Panda diplomacy: meet the zoo’s latest acquisitions and see their state-ofthe art enclosure
Diplomacy ZINE7 MAGA - ISSUE G 2019 SPRIN
BEING AT ADOR ON AMBASS GERMAN OPE • THE RT OF EUR THE HEA : TORCH EGAARD ATE HED • CONNIE RYING THE CLIM AN STILL CAR BECAME DIVER WHO DANISH • THE O LY HER UNLIKE
DANISH NEWS IN ENGLISH CPHPOST.DK VOL 22 ISSUE 5 29 March - 11 April 2019
TO E GUIDE
The German ambassador speaks out on Europe and Connie Hedegaard is a tireless advocate for climate action
INSIDE MAR IN DEN
NEWS Capital the world’s seventh most expensive city
Bad rap or bad for rape? Damning report on sexual assault continues to rumble
TOO PRUDE TO GO NUDE?
Five generations to become Danish Dansk Folkeparti wary of a passport proving anything COMMUNITY
Paddy’s Day continues to take green to the extreme
No April Fools – we promise Who needs them when Politiken pranks this well?
23 PRINT VERSION ISSN: ONLINE VERSION ISSN:
9 771398 100009
ANSK FOLKEPARTI has tabled a parliamentary motion that in order to statistically be counted as a Dane, you have to be at least fourth or fifth generation. Being born in Denmark and having Danish citizenship is often not enough, argues DF, and it makes sense to consider many decendants as immigrants when it comes to statistics. “If politicians don’t know the full extent of immigration and the descendants of immigrants, there is a real risk that things could get out of control, so we need to consider whether the tools used by
Danmarks Statistik are adequate,” DF’s spokesperson on immigration, Martin Henriksen, told BT. Stumbling block WHILE Henriksen conceded that some third-generation immigrants could be considered Danes, he warned that “a large group of people with a Middle Eastern background cling so firmly to family traditions that it just doesn’t make sense to call them Danish.” The main stumbling block is Islam discouraging Muslim women from marrying ethnic Danes, contended Henriksen. “If you as a Muslim want to be part of the Danish community, you must break with this aspect of Islam,” he said. “Otherwise it is totally impossible for you to become Danish.”
Rare shark sighted
More foreign workers
IT HAS only just been established that a fisherman caught a 150-kilo, two-metre sixgill shark in December – the first time the breed has been found in Danish waters. The Natural History Museum confirmed the identity of the carnivorous fish, which was dead when the angler hauled it in, after studying photos. Sixgill sharks can grow to weigh 1,000 kilos and measure six metres.
SOME 10 percent of employees are people born outside Denmark – a significant rise from 2009, when one out of every 14 was foreign-born, according to Danmarks Statistik. Since 2014, the country has seen a net increase of 75,000. Poles account for the largest share, followed by people from Romania, Turkey, Germany, Lithuania, Syria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the UK, Iraq and Iran.
Wet March, warm April
IN RECENT years Denmark has lost its stranglehold on being the world’s happiest country – with Finland and Norway sneaking ahead. But the Danes have staunched the haemorrhaging and are second in the UN’s 2019 World Happiness report, again behind the Finns, but behind Norway, Iceland and the Netherlands.
THIS PAST month has been the nation’s wettest March since records began. In fact, it eclipsed the 100 mm set in 1978 with over 10 days to spare. Otherwise, it has been comparatively warm, and April looks set to continue in similar vein, with plenty of sunshine forecast and temperatures expected to rise into the 20s.
INSIDE OUR NEXT ISSUE, OUT 11 APRIL!
A CPH POST SPECIAL
THE COPENHAGEN POST | CPHPOST.DK
Among the most expensive
ONLINE THIS WEEK PIA KJÆRSGAARD’S decision, in her role as the speaker, to ask an MP to leave the main chamber at Parliament because she was looking after her fivemonth-old daughter has made headlines all over the world. Kjærsgaard later took to social media to claim that Mette Abildgaard was staging a media stunt to drum up attention before the upcoming general election.
Christchurch tributes HUNDREDS paid their respects at the New Zealand consulate on Store Strandstræde in central Copenhagen, as well as the Imam Ali Mosque in Nordvest, following the Christchurch shootings on March 15 that claimed 50 lives. Flowers were left at the consulate, while candles were lit outside the mosque.
Not enough schools
More scooter places COPENHAGEN Municipality is getting closer to solving the issue of finding parking spaces for an estimated 2,000 shared electrical scooters and bikes. A new report has suggested cutting 30 parking spots to make room.
