CONTENT INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
denmark and the danes . . . . . . . . . . . . .
U N D ER S TA N D I N G D A N I SH D E M O C R A C Y . . . .
D A N I SH C U LT U R A L L I F E . . . . . . . . . . . . .
D A N I SH T R A D I T I O N S . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
L E I S U R E I N D EN M A R K . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
GE T T I N G A R O U N D I N D EN M A R K . . . . . . . . . .
Co m m u n i c at i o n a n d i n fo r m at i o n . . . . . . . .
D A N I SH FO O D . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
SHOP P I N G I N D EN M A R K . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
S A F E T Y I N D EN M A R K . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
In Denmark we say: “At få fod på noget”. Directly translated from Danish to English: to get one’s foot on something. It means to get a good grip of something or have it under control. This is exactly what we hope this guide will help you to: to get a good grip on living in Denmark, and avoid putting your foot wrong. This is the reason we have chosen feet as a big theme throughout this guide.
Dear Volunteer Welcome to your personal survival guide, which we hope will help you during your stay as a volunteer in Denmark. The guide is made by the association EVX Denmark and as this title indicates, we are a group of former Danish EVS-volunteers. The aim of the book was to create a guide for EVS volunteers in Denmark made by young Danish ex-volunteers with the intention to help, inform and make volunteer life more fun, less complicated and more enjoyable. It has been the intention to offer information, which is difﬁcult to ﬁnd when you have just arrived in an unknown country. When we were volunteers, we would have enjoyed a guide like this, since normally this knowledge is not available in regular tourist guides.
In Denmark we say: “At få fod på noget”. Directly translated from Danish to English: to get one’s foot on something. It means to get a good grip on something or have it under control. This is exactly what we hope this guide will help you to: to get a good grip on living in Denmark, and avoid putting your foot wrong. This is the reason we have chosen feet as a big theme throughout this guide. Furthermore the feet reﬂect our wish that you as a volunteer will make your own personal footprints during your stay. We hope this will guide your steps. We wish you a very pleasant and enjoyable time here in Denmark. Good luck! ~ EVX Denmark
denmark and the danes
Denmark and the Danes Gr e e t i ng so m eo n e th e Da n i sh way It is not always easy to ﬁgure out how you greet someone correctly in a foreign culture, since it often involves unwritten rules. The Danish way of doing it varies a lot, depending on how well you know each other, and whether it is among family, friends, men or women. The proper way to greet when meeting someone for the ﬁrst time is to shake hands. This is the most formal way and works in most situations, both informal and formal ones. Among young people, the greeting can easily change from handshake to a hug – though guys usually keep on shaking hands with each other for a longer time and they have to be very close before hugging each other. It is very uncommon to greet with kisses on cheeks unless it is a very close friend or family member. Some people from
abroad might ﬁnd this strange, since a hug in other national or cultural settings is more intimate than kisses on cheeks – well, this is not the situation in Denmark! It is important to mention, that it is not always easy for Danes either to ﬁgure out when it is appropriate to shake hands or hug – follow your intuition. In any case, to shake hands is a “safe” and polite solution. If you say “how are you doing”, Danes expect that you are actually interested in knowing how the person you ask is feeling or doing. This might be a bit different from other cultural contexts where this phrase is more like another way of saying “hi”. In Denmark it is regarded as impolite if you ask and do not listen or give time for the other person to really answer this question. On the other hand, it is not expected that someone tells everything on one’s mind but rather gives a brief status.
denmark and the danes
R e s e rv e d Da n e s People from abroad often say that they ﬁnd it difﬁcult to really get in contact with Danes and make close friendships. This is a paradox because in fact many Danes ﬁnd it really interesting and even cool to have friends from abroad. But why is this impression about Danes being reserved so widespread among foreigners? Some explanations for this could be a general shyness among Danes to express themselves in a different language, or maybe lack of energy in a hectic weekday schedule. Often Danes ﬁnd it a bit more challenging or even exhausting to have international friends, not because of the international friends’ way of being, but simply because they ﬁnd it a bit difﬁcult to ﬁgure out, what this person expects when hanging out with friends or what he/she is used to
when being with friends in the home country. A general advice is to arrange things in advance, because many young Danes have a tight schedule, and they are used to planning even social activities in advance. So if you are used to being more spontaneous with your friends at home and either showing up at their places without calling in advance, or maybe just planning when to meet on the very same day, don’t get confused or disappointed if your Danish friends are not this spontaneous, or if it seems that they never have time to hang out. Danish people just tend to plan social activities in advance, and often we don’t just ”hang out” together, but we do something else while socializing with our friends – for instance we go to a museum, to a cinema, a restaurant, a
café - or we arrange parties or dinners where we can see a lot of friends at the same time. So be patient, be creative and don’t hesitate to take the ﬁrst step and invite your Danish friends – maybe they haven’t invited you because they are uncertain about what you like to do.
people who are waiting for you. If you suddenly crash on the bicycle and get a blackout on your way to a meeting, you have a good reason not to come – even without calling. What is not accepted is to be late every time and only show up with bad excuses.
Punctuality a n d p l a n n i ng
Danes in general like to plan what they are going to do each day. They don´t like to live the “mañana” concept – they prefer some degree of regularity, and they like planning their schedules (even social and informal activities) in advance. Danes generally get confused and even stressed if their plans are changed all the time, if they can’t make plans or if something unexpected happens.
To be late in Denmark is really showing bad manners. In some countries it is okay to be 15 minutes or half an hour late for an appointment, but in Denmark it is disrespectful and not accepted, especially if you are always late. If you do know you’ll be late for an appointment, it’s best to call the
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denmark and the danes
Th e n e e d fo r p r i va cy ... Most Danes have a need for privacy and time on their own. They like to be social and spend time with friends and family, but at the same time they need space space to think and space to be themselves. They see themselves as independent, and they prefer the feeling of being able to control their own life and handle many challenges in life on their own. In Denmark it is normal to leave home when you are 18-20 years old. The young Danes are eager to move away from home and show their surroundings that they are capable of managing a life independent from their family.
R u l e s, r ight s a n d th e "c u lt u r e o f ag r e e i ng ”
Danes generally respect rules and legislation – even smaller ones, for instance rules regarding mobile phones in public transport or smoking in bars. You will maybe notice that Danes are more strict in following these rules, and breaking them is generally not socially acceptable. Don’t get frightened if you experience a strong reaction if you ever break such a small rule, it’s just that Danes in general are often very aware of these rules and of maintaining public order. At the same time Danes are very conscious of their rights as citizens. In the
public debate, for instance, this is quite visible with our heavy focus on the freedom of speech, gender equality and so on. All Danes do not agree, though, as to how these rights should be interpreted, but it may cause many conﬂicts when the Danes feel that their citizens’ rights have been violated. Though it may seem contradictory, many Danes try to avoid conﬂicts; they don’t like to utter their opinions, if they know that the others around them will be critical about their point of view. Even though Danes claim to be individualists, in many situations they want to follow the majority. Compared to many other European cultures, the Danish culture could be called a “culture of agreeing” – they rarely show disagreement in public. Therefore you don’t see a heavy, emotional discussion in public – the Danes mostly only display big emotions when with close friends or family.
denmark and the danes
UNDERSTANDING DANISH DEMOCRACY
Understanding Danish democracy Denmark has been a member of the European Union since 1972. Denmark’s membership differs a bit from the other member states. There has always been skepticism amongst the Danish population concerning the European membership. This has resulted in the socalled four exceptions, and it is also the reason why Danes still have not adopted the Euro but continue with our own currency. On the national level Denmark is a representative democracy ruled by Folketinget which is the Danish parliament situated in Copenhagen. Currently (2009) there are eight parties in the parliament, and the government is formed by Venstre (The Liberal Party - which is considered to be centrerightwinged) and Det Konservative Folkeparti (The Conservative Party). To know more about the different parties and the parliament in general, see: www. folketinget.dk.
