Denmark and England being two quite different (yet somehow similar) countries, they have quite a few cultural differences, and I’m here to explain some of them.
Let’s start off with some of the smaller ones. If you are invited into someones home in Denmark and they offer you a warm beverage, It will likely be coffee, whereas it will likely be tea in England. Which makes it quite ironic, that I had to move to England to learn to drink coffee… O.o
The traditional work hours are from 9am – 5pm in England, but in Denmark they are 8am – 4pm. This means that pretty much everything is shifted 1 hour. Breakfast is later, Dinner is later, bedtime is later. But frankly, it really doesn’t make that big a difference.
Now here is a big one: Calling people by their last name. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever called anyone by their last name. Not my teachers, not my doctor, not my boss. In England it’s different. People are more divided into classes. You show your teacher respect by calling them by their last name. You acknowledge that your doctor knows more than you about medicine by calling them by their last name. You show respect to your superiors at work by calling them by their last name.
Not in Denmark. In Denmark it’s more about being equal. We have this thing called “Janteloven” which is all about equality and not thinking you’re better than anyone else, thus also not accepting that anyone else is better than you, thus the lack of calling people by their last name.
What else have I thought of..? Oh, right! School. I Denmark we don’t have school uniforms. I have a biased opinion on school uniforms. I believe they a great, because the children don’t have to think about their looks so much. They can concentrate on other things, like school and making friends. It is also a symbol of equality and thus not an excuse to bully or ridicule others. On the other hand, ones clothes is a means of expressing oneself and they help create ones identity, which in my opinion is an important thing for a child. There is also the fact that in England, older students pay for their own education, whereas in Denmark, the state pays for it. In fact, in Denmark, students even get paid by the state to go to school! :O
These are a few of the dissimilarities between Denmark and England. There are of course a long list of similarities to match, but I’ll end this post here. Maybe I’ll talk about the similarities in another blog post…