Copenhagen ranks seventh in the annual Economist Intelligence Unit survey for costly cities BEN HAMILTON
OPENHAGEN has the seventh highest cost of living in the world, according to the annual Economist Intelligence Unit survey. It concludes the Danish capital, which has risen one place in the rankings, has “high transport, recreation and personal care” costs. The EIU survey assesses the cost of living in the cities according to the costs of over 400 products and services: from the cost of a loaf of bread to the price of insuring your car. Costly bread, cheap beer IT IS CURIOUS to note that Copenhagen is the only city in
Dear to visit, delightful to view, but is it worth it?
the top ten that has seen the price of a loaf of bread rise: from 3.87 dollars to 4.21. However, it fared better for the price of a bottle of beer and twopiece suit, which both fell: from 3.06 to 2.61 and from 787.91 to 771.07 dollars respectively. The only other price provided was the cost of a women’s haircut: 176.63 dollars, which was up nearly seven dollars on last year.
Reassuringly Singapore DENMARK finished behind Singapore, Hong Kong, Paris, Zurich, Geneva and Osaka, while Seoul, New York City, Tel Aviv and Los Angeles also made the top ten. At the other end of the scale, Caracas finished last, followed by Damascus, Tashkent (Uzbekistan), Almaty (Kazakhstan) and Bangalore (India).
Hosting the homeless feels good Satisfied landlord applauds Red Cross scheme for helping him to “make a difference” MAJA MARIA CHRISTENSEN
O M E L E S S young people in Copenhagen could soon have a place to stay thanks to ‘Hjem til dig’, a new initiative started by the Red Cross that depends on the goodwill of volunteers willing to share their living space. The initiative aims to encourage people with extra space to
COPENHAGEN Municipality predicts its population will rise from 624,000 to 725,000 people by 2031 – and by another 100,000 by 2050. It attributes the rise to more immigrants and more families choosing to stay. It accordingly has plans to build a further 60,000 homes by 2031.
Charity race hits goal
STATENS MUSEUM FOR KUNST
MORE FAMILIES are choosing to live in the city, but the schools cannot keep up with the demand. The municipality has put together a budget for building new schools, but it will take time before they’re finished. In stark contrast, in almost every other city in Denmark, schools are closing due to cuts in funding.
Population to rise NÚRIA VILANOVA / FLICKR
Born to shake Borgen
Editorial offices: International House, Gyldenløvesgade 11, 1600 Copenhagen Denmark
29 March - 11 April 2019
make room for a homeless young person for a period of three to six months. The Red Cross wants to put a dent in the ever-growing homelessness numbers among the 18-29 age bracket. Dodges dishes, cuddles cats HANS-HENRIK Sørensen, one of the participating volunteers, has had space ever since his youngest daughter moved out, and he therefore decided to host a homeless person. “I appreciate being able to make a difference,” he said.
Founded in 1998 by San Shepherd All rights reserved. Published by cphpost.dk ApS. Printed by Dansk Avistryk A/S
Bring them indoors!
“Once in a while you have to tell him an extra time to do the dishes, but otherwise he is just a normal young person who plays video games, studies and cuddles my cat.”
AROUND 250 people took part in the St Patrick’s Day 3-legged Charity Race on March 17, raising around 40,000 kroner for charity (see pages 20-21). The effort means the race has now raised over half a million since it became a fundraiser in 2007. The winners this year were Rasmus Larbæk and Alexander Brix, a pair who finished third in 2017 and second last year.
Reprieve for Tintin A SQUIRREL owner in Værlose, whose cute social media posts attracted the attention of the Miljøstyrelsen environmental protection agency, has learned he can keep the animal for another year Nevertheless, Tintin will have to be released back into the wild in 2020.
Three murders in Østerbro A 26-YEAR-OLD man was on March 15 charged with murdering three elderly people on Vangehusevej in Østerbro. The police, who describe the case as “very severe and unusual”, claim that at least two of the victims have had their cash cards stolen and used. The man, who professes his innocence, has also been charged with theft.
To advertise – call 24 20 24 11 or email email@example.com
Fredensborg is located in northeast Zealand
To tell us your story – call 93 93 92 01 or email firstname.lastname@example.org For all other inquiries – email email@example.com
29 March - 11 April 2019
Aid for Syrian victims
Delegation to Ethiopia PIXABAY
Broadsheet bemoans “lying” Brexiteers Berlingske section editor appeals to “British friends” to stop the self-harm STEPHEN GADD
Nearly 12 million need aid
Ambitious Ethiopian drive
THE FOREIGN Ministry has committed 675 million kroner to improving conditions for victims of the Syrian civil war, which has caused 5.7 million people to seek refuge abroad and internally displaced a further 6.2 million citizens. Broken down, 350 million kroner will be spent on direct humanitarian assistance, and 325 million on funding development efforts.