While the parliament focuses on national politics, there are structures on the regional and local level to handle local policies. There are ﬁve regions in Denmark and their main task is to operate the healthcare system, hospitals, roads etc. At municipal level we have 98 kommuner, each with a mayor and a local council, called byråd. The regions and the municipalities have separate elections from the parliamentary elections. The most recent elections were in November 2009.
Hi s to ry o f Da n i sh d e m o c r a cy When you look behind Danish democracy, there is a lot more to it than just structures and political institutions. In Denmark democracy has for a long
time been considered more as a way of living. It is seen as a way to educate yourself and develop a more knowledgeable personality through participation and active citizenship. The vision of a participatory democracy expanded after World War II. The major faults of nazism, fascism, and to a certain extent, communism convinced people that democracy and dialogue was the only way forward.
This idea has been implemented in Danish society, and for many years it was a strong tradition that the political parties worked hard to ﬁnd consensus agreements on political issues involving the 8-10 parties in parliament. This has changed a bit however, and throughout the last 10 years the political wings have been ﬁghting each other more radically and have had difﬁculties agreeing and negotiating.
UNDERSTANDING DANISH DEMOCRACY
Co n s e n s u s The democratic culture of agreement and consensus is also noticeable in various layers of society from local to national level. At the local level you will see that there is a huge variety of organizations, unions, and movements, and statistics show that the average Dane is a member of seven organizations. On the personal level Danish people have the reputation of being very hesitant of conﬂicts and preferring consensus. Voting attendance is very high in Denmark. It is generally considered to be a citizen’s duty to use the given right and inﬂuence by voting at the elections. However, this doesn’t mean
that Danish people are very politically active. Only ﬁve percent of the population is a member of a political party.
Ed u c at i o n The Danish school system is highly inﬂuenced by the democratic culture. There is a special democratic movement that is more than one hundred years old. It was founded by a priest and scholar named Grundtvig, who advocated that the educational system be changed and developed in a democratic and openminded spirit. The socalled black school, with traditional and conservative teaching methods, was criticized, and as a reaction many new, private schools surfaced.
UNDERSTANDING DANISH DEMOCRACY
These schools weren’t just for children and young people, but for adults as well. A new type of schools was founded, named folkehøjskole, high school for the people. The new philosophy was that people, although they had ﬁnished the regular school system and were already at work, should keep educating themselves in the school of life and learn more about culture, history, politics and active creative topics such as music, theater and handicrafts. The højskoler still exist and they are very popular among all generations. The students attending these schools live together, and they learn about common well being and living in society. By attending these courses and living at
the schools, people get a better idea of active citizenship and how to live out democracy at a more personal level. Højskolerne also gave way to another type of private school system called efterskole. These schools are for youngsters at the age of 14-17. It has the same concept as højskolen, but it is still a part of the ordinary school system. This implies that the students can graduate from the ofﬁcial educational system and continue in the same way as if they had attended a public school. The efterskoler are very popular today, and they are considered a great instrument to make teenagers mature and conscientious about society and how to treat fellow citizens.
anish cultural life
DANISH CULTURAL LIFE
When volunteering in Denmark, you shouldn’t let high entrance fees and expensive tickets be an obstacle for you when you want to go out and enjoy cultural events. The Danish cultural life is very diverse. Whether you like theatre, movies, museums or music, there is something for everyone and at all price levels. Here is a guide to some of the cultural spots in the biggest cities Copenhagen, Århus, Odense and Ålborg.
both international and Danish. Sometimes big bands are playing, at other times unknown alternative groups. The atmosphere itself – being part of the alternative neighbourhood Christiania - is worth experiencing. While you are there, you should check out the cheap bars and cafés in the area, and last but not least, Christiania, with its small lakes and green ﬁelds, is the perfect spot for a Sunday picnic.
STUDENTERHUSET, located in the city centre, is full of Danish and foreign students. It’s a cheap place (sometimes free) for both music and drinks. Once a week is international night, which attracts many exchange students, au pairs and volunteers from all around the world. The ambience is open and friendly.
Apart from the venues listed below, you should check out www.gaffa.dk to see more concert venues, band descriptions, tour plans and music reviews of both Danish and international artists. For bigger concerts you can buy tickets online at www.billetnet.dk or www.billetlugen.dk. CO PEN H AG EN There are a lot of places where you can listen to all kinds of music both during the week and especially in the weekends. Some places are quite cheap and some even free. General info about current cultural events and concerts can be found both at www.aok.dk and www.ibyen.dk. CHRISTIANIA (“Loppen” and “Den Grå Hal”) is a cheap (sometimes free) place to listen to all kinds of music,
At GLOBAL they present world music artists. The place is primarily run by volunteers and apart from concerts, the Global also hosts debates, movie screenings, workshops and festivals. At COPENHAGEN JAZZHOUSE you can listen to jazz, of course, but there are other instruments than saxophones and piano here; a lot of other types of music is played in the basement underneath the stylish bar, and some Fridays they pump it up with DJ’s and drums.
DANISH CULTURAL LIFE A must in the summerseason is FREDAGSROCK IN TIVOLI. Almost every Friday at 22:00 there is a big outdoor concert with both Danish and foreign artists. If you buy a seasonticket (240 DKK), you don’t have to pay entrance fee which is normally 85-125 DKK every time. There is a great ambience and it is a perfect way to kick off the weekend, www.tivoli.dk. UNGDOMSHUSET Dortheavej 61 is Copenhagen’s famous non-proﬁt youth house which is run entirely by volunteer activists, thus the prices are very low here. The music is mostly punk, but also ska, reggae and balkan beats can be found, www.dortheavej-61.dk. Å R H US MUSIKCAFÉEN is a small intimate place, presenting both small Danish indie and hip-hop names, bigger international names and world music. Mejlgade 53, Århus C, www.musikcafeen.dk. TR AIN is one of the biggest music venues in Århus. Train has both live music, night club and bar. Toldbodgade 6, Århus C, www.train.dk. If you want to party and dance, GAS STATION STATION, www.gazstation.dk, and SOCIAL CLUB, www.socialclub.dk, are nice places. The bar RIS R AS FILLIONGONGON has DJ music
in the weekends. This is a nice place with a relaxed atmosphere and you are welcome to bring your own food. Mejlgade 24, Århus C, www.risras.dk. Some good webpages for the cultural life in Århus are www. aarhus.dk and www.aoa.dk O D ENSE KULTURMASKINEN has concerts with both Danish and international bands, local groups, choirs and musicals. Farvergården 7, Odense C, www.kulturmaskinen.com. The small place DEX TER has a cosy atmosphere and it’s a good place for jazz, Vindegade 65, Odense C, www. dexter.dk. DEN SMAGLØSE CAFÉ has cheap beers, coffee and cakes and a funny interior decoration, Vindegade 57, Odense C, www.densmagløsecafe.dk. For nighclubs, check out BOOGIE in Nørregade 21, www.boogiedance.dk for the more alternative sounds, and for the more mainstream, check out ARK ADEN in Vestergade 68, www.cityarkaden.dk. A good webpage for cultural activities in Odense is www.kultur.odense.dk. Å L BO RG STUDENTERHUSET hosts many cheap and free concerts, poetry readings, debates and much more, featuring many of Denmarks biggest music names. It’s run by volunteers and the majority of the guests are
DANISH CULTURAL LIFE students. Wednesday night is international night, so here’s a good chance to meet other volunteers, exchange students and so on. Gammel Torv 10, Ålborg, www.studenterhuset.dk. NORDKR AFT is the name of an old industrial building at the harbour front, which was recently converted into an art gallery, art cinema and the music venue SKR ÅEN, Kjellerup Torv 5, Ålborg, www.nordkraft.dk. If you are more into the alternative scene, TUSINDFRYD is the place for you. It’s a non-proﬁt cultural centre run by volunteers, and here you’ll ﬁnd a weekly people’s kitchen (see more in the Food chapter under ”Folkekøkkener”), dark room for photo enthusiasts, atelier, rehearsal facilities for bands plus of course a wide range of underground music, Kattesundet 10, Ålborg, www.1000fryd.dk.
