are closer geographically (and in their opinion, also mentally) to Continental Europe than their Scandinavian neighbours. But even if they may be a few kilometres closer, you should still bear in mind that Copenhagen is actually perched on a large island on the far eastern seaboard of the country. In turn this island is connected to another few islands, by yet another few bridges. But for sure, they are further south, meaning less bitter winters and the possibility of travelling by road or rail to Continental Europe.

    However, crossing the bridge from my new abode in Malmö is always a cultural change. Not only do I leave behind the Swedish kronor, the complimentary glass of tap water which is easily available in every Swedish restaurant and the “safe” Swedish environment, but I enter a world full of kamikaze cyclists, where a “fika” (coffee and slice of chocolate cake) for two people can sometimes set you back DKK 255 (322 kronor, $53) and where everyone seems to look different. Whereas the Swedes are walking around with their Baby Björn baby holders and three-wheeled off-road style buggies, the Danes are proudly showing off their vintage prams from the pre-war years.

    Why are Danes and Swedes so different? Well, if you ask a Dane and a Swede, you are sure to get two very different answers. My Danish friends say: “The Swedes are a bit stuck-up and boring” whereas the Swedes will simply shrug their shoulders and admit that “Danes and Swedes are different. We really don’t understand each other so well” and put it down to a language problem. What makes it even more interesting is that neither the Swedes nor Danes can understand each other’s language so they prefer to communicate in a neutral language, English. Meanwhile, both (without admitting it) in some way envy their happy-go-lucky neighbours, the Norwegians, who can understand both Danish and Swedish.

    But is it really a few degrees latitude which sets the Danes apart from their Swedish neighbours? What is a typical Dane and what is typically Danish? Most non-Swedes can easily rattle off five or six things which are typically Swedish (usually including IKEA, H&M, Björn Borg and Abba). But when I asked a fellow expat the same question about what’s Danish, she paused a minute before coming up with Carlsberg, Royal Copenhagen, Maersk Shipping, Danish design and pork.

    The Danes were named the happiest people in the world in a recent survey and in one way they come across as more easy-going and content than their Swedish neighbours. Instead of collecting “adult” points for a Volvo, summer-house and perfect ratio of two kids (one boy and one girl) two years apart, they’re quite happy with their hippy friends, knocking back a few beers and cycling a beat-up old bike to work. (But there are, of course, exceptions to this rule.)

    Most of them are quite patriotic and content with their homeland. They don’t try to be perfect which probably also contributes to the happiness factor. They don’t hold back feelings and are not afraid to shout at fellow cyclists, to flirt openly if they like someone or to be rude if it suits them. This can be a breath of fresh air, or if you have lived a long time in Sweden and been Sweden-ized, it can take a bit of getting used to.......

    http://www.thelocal.se/11874/20080519/


    Die Sonne scheint noch.

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    OK , missed this! But I do recall some wit saying, in connection with the bridge between Denmark and Sweden , that when the Swedish cities begin the burn, the Danes will simply close the bridge! One has the impression that Danish political circles are far more actively concerned about the level of harmful immigration.

    So good for them!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl View Post
    OK , missed this! But I do recall some wit saying, in connection with the bridge between Denmark and Sweden , that when the Swedish cities begin the burn, the Danes will simply close the bridge! One has the impression that Danish political circles are far more actively concerned about the level of harmful immigration.

    So good for them!
    Sweden is probably the worst in the entire world when it comes to allowing immigrants to swarm the land. But I think you have gotten something wrong here. Denmark has also beaten her records in the last years. Her politicians are taking in more immigrants than ever before.
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    I believe the increased Danish immigration is fundamentally different and far healthier than Sweden’s.

    Sweden’s immigration is based on refugee/the need for protection, and these same immigrants bringing their relatives in. Denmark has lately been liberal and welcoming to people who come to work. Probably because Denmark’s economy has been booming.

    Denmark do have excellent rules concerning getting a relative in – You simply have to be able to support them. This is labeled deeply racist in the Swedish press. Denmark also has a rule, that a would be spouse from abroad must be at least 24 years old (this has something to do with preventing Middle Eastern cousin marriages). My guess is that Swedish immigration policies will start to look more like Denmark’s soon as multiculturalism don’t work very well in Sweden.

    I use to live in Copenhagen and I think Danes can be sarcastic as hell but are mostly great people. Danish women are very flirty. And they are pretty, because they smile a lot.

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    Useful to have some update - I note the discrepancy above!

    Fact is no country could be worse than England ; some of our cities will soon be majority immigrant - and that means Indian + & Black - from whereever you like . The Tories used to say we are being swamped! -- its like a boat taking in water & soon to drown.

    I bitterly resent the fact that Scandinavia of all places is following this insane and disastrous policy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo View Post
    I believe the increased Danish immigration is fundamentally different and far healthier than Sweden’s.
    I disagree. I don't see any "fundamental" difference. We could haggle over nuances, but nothing that would make Danish policy "healthy".

    Sweden’s immigration is based on refugee/the need for protection, and these same immigrants bringing their relatives in.
    That is untrue. The politically correct "explanation" to why immigrants come to Sweden is often that they are refugees. From those who have attempted an investigation of exactly how many of the immigrants are refugees, I've seen numbers varying from 3-5% and no more. The whole refugee thing is a mere excuse.

    Denmark has lately been liberal and welcoming to people who come to work. Probably because Denmark’s economy has been booming.
    That's bad for her, and bad for the Danes, unless you think it is good for them to compete with people from all over the world for jobs, now and in the future when the boom is over.

    Denmark do have excellent rules concerning getting a relative in – You simply have to be able to support them. This is labeled deeply racist in the Swedish press. Denmark also has a rule, that a would be spouse from abroad must be at least 24 years old (this has something to do with preventing Middle Eastern cousin marriages). My guess is that Swedish immigration policies will start to look more like Denmark’s soon as multiculturalism don’t work very well in Sweden.
    Denmark is also multicultural, and in addition Denmark got herself into trouble by sending troops to Iraq. Out of respect for my Danish friends I would not be so happy with the Danish regime.

    I use to live in Copenhagen and I think Danes can be sarcastic as hell but are mostly great people. Danish women are very flirty. And they are pretty, because they smile a lot.
    I also spent time in Copenhagen, and I deem her to be a lot more crime-ridden than any Swedish city or town.
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    CharlsDexterWard!

    Take it easy!

    My meaning is that Sweden’s policies are based on something different than Denmark’s. Not that I sympathize with the policy! Of course they aren’t reel refugees. The so called refugees are in large part after Swedish welfare.

    That I think the situation is better in Denmark than in Sweden dos not mean Denmark is perfect. Nothing is perfekt!

    :pI could try to spell everything out from now on, so that you won’t assume the worst.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo View Post
    :pI could try to spell everything out from now on, so that you won’t assume the worst.
    Excuse me are you native Swedish?
    Jeg er over gjennomsnittet bitter, og liker stort sett ingen andre enn meg selv


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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo View Post
    CharlsDexterWard!

    Take it easy!

    My meaning is that Sweden’s policies are based on something different than Denmark’s. Not that I sympathize with the policy! Of course they aren’t reel refugees. The so called refugees are in large part after Swedish welfare.

    That I think the situation is better in Denmark than in Sweden dos not mean Denmark is perfect. Nothing is perfekt!

    :pI could try to spell everything out from now on, so that you won’t assume the worst.
    Hey, don't worry, I'm chilling. Cheers! 00000:
    God expects but one thing of you,
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