A DANISH delegation with Crown Princess Mary at its head has just completed a two-day visit to Ethiopia, where it launched a national aid program last year. A key area of focus is gender equality, and the new Ethiopian government has set ambitious reforms, including an aim that 50 percent of its ministers should be women.
Tax should be worldwide
Clean water in Uganda
A NORDIC-LED group of finance ministers claims EU plans to implement a digital tax on tech giants such as Google, Amazon and Facebook could damage the European economic climate. Under the plans, a tax would be levied on the gross income of digital services, thus discouraging the companies from setting up in countries like Ireland, but the Nordics argue it should be worldwide.
A FOREIGN Ministry report documents that Danish aid has led to millions of people in Uganda being given access to clean drinking water. The aid contributed significantly to 70 percent of Uganda’s population having clean drinking water in 2017 – up from 20 percent in 1990 – despite considerable population growth over the past decades.
MPs against benefits revision
Scooter firm’s data leak
AS PART of a revision of the EU’s social security regime, it is proposed that the amount of time a EU citizen must contribute to a Danish unemployment fund, in order to be eligible for unemployment benefits, should be cut from three months to just one. Danish MPs are united in their opposition to the change. However, their co-operation may be in vain.
ONE OF the companies currently renting scooters on the streets of Copenhagen has suffered a huge leak. The personal data of 460,000 of Swedish company Voi’s customers became freely available online for a number of hours, according to Bayerischer Rundfunk. The newspaper contacted Voi for an explanation, and it said the leak was “rectified immediately”.
Swedish launch in Copenhagen
Investing in your own
RIGHT-WING nationalist party Alternative for Sweden held the launch event for its EU parliamentary campaign in Copenhagen in mid-March. Most Swedish conference centres had rejected the anti-immigration party, which won 0.3 percent of the votes in the Swedish Riksdag elections in 2018, but is more confident about May’s European elections.
THE GOVERNMENT is increasing its contribution to the UN Environment Program (UNEP) to 30 million kroner a year. It follows the appointment of Denmark’s Inger Andersen as the head of UNEP following nearly four years as the secretary-general of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
More aid for refugee body
Water deal in Argentina
THE GOVERNMENT plans to donate an extra 10 million kroner to the work of the United Nations body for refugees, UNHCR. The money will be primarily spent in the African migrants’ country of origin to develop information campaigns spelling out the risks – particularly about the hazardous routes across the Mediterranean. Denmark has contributed 60 million since 2017.
A DANISH delegation last week signed a deal with Argentina regarding the sustainable development of the South American country’s water resources. Argentina recently launched a 60 billion kroner water overhaul to improve drinking water and sanitation. The delegation (March 17-20) also assessed possibilities concerning food, the environment, sustainable solutions and health.
T MAY BE shutting the stable door after the horse has pretty nearly bolted, but a leader written by the editor of the Berlingske debate section puts a powerful case for its “British friends” to remain in the EU. Pierre Collignon submits a list of the UK’s virtues – including the country’s sacrifice during WWII, its defence of democratic values, and its championing of human rights, free trade and the transatlantic partnership – concluding that “we would simply hate to see you leave.” Lies about awful eurocrats COLLIGNON condemns “wildly misleading stories or outright lies being floated about awful eurocrats”, particularly as the UK has for many years been an “indispensable voice for a commonsensical and liberal approach to problem solving”.
“The visceral seems to have won over the pragmatic in the British approach to European politics, and the result is a huge loss of British influence and complete confusion about the handling of Brexit,” he lamented. New referendum COLLIGNON reminds Berlingske readers that Denmark has had eight referendums about EU issues since 1972, resulting in three ‘no’ votes and five ‘yes’ votes, thus providing the foundation of Denmark’s ‘opt-outs’. “The UK is obviously harmed by the current Brexit confusion and the risk of leaving the EU with no deal at all. It really looks like a monumental act of self-harm,” he said. “But Europe is hurting too. So we cannot help but hope that you will have second thoughts and delay your departure. More time is needed to secure a proper deal – and maybe even allow for a new referendum.” The UK is 6/1 to leave the EU on March 29.