M u s i c F e s t i va l s There are a lot of different music festivals in Denmark during the summer. Attending a music festival is a great way to get close to Danish culture and have a great time. The biggest music festivals described below are often referred to as the biggest parties of the year. Here the Danes forget about their shyness and their reserved attitude, everybody parties together and
it’s something people talk about for a long time. ROSKILDE FESTIVAL (beginning of July) is Scandinavia’s biggest festival with more than 70.000 guests. It is located on a big ﬁeld outside Roskilde. Mostly young people go there, and many people from outside Denmark join this festival as well. There’s a big variety in the music, presenting both huge international names such as Björk, Metallica and Coldplay, as well as upcoming indie names, world music stars and very experimental stuff. Whatever your music taste, there will probably be something for you as well, and the festival is a great chance to discover new music. If you can’t afford the ticket, you can work as a volunteer during the festival (selling beer, collecting trash, working as a safety guard and so on) and you get the entrance for free plus some volunteer beneﬁts. Check out www.roskilde-festival.dk for more info. SKANDERBORG FESTIVAL (beginning of August) is the second biggest festival in Denmark with 30.000 guests per day. It is called “Denmark’s most beautiful festival” because of the location in a forest by a lake. It’s also possible to volunteer here and get the entrance for free. Check out www.smukfest.dk. There is more info about the different festivals in Denmark on www.festivaldanmark.dk.
DANISH CULTURAL LIFE
DANISH CULTURAL LIFE
Art and museums
Mov i e s Cinema tickets can be a bit expensive (normally between 60 or 70 DKK), but in some cinemas, they have special discounts, for instance if you go early. The tickets can be bought either at the cinema itself, by telephone or online where many of the bigger cinemas can be found at www.kino.dk. In the summer there are free outdoor movies on different locations in the bigger cities of Denmark. It is called ZULU SOMMERBIO and it’s a great chance to gather your friends, your picnic gear and watch some of the year’s most popular movies in open air – for free. Check out www.zulu.tv2.dk for more info. CO PEN H AG EN There’s a wide range of different cinemas in the capital. CINEMATEKET in Gothersgade 55 is the place for ﬁlm enthusiasts. Here they show old movies and focus on different actors, genres and periods in ﬁlm history. Once a month they show a good Danish movie with
English subtitles, check out the dates at their webpage www.cinemateket.dk. Every other Thursday, there’s a FREE UNDERGROUND CINEMA AT LYGTEN STATION, a former train station next to Nørrebro Station. Check out www. ﬁlmstationen.net. Å R H US CINEMA X X in M.P. Bruunsgade 25 shows all the big movies while Øst for Paradis in Paradisgade 7, a small place in an old-fashioned style, has a lot of different experimental and foreign movies. O D ENSE The small cosy place, CAFÉBIOGR AFEN in Brandts Passage 39 shows the latest movies but also short movies and different foreign movies. It is a nice place to eat as well. Å L BO RG Check out the art cinema BIFFEN at the old factory building Nordkraft, Kjellerup Torv 5.
at Vesterbro close to the Central Station is the place to go. It hosts several modern art galleries and workshops, such as V1, www.v1gallery. com, DASK, www.daskgallery.com and ARTREBELS, www.artrebels.com.
CO PEN H AG EN The entrance is free at NATIONALMUSEET, Frederiksholm Kanal 12, www.natmus.dk. It’s mostly historical and etnographic collections. At Denmark’s biggest art museum STATENS MUSEUM FOR KUNST, Sølvgade 48, www.smk.dk, the majority of the exibitions are also free. It hosts both contemporary and classic art.
For info regarding the small private galleries and their current exhibitions, check out www.kopenhagen.dk. Å R H US The most well-known art institution of Århus is AROS, a huge contemporary art museum with Danish and international artists, www.aros.dk. DEN GAMLE BY (the old town), www. dengamleby.dk gives a good insight in how the town looked years ago.
At most museums the entrance is free on Wednesdays, important exceptions being NY CARLSBERG GLYPTOTEK, Dantes Plads 7, www. glyptoteket.dk, which is free on Sundays and KØBENHAVNS BYMUSEUM, Absalonsgade 3, www.bymuseum.dk, which is free on Fridays and shows the history of Copenhagen. LOUISIANA, www.louisiana.dk, in Humlebæk north of Copenhagen is worth visiting as well, though it’s a bit expensive, but it’s beautifully located beside the sea and calls for a picnic. For contemporary art in general, the former meatpacking district located
O D ENSE BR ANDTS KL ÆDEFABRIK i Brandts Passage, www.brandts.dk, is a big complex with different art, photo and media exhibitions. They have permanent exhibitions and thematic exhibitions. The world famous writer Hans Christian Andersen was born in Odense. If you want to learn more about the author of The little Mermaid and
DANISH CULTURAL LIFE
DANISH CULTURAL LIFE
The Ugly Duckling, visit the museum HC ANDERSENS HUS and his childhood home in Munkemøllestræde. Å L BO RG Check out the gallery KUNSTHAL NORD at the Nordkraft building, www.nordkraft.dk.
Th e at r e There are different possibilities for getting cheap theatre tickets; if you are minimum 4 people under the age of 25, you can buy REUMERTBILLETTER, www.reumertbilletter.dk, and go to theatres for only 60 DDK. They sell to all the big theatres and productions but there are only a limited number of these tickets for each show.
person. You can buy the cheap tickets either at the theatre or online at www. taiteatret.dk (only available in Danish). Finally, you can be lucky to get some cheap tickets to the theatres in Copenhagen at www.latesale.dk. At this page, some Copenhagen theatres release tickets for the night’s shows in the late afternoon (around 4 pm), and if you are quick you can get tickets for the popular shows at half the normal price. CO PEN H AG EN The surroundings at GASVÆRKET make this an interesting place to watch theatre and musicals and many of Denmark’s biggest actors perform here, www.gasvaerket.dk.
T40 is another way to get cheap tickets. If you are 4 people under the age of 25 you get them for only 40 DDK per
The small theatre group, TEATER GROB, www.grob.dk. is worth a visit as well. In the cosy, though touristic, harbour area Nyhavn the small theatre BÅDTEATRET, www.baadteatret.dk
is found on a boat. They show experimental underground plays and they have specialized in modern puppet theatre. Both cheap youth tickets and T40 tickets are available. If theatre shows in Danish are too big a challenge, then visit the English spoken theatre THAT THEATRE COMPANY, www.that-theatre.com. Å R H US SVALEGANGEN, www.svalegangen.dk is a good amateur theatre and the tickets are cheap. O D ENSE At ODENSE TEATER, www.odenseteater.dk, they often modernize and reinterpret classic plays with a creative scenography. Å L BO RG Apart from ÅLBORG TEATER, www. aalborgteater.dk, with a mix of clas-
sic and modern plays, you can also ﬁnd the small DET HEM’LIGE TEATER (The Secret Theatre), www.hemli.dk, where the majority of the plays are experimental. You might also want to check out the small scene TR ANSFORMATOR next to Ålborg Teater, www. transformatorweb.dk, where both small theatre plays, movie screening and poetry readings take place.
The most important tradition in Denmark is CHRISTMAS, which we celebrate the 24th of December in the evening (juleaften). From Mid-November Denmark is in Christmas mode, ﬁlled with lights, decorations, “hygge”, Christmas shopping etc. Danish people in general don’t practice their religion in their everyday life, but on Christmas Eve many people go to church in the afternoon. Afterwards it is time to prepare the traditional dinner. The Christmas dinner is pork or duck with potatoes and red cabbage followed by the dessert ris à la mande with an almond hidden in the bowl. The one who gets the almond gets a present. Afterwards we sing and walk around the Christmas tree and exchange gifts. Another Christmas tradition is JULEFROKOSTER (Christmas parties) with the colleagues at work, classmates, friends or family. It includes a lot of nice food, alcohol, different games and dancing! If you choose to celebrate Christmas in Denmark, you’ll get a great insight in the Danish concept ”hygge” – because ”hygge” is probably never so evident and important for the Danes as on Christmas Eve and in December in general.
A great place to celebrate Christmas, if you live near Copenhagen and don’t have a host family or local friends to celebrate with, is Den Grå Hal at Christiania – a huge Christmas party for both homeless people and people who prefer to spend Christmas Eve with friends and new people instead of their family. If you want to, you can even work as a volunteer in the kitchen, preparing and serving Christmas food at the party. All over the world NEW YEARS EVE (nytårsaften) is a big event, and of course also in Denmark. Many Danes gather around the TV at 6 pm to hear the Queen speak, and afterwards celebrate New Year with a big dinner together with family or friends. At midnight all the Danes gather in front of their TV with glasses of champagne and kransekage (made of marzipan) to welcome the new year to the sound of the big clock at Copenhagen’s City Hall.
Afterwards the sky explodes with ﬁreworks and the party continues until the next morning. During EASTER (påske) there are traditions such as decorating eggs and, mostly for the children, ﬁnding sweets and chocolate in the garden which the Easter Bunny has hidden. Some people go to church during Easter and, like at Christmas, it is also very common to have dinner parties (påskefrokost) , with friends, family and colleagues. SANKT HANS is the 23rd of June. It is the longest day of the year. We cele-
brate it by burning a witch ﬁgure on a big bonﬁre in parks, gardens or at the beaches while we sing traditional Danish songs. The idea with burning the witch comes from Medieval Denmark and the witch hunt. The witch sits on a broomstick, so that she can ﬂy away with all the bad things. As in many other festive occasions, nice food is a must!
LEISURE IN DENMARK
Leisure in Denmark Even though EVS is about carrying out some sort of voluntary work, you will for sure have some leisure time as well. However, it might seem a bit complicated to ﬁnd out what to do, where to go and who to call when arriving to completely new and foreign locations – but don’t worry! We suggest different options on how to spend your free time in Denmark. Beside the obvious fact of avoiding to get bored, being active in your free time is fruitful in other ways: you will have the opportunity to get to know more about the Danish way of life and while becoming a part of social communities, you will inevitably meet new people - in other words, broaden your social network in Denmark. Unfortunately, the majority of the webpages mentioned below are only available in Danish, but we’ve chosen to bring them anyway, as they’ll probably be very useful, if you can get
your Danish tutor, colleague or friend to help you with the translation.
Ev e n i ng c l a s s e s You can ﬁnd several associations and clubs that offer leisure activities. These activities are seasonal and run normally from September until May/June. The price for a course can vary considerably according to what, where and how long termed it is. Below, you can ﬁnd clubs and organizations who offer sport, music and handicraft courses. Usually, they offer language courses too. For information about evening/ afternoon courses, lectures and excursions near you, check out: www.aof.dk and www.fof.dk.
F i n d p eop l e to p l ay m u s i c w i th Maybe you have music skills and would like to create or join a band? www.soundcheck.dk/musiker is an online forum, where you can search for this or post your own request. It is worth trying!
LEISURE IN DENMARK
Vo l u n ta ry wo r k It might sound as a strange option when taking into account that this is in fact what you are doing already, but do not refuse yet: there are many interesting kinds of voluntary and charitable possibilities in Denmark. Usually, people engaging in these projects are open and including towards newcomers – it is highly popular among young Danish people to engage in these kinds of activities, and therefore a possible chance to get local friends.
DO YOU SPEAK DANISH?
Check out: www.lektiecafeer.dk, www.cafezusammen.dk (Copenhagen) or www.frivilligjob.dk.
L e a r n i ng Da n i sh Your host organization ought to offer you language lessons, but maybe you have the wish to learn Danish more intensively. It is probably needless to mention that being able to understand and speak Danish makes everything far more easy, and in addition it is always a way to make contact with the locals. Do not get frightened when Danes correct you or do not understand you at ﬁrst – since Danish is spoken among a very limited number of people, we are not used to hearing different accents in the language as for instance English native speakers are. But keep on trying – no matter what, Danes usually feel ﬂattered when someone makes the effort to learn their strange language.
www.fjernsynet.dk: This page consists of a list of posters for a broad selection of free activities and events unless a fee is mentioned. The events could be to be among the audience in a shooting of a talk show or being an extra in a ﬁlm shooting. Check it out – you can ﬁnd access to a range of unusual experiences for free!
for international students in Denmark, but it offers a general list and a guide to ﬁnd language lessons. Or check out web pages for evening classes as well: www.aof.dk and www.fof.dk
The price for a language course varies. www.studyindenmark.dk is
J o i n th e a u d i e n c e s fo r T V shoo t i ng s
Another option is to go for a so-called “tandem” language partner. The principle is that two people get together and exchange languages. This way you can also get to know other people. Around the universities (particularly in the language faculties) at the many notice boards you can post your own offer, or look at the many already posted.