THE COPENHAGEN POST | CPHPOST.DK
29 March - 11 April 2019
Return of the naturist: Why liking your body shouldn’t be a crime Danish artist has been battling Copenhagen’s authorities in order to show her largerthan-life naked depictions ALI GOLD
ETTING her work displayed in central Copenhagen has been no easy feat for Mathilde Grafström. For years, she has been fighting censorship and criticism from the public and the police. Grafström is persistent in her mission to improve body acceptance and promote education regarding the female body. Her March exhibition ‘Female Beauty – Celebration of the Feminine’, which will be on show in Nytorv square until March 31, is a larger-than-life, eye-catching display of completely nude female models posing in natural surroundings. “Danish people have an image of being very free and very relaxed, and it might be that we are compared to other countries,” she explained to CPH Post. “But in general, loving and showing the body [here] is very looked down on these days; you are being judged a lot if you enjoy or like your body. This is a negative trend amongst young girls.” Not so free-spirited DENMARK was the first country to legalise pornography, giving it the reputation of a free-spirited, body-positive, sexually-open nation. Grafström recalls her upbringing in northern Jutland as being a source of inspiration for the photos. Well into her teenage years she can remember enjoying the beach entirely in the nude. When she moved to Copenhagen at the age of 20 she immediately noticed a culture of modesty – especially among young women. As if to emphasise that, large text panels at the exhibition encourage viewers to “be your true self ”.
“I like to make things as beautiful as I can – as aesthetic as I can. That’s why I use nature and not some studio, because nature is so amazing, natural, and relaxed,” explained Grafström. “I really love it. I’m actually trying to match the body with nature: to make the sitter fall back into what she really is. Underwear is not a part of that.” An early bath AFTER years of opposition and censorship trying to get her work displayed in Copenhagen, this is the first time Grafström has been able to show unfiltered images. Her first exhibition in 2015 – which showed models in more modest poses, such as with crossed legs – was at a Copenhagen swimming baths. It was taken down a month early because of complaints. “People are scared. There are complaints, and then they take it down. That’s how it is. That’s just how it works. This reaction made me realise this work was quite important, so I decided to continue,” she said. Her next exhibition was at the top of the gangplank of a boat and was destroyed when people defaced the pictures – sometimes burning them, ruining them with food, or throwing them into the harbour. And a small exhibition in the so-called free city of Christiania lasted only four days. However, media in 30 countries have reported on her art and the opposition it faces in Copenhagen. Try, try, try again IN 2018, SHE applied to the authorities again with only one request: she wanted her work shown in a highly-trafficked area. Initially, the city gave her permission to display in a more secluded part of the city. Grafstrom argued for Nytorv, which is part of the Strøget walking street and about as highly-trafficked as Copenhagen gets. “The police made no ob-
Set up to be interactive
jections this time, which was amazing,” she revealed. Grafstrom has also started sitting at her exhibitions and photographing passers-by to record their reactions. While many are shocked and upset, young women in particular are touched by many of the photos. Grafstrom says the photos educate viewers about female anatomy and encourage them to love their bodies. Rejecting negative self-image “I THINK that female empowerment is already in our minds, especially among young girls. They are feeling repressed due to pressure from society regarding how they should look and all of this. This is what the exhibition is driving at: that you should let go of this negative self-image that can be destructive for your life and your mood,” she said. Grafstrom adds she is always looking for models and funds to expand into new countries. Those wishing to support her mission can do so via her website mathildegrafstrom.com. For now, enjoy the exhibition while it lasts – March 31 is the last day on Nytorv.
5 Danish Disgrace? Pervasive rape culture or unfair rap? FEATURE
29 March - 11 April 2019
Amnesty International report might have been harsh, but many concur it was the wake-up call Denmark needed BLAKE REILLY
HE NORDIC countries have long been perceived as international leaders in the promotion of human rights: pioneers in progressive politics, gender equality and social cohesion. Given that sexual violence is fundamentally a matter of human rights, it seems implausible that Nordic societies could possibly have a pervasive problem with sexual assault. But recent findings from European agencies and reports from non-governmental organisations suggest otherwise. Failing in its obligations CONTEMPORARY media has been a key initiator when it comes to opening up the discourse relating to crimes of a sexual nature, and this has undoubtedly been a major driver in the progression of women’s rights. As women have become increasingly confident that their experiences of assault will be taken seriously – and crucially that the community will act to console rather than condemn – more cases are brought to the attention of the authorities. Yet from a legal perspective, a recent Amnesty International report resolutely declared that Denmark is “failing to live up to its human rights obligations to protect women against rape, investigate rape crimes, prosecute those responsible and provide compensation to victims”. Rape and sexual assault incidents are as complex as they are intolerable, leading to many cases remaining unreported and victims lacking the justice they deserve. The European perspective A SURVEY conducted by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) questioned around 900 women from each EU state (40,000 European women in total) about whether they had experienced any form of gender-related violence since the age of 15. Assault was defined by the study as including physical violence, emotional abuse, stalking or rape. The results revealed that the average ‘yes’ response across Europe was 33 percent. In stark contrast, in was 46 percent in Sweden and as high as 52 percent in Denmark.