GETTING AROUND IN DENMARK
Getting around in Denmark ... Denmark is a small country with quite different types of landscapes. If you can ﬁnd the time during weekends and holidays, you shouldn’t miss the chance of seeing a bit of the country and maybe even visiting fellow volunteers around Denmark. The Danes are great fans of bicycles, so don’t hesitate to go by bike. Read more about biking in the chapter called safety.
T r a n sp o r t sys t e m s The web page Rejseplanen (the travel itinerary) is a great source on how to get from A to B in Denmark. It shows all timetables for trains and local buses, and gives you the fastest route as well as the price. Furthermore, you can buy your ticket directly from the web page. Check out www.rejseplanen.dk.
Trains For long distance journeys in Denmark, train is normally the ﬁrst option. The state-run train company is called DSB. Prices, routes and discount options can
be found at their web page www.dsb.dk or at any train station in Denmark. Two discount systems for trains are worth mentioning, namely the DSB WILDCARD and the OR ANGE TICKET. The DSB Wildcard system is for young people 16-26 years, it costs 180 DKK for a year’s subscription and gives the cardholder a discount of up to 50 % on all journeys – though only 25 % discount when travelling Friday or Sunday. Unfortunately you only get the discount when your journey goes beyond one fare zone – so if you are travelling short distances or within the Copenhagen region, you don’t get the discount. Many regions in Denmark have coupon
GETTING AROUND IN DENMARK
tickets and local discount systems (so-called klippekort) for journeys within the fare zones. Many of these klippekort can be used in trains as well as in local buses. Check at your local train or bus station for information regarding your region.
bus company in each region, and often the train tickets can be used in the bus as well – as long as the fare zones for the train ticket also covers the distance you will be travelling in bus. In the Zealand region (Sjælland), Movia is the bus operator, check out www.movia.dk
The Orange ticket is a discount system for all passengers, young as well as old, but again it only applies to journeys beyond one fare zone. The Orange ticket is bought online, and they are cheaper the earlier you buy them and if you are not travelling on the most popular travelling days, that is Fridays, Sundays and holidays.
For Funen (Fyn), check out Fynbus: www.fynbus.dk, (for Odense, check out www.bybussen.dk)
Buses All regions have their own bus system, but as a general rule, there is only one
For Eastern and Western Jutland (Østjylland and Vestjylland) check out www. midttraﬁk.dk. For Northern Jutland (Nordjylland) it is www.nordjyllandstraﬁkselskab.dk and for Southern Jutland (Sønderjylland) www. sydtraﬁk.dk For Bornholm check out www.bat.dk.
GETTING AROUND IN DENMARK
In Denmark buses operate mostly on shorter routes, but you can ﬁnd cheap bus companies operating long distance journeys: Abildskou Busser has daily low-cost buses between Jylland and Sjælland, with many stops on the way. Check out www.abildskou.dk. Gråhundbus: daily low-cost buses from Copenhagen to Bornholm, Malmö in Sweden, and Berlin.
Hi t chh i k i ng Hitchhiking is not as easy as it used to be, and you might end up spending most of the day on the highway/motorway. However, it is a cheap and
sometimes funny way of travelling and meeting local people on the way. The best web forums for hitchhikers looking for a ride or for a good spot to get a ride are probably www. hitchhikers.org, www.hitchwiki.org or www.mitfahrgelegenheit.de (in German, it’s mostly for travellers going to Germany or Central Europe). Asking for a ride at gas stations is usually more successful than just standing at the roadside. When you wait at the gas station, you also have the beneﬁt of being able to see the drivers and assess them before you ask for a ride. Please note, that hitchhiking on the highways and exits of the highways is illegal and potentially dangerous.
GETTING AROUND IN DENMARK
Ta x i s A luxurious way to get from A to B is to take a taxi – but please be aware that it is really a luxury option, because it is extremely expensive. Danes mostly use this option if we are a bigger group of people going to a place with no public transport.
B i k e r e n ta l s It is possible to rent a bike, and it’s maybe the ideal way to see the countryside – especially if you go by the special bicycle routes, Margueriteruter. Learn more about this at www. visitdenmark.dk. Here you can also ﬁnd a list with addresses and phone numbers for bike rentals around Denmark.
T r a n spo r t i n th e Cop e n h ag e n r eg i o n The main means of public transport in the capital is the city bus. Especially the lines 1A, 2A, 3A, 4A, 5A and 6A are good to know – they travel popular routes with many stops, and unlike the other bus routes, they go every ﬁve minutes or so (every 10-15 minutes at very late and very early hours). The other bus routes go every 10-20 minutes or so, and the buses with an S (150S, 250S etc) are express buses
going long distances within the capital region and with only few stops. Check out the Copenhagen bus network page: www.movia.dk The S-TR AIN, www.dsb.dk/s-tog, operates in the greater Copenhagen area with six lines connecting the suburbs to central Copenhagen. You can bring your bike on the train. The trains are smaller than the normal trains. A few years ago, Copenhagen opened its METRO. So far (2009) it only has two lines, but more are to come, and in the future the metro will be operating in the entire city. So far, the metro operates from Vanløse west of Copenhagen to Vestamager - the western part of Amager, the big island connected to Copenhagen - and directly to Kastrup airport, also at Amager. It takes you by the charming neighbourhood of Christianshavn and the cozy Amager beach. Check out www.m.dk. If you wish to see Copenhagen from the seaside, or just want to take a shortcut across the harbour, a special Harbour
GETTING AROUND IN DENMARK Bus is available. It operates four different routes across the harbour of Copenhagen. It costs the same as the normal city bus and the lines are numbered 901, 902, 903 and 904 – you can ﬁnd the stops in front of the royal opera and the royal library, The Black Diamond. The same type of tickets, klippekort, is used in all public transportation in the Copenhagen region. The region is divided into fare zones, and you always have to pay for at least two fare zones. The cheapest klippekort is blue, allowing you to travel in two fare zones for each ”klip”. The most expensive is called all zones and covers the entire Copenhagen region.
for free. At their web pages you will ﬁnd plenty of Danish people eager to know foreigners who offer a couch or a mattress on the ﬂoor for free, all you have to do is contact them and show up with an open mind and an honest interest in getting to know your host – it’s not only a matter of free accommodation, but more of the intercultural meeting – but isn’t that what EVS is also about?
Remember to buy your ticket at S-train stations or in kiosks or supermarkets – you can’t buy tickets in the buses. Public transport may seem a bit expensive, but it’s a bad idea not to have a ticket. Trains, buses and metros are frequently controlled, and you get a heavy ﬁne for not having a valid ticket when you travel.
Ch e ap ac co m m o dat i o n One major obstacle for EVS volunteers wanting to travel in their host country is normally the expense of the local accommodation. If you don’t have the money for a hostel when you travel, and if you want to get a bit closer to Danish people, you may try COUCHSURFING or HOSPITALIT Y CLUB. Both are internetbased networks with the principle of offering and receiving accommodation
GETTING AROUND IN DENMARK The general idea with Couchsurﬁng and Hospitality Club is the reciprocity
of offering and receiving accommodation, but you can join the networks although you can’t offer accommodation where you live during your EVS. But if you can imagine yourself offering accommodation to foreigners visiting your home country in the future, you are most welcome in the network. Both networks also function as social circles for foreign people and Danish people eager to know foreign people in Denmark. Especially in the bigger cities, many social events are held with members of Hospitality Club, www. hospitalityclub.org, or Couchsurﬁng, www.couchsurﬁng.org. Everybody is welcome and it’s an excellent chance to get to know new people in your area.
N at u r e c a mp s i t e s a n d sh e lt e r s If you prefer the more primitive accommodation options, where you get really close to nature, Denmark has a wide range of primitive campsites and shelters. Most of them are either free or very cheap, and only come with the very basic facilities, a campﬁre site and sometimes running water and a primitive toilet.
regions of Denmark (all pages in English) with maps and phone numbers of some nature campsites.
www.friluftskortet.dk (unfortunately only in Danish) has a search engine, where you can enter your area and see a complete list of the nature campsites in your area, including maps, basic info and phone number for reservation. Do note that some of the campsites need to be booked in advance, or you might end up at a campsite, which is already full of school children on an excursion! Phone numbers for booking can be found in the booklet.
M ap s The best online source for maps is probably www.krak.dk (the menu point: kort). Here you can also search for addresses and phone numbers of private persons and companies. For a good pocket map of Copenhagen, try your local bicycle shop. Most of them have a free great map with all street names indicated as well as nice bicycle routes in the capital. This map covers a large area of Copenhagen, including nice neighbourhoods in the outskirts of the city.
The complete list of the campsites and shelters can be found in the booklet ”Overnatning i det fri”, sold by the Danish Cyclist Union, at tourist ofﬁces and in bookstores. At the webpage www.visitdenmark.dk you can ﬁnd links to the different
Communication and information Just because you have left your family and friends behind, it does not mean you have to be isolated from them and the rest of the world. In this chapter we give you tips on the cheapest means of communication and where to ﬁnd English news about what is happening outside Denmark.
Mo b i l e pho n e s As the mobile phone is almost a lifeline, when you are abroad, the ﬁrst thing many do is to rush out and by a subscription or pay-as-you-go number. The charges for using a mobile are very different across Europe, so read this advice before you buy anything: MOST EXPENSIVE - Pay-as-you-go from a kiosk (Tele2.dk, Tele-Danmark, Sonofon, etc.) CHEAPEST - Pay-as-you-go on the Internet (bibob.dk, telmore.dk, unotel. dk, etc.). Onfone.dk has very low rates for international calls and text messages (sms).
subscription. Remember the phone might be locked to the network. PRICE COMPARISONS - check your options before buying at www.it-borger. dk/verktojer/teleguide (unfortunately only available in Danish). Remember to check the rate for international texts - they differ. For example Tele2: 0,25 DKK and Mtel: 2,75 DKK. PREPAID-CARDS can be found in post ofﬁces or kiosks (Global One, e.g.) – and remember to use a card from a stationary phone to get the most minutes. Unlock your phone? Your phone might be locked to a network in your home country. It is not illegal to unlock it, but in some cases this is a violation of the warranty, which then doesn’t cover any more. First call your own company to check. Otherwise try www.danskunlock. dk or www.dkunlock.dk. In bigger cities, many small phone stores unlock as well.
Post o ffi c e s To ﬁnd the post ofﬁce closest to you, check out: www.post.dk. - Post ofﬁces are usually open
SUBSCRIPTION - could be an option, especially if you need to buy a phone at the same time, e.g. with 3.dk the talk time can be included in the rates to pay off the phone - mtel.dk also has a very cheap
10-17 hours on working days, and 10-12 hours on Saturdays. Letter/postcard Priority letter Inside Denmark DKK 5,00 DKK 5,50 Outside Denmark (EU) DKK 8,00 DKK 8,50 Postcards and letters will arrive in your country within approximately 4-8 days.
Internet Many BARS AND CAFÉS have wireless internet, which you can connect to from your computer in the exchange of buying a cup of coffee or a piece of cake from the café. All LIBR ARIES offer free internet from their computers, and some have wireless connection to which you can connect your own computer. They also have printers, scanners and copy machines, which you can use for a small amount of money – it’s often cheaper than an internet café. You can ﬁnd the library closest to you at www.bibliotek.dk. At this web page it’s also possible to make book reservations and check the opening hours. At INTERNET CAFÉS the prices vary a lot, from 15 DKK pr. hour to as much as 40 DKK pr. hour, depending on the town and the location. There are not a lot of internet cafés in Denmark because most people have internet access at
school, at work or at home. Even some trains and busses offer internet access.
N e ws i n Eng l i sh If you want to practice your Danish, there are some free daily newspapers: Metro-express, 24 timer, and Urban, which you can pick up at almost every train station and in the buses. If you are not good at Danish, use the links below to read Danish news in English: • •
Jyllands Posten - jp.dk/uknews/ Politiken - politiken.dk/newsinenglish/
Finally you can read international newspapers and magazines at all libraries, but you can’t take them with you when you go. In some kiosks you may ﬁnd international newspapers and magazines. They tend to be a bit expensive, and the selection normally focuses on English, American and sometimes Arab and Turkish newspapers.
Danish Food When you travel to another country, it may be a challenge to ﬁnd the best and cheapest places to buy food and eat out – but just because you are a volunteer with a tight budget, it doesn’t mean you can never visit a restaurant. Denmark is an expensive country, but we’ll try to give you some advice on where to eat and buy food at low cost.
Shopp i ng fo r foo d The cheapest SUPERMARKETS in Denmark are Aldi, Lidl, Fakta, Netto and Rema1000. There you can ﬁnd most of what you need, and these shops are also easy to ﬁnd around in the towns. More expensive supermarkets are SuperBrugsen, Kvickly, Irma, Føtex and Bilka. Some of the products in these supermarkets have a higher quality, and the good thing about them is that they have a greater variety of food compared to the cheap supermarkets. So if you are looking for a speciﬁc brand or a specialty, you have a better chance in the more expensive places.
Supermarkets are generally closed on Sundays (with some exceptions), but if you’re suddenly out of milk on a Sunday, you can ﬁnd it at a Seven Eleven, kiosk or gas station. The prices here are much higher and the range of food much smaller than in supermarkets, so if you can wait till Monday, you’ll save some money. It’s a good idea to check out your local GREENGROCER. Especially in the bigger towns they have a supreme variety of vegetables and fruits (Danish as well as exotic), spices, and foreign food products (especially from the Middle East and South East Asian countries) – at very reasonable prices! In Copenhagen the greengrocers around the Central Station (the area around Reventlowsgade) and around Nørrebro Station are low cost and good. It is important to know that there are no stable prices on the products in the greengrocers. The price can change a lot from one shop to another – so compare the prices before you buy. Some greengrocers are even cheaper than the cheapest supermarkets, which is also the reason that many people prefer them.
Da n i sh foo d t r a d i t i o n s Speaking of Danish food culture, it’s
DANISH FOOD ﬁrst of all important to mention, that is has changed a lot during the last 30 years or so. The globalisation has had a big inﬂuence and the habits have changed a lot. Nowadays, many Danes prefer healthy low-fat food, and organic and fair-trade products are becoming increasingly popular. Foreign dishes are also really popular, and one of the most popular dishes is sushi. Also American, Mexican, Thai, Indian and - most importantly - Italian food culture has had a great impact on what Danes eat today. Statistics show that the most common dish at Danish dinner tables today is the Italian pasta bolognese, followed by lasagne and pizza.
maybe some fruit. Smørrebrød means buttered dark rye bread, and it is an open sandwich. On the buttered bread we put cold cuts, for instance slices of meat, ﬁsh, cheese or spreads, decorated with for example mayonnaise, a piece of onion, lemon, some parsley etc. Popular examples of smørrebrød are • Dyrlægens natmad (the veterinarians midnight meal), a piece of rye bread, a layer of liver paste (leverpostej), topped with a slice of corned beef and a slice of meat aspic. • Leverpostej, warm liver paté served on dark rye bread, topped with bacon.
Nevertheless, we will try to give you an idea of what traditional Danish food culture is like. This food is still very popular and most Danes eat it more or less frequently.
• Roast beef served on dark rye bread, topped with a portion of remoulade, a ﬁne chopped pickles with mayonnaise, and decorated with shredded horseradish and toasted onions.
Many foreigners are impressed by the heavy Danish BREAKFAST. Almost everybody in Denmark eats breakfast at home, and it generally consists of cereals with milk or yoghurt, a porridge or toasted bread with cheese or jam, accompanied by coffee or tea.
Around six or seven o’clock it is time for DINNER. This is normally the principal meal of the day eaten at home with the family. It consists of a dish of meat or ﬁsh with vegetables, especially potatoes, or pasta or rice at the side. Pork is the meat most sold (and produced) in Denmark. Traditionally the Danish food is not very spicy, but as mentioned above, we have adopted many traditions from other food cultures. So the use of various spices even in traditional Danish dishes is more common now.
Many Danes have LUNCH at work or at school. The lunch hour is normally only half an hour, so many Danes bring a small lunch pack from home, consisting of the so-called smørrebrød and
Eat i ng o u t w i tho u t sp e n d i ng a fo r t u n e FOLKEKØKKEN: In English known as Food Not Bombs, the Danish Folkekøkken covers a concept of very inexpensive, mostly vegan or vegetarian food prepared by volunteers in social/ cultural centres in the bigger cities. The Folkekøkken mostly takes place a speciﬁc day of the week at a speciﬁc place, and the menu varies from week to week, but you hardly ever ﬁnd anything non-vegetarian or non-vegan. The price may vary between free and 30 DKK, for a meal - most places you just pay what you can or want to. Unfortunately, it can be quite difﬁcult to ﬁnd information about where and when there is a Folkekøkken. Check out the following places and web pages:
CO PEN H AG EN: • Bolsjefabrikken (different locations), www.bolsjefabrikken.com • Ungdomshuset, Dortheavej 61, 2400 Copenhagen NV, www.dortheavej-61.dk • Folkets Hus, Stengade 50, 2200 Copenhagen N (webpage not up to date, but they generally have Folkekøkken every Monday at 18.30 plus cheap vegan brunch Sundays at 14) • Kulturhuset Støberiet, Blågårds Plads 3, 2200 Copenhagen N, www. kulturhus.kk.dk/kultur2200 • Den økologiske produktionsskole, Ravnsborggade 18, 2200 Copenhagen N, www.ecopro.dk Å L BO RG: Tusindfryd, Kattesundet 10, www.1000fryd.dk O D ENSE: Ungdomshuset, Nørregade 60 , www. myspace.com/folkekoekkenodense
Inexpensive r e s ta u r a n t s i n Cop e n h ag e n As a rule, foreign food is very popular in Denmark and there are a lot of Thai, Chinese, Pakistani, Bosnian, Turkish, Italian, Mexican restaurants in Copenhagen. Some of the cheapest restaurants are
sorts of ﬁlling, Larsbjørnsstræde 9 1454 Kbh. K, Phone: 33323790 • Thai Pan – Delicious Thai food at reasonable prices, and with a nice location just by the lakes, Korsgade 1, 2200 Kbh. N, Phone: 35360505 • Riz Raz – all sorts of Mediterranean vegetarian food and a cheap buffet, St. Kannikestræde 19, Kbh. K and Kompagnistræde 20, København K • Sporvejen – a cosy small cafe decorated as an old Danish tram. Cheap burgers, coffee and omelets, Gråbrødre Torv 17, Kbh. K • Morgenstedet – a fairly cheap vegetarian restaurant in the alternative neighbourhood Christiania. Open until 21.00 and closed Mondays, Fabriksområdet 134, Kbh. K, www.morgenstedet.dk • Café Salonen – the cosy ambience, the comfortable second hand furnitures and of course the tasty cheap food of this place makes you want to come back, Sankt Peders Stræde 20, København K
• Ankara – Turkish food, great and cheap buffet, Vesterbrogade 35, 1620 Kbh. V, Phone 33319233 • La Galette – cosy restaurant specialized in French crepes with all
Inexpensive r e s ta u r a n t s i n A rh u s • Restaurant Italia – delicious and cheap Italian food, a nice buffet and cheap brunch as well, Åboulevarden 9, Århus C • Sct. Olaf – very cheap French inspired lunch and dinner, Mejlgade 33, Århus C • Mackie’s Pizza – cheap pizzas, salads and sandwiches right in the city centre, Sankt Clemens Torv 9, Århus C
SHOPPING IN DENMARK
Shopping in Denmark Shopp i ng fo r c lo th e s Denmark has a variety of international and well-known clothing stores. This includes not so expensive brands such as H&M, Only, Vero Moda, Vila etc. They are found in the bigger and mediumsized towns and in shopping centres.
S e co n d - h a n d shop s In Denmark it’s accepted and rather popular, in particular among young people, to go shopping for clothes in second- hand stores. In the bigger towns as well as in the rural areas it’s possible to ﬁnd good quality stuff there.
As EVS-volunteers you may already have experienced that the pocket money can be rather limited. Denmark is an expensive country, and it takes some time to ﬁnd a way to make your pocket money cover all your needs. We’ve picked out some low cost shopping options and secret tips for money-saving.
In small towns, the best places to ﬁnd second-hand clothes are generally in the humanitarian second-hand shops (Danish Red Cross, Folkekirkens Nødhjælp etc.). There prices are really low and the money goes to a good cause. These shops often sell shoes, furniture and books as well. In the bigger towns, though, you have to be quick to get the best things in the humanitarian second-hand shops, because there are more people buying. So you have to visit these shops quite
often if you want to be the ﬁrst to ﬁnd the nice clothes or shoes. You might also want to look at the more ”fancy” secondhand shops, which are more expensive and well assorted. In Copenhagen, check out the area called Pisserenden (the area around Studiestræde, Sankt Peders Stræde and Larsbjørnstræde in the city centre) or Blaagaardsgade and Fælledvej in Nørrebro.
Flea markets In Danish, a ﬂea market is known as loppemarked, and these can be found all around Denmark at all times of year – especially during weekends. Check out www.markedskalenderen.dk to ﬁnd your local ﬂea market. A good advice is to show up as early as possible, because the most popular items are sold quickly. Most ﬂea markets open at 8 or 10 in the morning, and the best items are gone within a
SHOPPING IN DENMARK
couple of hours. Although bargaining is not normal in Denmark, it’s normal (and sometimes expected) at ﬂea markets – if you’ve found something you want to buy, don’t show that you are really interested in buying it, that will only make the seller increase the price.
and many people at the Designer Forum tend to get a bit aggressive in their hunt for cheap fashion clothes. If you suffer from claustrophobia or you just can’t stand the idea of thousands of women shopping like maniacs, then Designer Forum is probably not the place for you.
D e s ig n e r Fo r u m
I n t e r n e t shopp i ng
Designer Forum is a huge outlet sale from a wide range of Danish and international designers, who sell their expensive fashion items at very low prices twice a year in Forum in Copenhagen. Check out www. designerforum.dk for upcoming events and the list of designers available. A note of warning though: Designer Forum is extremely popular among Danish girls and women, so it’s very, very crowded,
For fashion shopping on the internet, you might want to check out the Danish page www.trendsales.dk. It’s a bit like ebay.com with new and old second-hand items, but on Trendsales you’ll only ﬁnd fashion clothes, shoes and accessories. This is also the place where you can sell your own clothes or shoes that you don’t want any more. The page is unfortunately only available in Da-
SHOPPING IN DENMARK
nish – you’ll need help from your tutor or a Danish friend with translation. For furniture or all other sorts of second-hand internet shopping, www. dba.dk is the page to check out. This is another web page, which is only available in Danish – again you’ll probably need some help with translation.
Fa i r - t r a d e shopp i ng The fair-trade concept is becoming increasingly popular, and now it’s possible to ﬁnd fairtrade products in almost every Danish supermarket, especially Irma has a wide range of fair-trade products.
Unfortunately, fair-trade products are still a bit more expensive than ordinary products, but the more people who buy fair-trade, the cheaper it will become, and the wider the selection of fair-trade products available in normal supermarkets. If you want to buy more speciﬁc fair-trade products, such as jewellery, furniture, toys or clothes, speciﬁc fair-trade shops can be found all over Denmark. Go to www.fairtrade.dk or www.fairtradebutik.dk to see the addresses. Here you can also see the Danish ”Fair Trade Label” which is used to mark all fair-trade products.
SAFETY IN DENMARK
Safety Denmark is generally considered one of the safest countries in the world – but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you feel safe here from the moment you arrive. As everywhere, it’s important to take care of yourself and pay attention to the legislation so you don’t get ﬁned for doing something that is illegal here but may not be illegal in your home country.
I f yo u a r e lo s t In some countries when you are lost and you can’t ﬁnd your way, people notice and they come to you and try to offer their help. This is not really the situation in Demark. When you are walking in the street and you can’t ﬁnd your way it is important that you contact others to get help. People will deﬁnitely do their best to help you if you ask them, but you have to make the ﬁrst step. To ask for help is not embarrassing or impolite in Denmark – but it is not as common as in many other countries, and therefore Danes tend to forget to offer their help and assistance. In general Danes have a rather independent and individual attitude, which may sometimes confuse foreigners. For
instance many girls walk home alone at night without feeling insecure – and male friends won’t offer to accompany a girl, unless she asks for it. This reﬂects that Danes feel safe in Denmark, and they tend to assume that everyone else does so as well. But if you aren’t convinced about the security in your area, and you usually would never walk alone at night, don’t be shy to express your needs and feel free to ask for help.
Sa fe t y i n th e n ight l i fe Robbery and mugging are not high in the crime statistics, but of course you still need to look out for yourself and take care when you walk alone at night... When you arrive in a new area, it’s a good idea to ask whether it is regarded safe at night, if there are some parts of town you should avoid, and so on. However, as mentioned above, young
SAFETY IN DENMARK
Danes in general feel safe, and if you don’t ask them these questions, they will assume you feel safe as well. When going out to bars and clubs at night, don’t be shocked of the drunken masses that might push in the waiting line and yell out stupidities in the street. In the bigger towns some places are more unwelcoming than others, so ask around to be sure where NOT to go. But over all, use your common sense and do not enter a dark alley alone with lots of money on you, and don’t interfere with people who are a lot bigger than you.
A l coho l a n d m a r i h u a n a po l i t i c s i n D e n m a r k When young people in Denmark go out, it’s often associated with drinking (a lot of) alcohol – and it is, to a limit, okay to get drunk and a little out of control when in friendly company. There is no problem of enjoying alcohol in public, as long the normal “street order” isn’t disrupted.
Alcohol is sold in most supermarkets, but there is an age limit. Minors under 16 cannot buy it. In restaurants alcohol cannot be served to people under the age of 18. It is strictly forbidden to drive any vehicle – even a bike – under the inﬂuence of alcohol. If caught driving with alcohol in your blood you’ll lose your driver’s license, and drunk driving is NOT socially accepted in Denmark. Marihuana and other drugs are forbidden in Denmark. Though the laws in this issue are somewhat imprecise, you can get a ﬁne for carrying any kind of drugs, and even get a prison sentence for a serious breach of the regulative. At private parties it is not uncommon to smoke marihuana – but it is important to notice, that marihuana is neither normal nor acceptable in all social circles. Neither is it normal in Denmark in general to smoke marihuana in public - as in some European countries.
SAFETY IN DENMARK
Da n i sh b i cyc l e c u lt u r e As you may have noticed, Danes are very happy about riding their bikes, and in the bigger towns you ﬁnd regular bike paths along many of the streets, making the life of the cyclists easier. That said, be aware of the many rules and laws to pay attention to. We are many to share the bike paths and it’s therefore necessary to signal when you stop or turn. Let it be implicit that the trafﬁc lights must be respected – because the Danish car drivers actually count on you to do so. From sunset to sunrise it’s compulsory to have a bicycle lamp – and the police won’t hesitate to give you a ﬁne of 500 DKK if you don’t. You might also be ﬁned for riding two persons on one bike, or ride a bike when drunk. Another good advice is to buy a bicycle helmet. These are becoming cheaper and cheaper, and even though it doesn’t make you look more trendy or beautiful, it is a vital protection for you and your brain.
When riding the bike in Copenhagen, you should pay extra attention. Copenhagen is a city full of bikes, and the people who ride them are often in a hurry. This makes the bicycle culture more rough and maybe even a bit anarchistic. Many people don’t ring the bell when overtaking, so stay always to the right side of the bicycle path and look over your shoulder before you try to overtake. Otherwise you might crash into somebody who is overtaking from behind. Be careful to signal with your hand before you stop or turn, and pay attention to the pedestrians on the sidewalk who may not have seen you when they suddenly try to cross the street.
And last b u t n o t l e a s t ... If you are ever in serious danger, if you are hurt, or if you’ve witnessed a crime, the alarm number for police, ambulance and ﬁre brigade is 112.
Survival Guide – Denmark step-by-step for EVS-volunteers Tekst og ide af EVX Denmark, en gruppe tidligere volontører. Udgivet med støtte fra EU-kommissionen af Styrelsen for International Uddannelse Fiolstræde 44, 1171 København K, www.iu.dk, firstname.lastname@example.org Publikationen kan også hentes på www.iu.dk/evs Tryk: Stanbygaard Design & layout: www.gogoart.dk Fotos: Soﬁe Thygesen og iStockphoto Oplag: 500 ISBN: 978-87-90021-65-8 Januar 2010
The aim of the book was to create a guide for EVS volunteers in Denmark made by young Danish ex-volunteers with the intention to help, infor...