Why is it that Denmark and Sweden – the two countries which ranked the best for gender equality in 2017 – throw up such alarming statistics? Confusingly, countries perceived as being the most socially and economically developed stood at the undesirable top end of the rankings, whilst more authoritarian and illiberal countries stood at the other. More openness needed A FEW YEARS ago, the ‘Case Closed: Rape and Human Rights in the Nordic Countries’ report from Amnesty International detailed various deficiencies in legal practice relating specifically to rape crimes in the Nordic countries. One section refers directly to rape in Denmark. The report found that whilst each year approximately 500 rape allegations are reported to the police, three quarters of rape incidents remain unreported. A significant issue, Amnesty International contended, arises from the Danish legal system. It was found that only 20 percent of rape cases brought to trial ended with a conviction. A lack of cases being brought to trial means a lack of transparency. The report concluded that more cases should be assessed in open court, that research should be conducted into the quality of police investigations (as was done in Sweden and Norway), and that police and prosecutors should receive training in the area of sexual assault. Defining the crime IN A REPORT released earlier this month, Amnesty International claimed that Denmark has a “pervasive rape culture”. The latest report, ‘Give Us Respect and Justice! Overcoming Barriers to Justice for Women Rape Survivors in Denmark’, explicitly blames social stigma and flawed legislation. The primary concern is that Danish law defines rape according to the use of violence, threat or coercion. Forced threats are not present in all cases of rape, meaning the current law does not adequately reflect the complex realities of rape. Instead, Amnesty International contends, rape should be defined on the basis of a lack of sexual consent. Kumi Naidoo, secretary general of Amnesty International, insists that “failure to recognise this in law leaves women exposed to sexual violence and fuels a dangerous culture of victim-blaming and
impunity, reinforced by myths and stereotypes that pervade Danish society: from playground to the locker room, and from the police station to the witness stand.” Denmark signed the Istanbul Convention in 2014 that asserts that all non-consensual sexual acts must be criminalised, but the country has yet to absorb these measures into domestic legislation. Following the report, the justice minister, Søren Pape Poulsen, came out in support of consent-based amendments to Danish law. Stepping up to the plate THE FINDINGS from these reports should be of immense concern to every Danish citizen. Simply put, the Danish legal system does not protect Danish women adequately from sexual crime. Yet it is a mistake to assert that Denmark as a society is more dangerous for women than any other country. The reports do not claim that Danish men are more inclined to sexual violence than men of any other nationality: the issue is in the social perception of rape,
and in domestic legislative protection mechanisms. In so many respects, Denmark is a world leader in providing equal opportunities for women, but there is a glaring need for the country to step up. It is not enough only to support women to be their best, it is also vital to support women when the worst has happened to them. Plenty of room for improvement PERHAPS political discourse has become distracted by international praise, but it is time for Danish politicians to remember there is always room to improve. Sexual assault is an international issue that sees women too often – despite being the victim – carry the burden of the legal system’s failings. Simple amendments such as reforming the law to define rape on the basis of consent would be significant steps towards meaningful change. Addressing the inadequacy in the laws relating to rape is the first and most urgent step needed to re-establish the international perception of Denmark.
THE COPENHAGEN POST | CPHPOST.DK
ONLINE THIS WEEK
RECORD numbers are seeking to have an operation to realign their genders. In Aalborg, 357 people were referred to the sex change clinic last year – up from 19 in 2016. Meanwhile, at the Copenhagen hospital Rigshospitalet, some 230 people are undergoing hormonal treatment, compared to less than 20 in 2013.
PET agent gets pension MORTEN Storm, the undercover agent who infiltrated Islamist circles and passed on the information to the PET intelligence agency, has been awarded a financial allowance. A panel working under the auspices of the Employment Ministry ruled that Storm is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder following his work as an agent from 2006-11.
Inequality divide A NEW ECONOMIC equality study published by Mikonomi. dk reveals the municipalities where men out-earn women the most. The difference was most pronounced in municipalities with lots of high earners, like Hørsholm Municipality where men on average earn 46 percent more. At the other end of the scale, Albertslund Municipality had a difference of just 15 percent.
Divorce rate down AFTER several years of record-breaking divorce rates, fewer Danes chose in 2018 to end their marriage. Denmark had 14,936 divorces between people of different sexes last year – down from a record high in 2014 when there were almost 4,500 more.
Street deleted by mistake KOLDING Municipality last week officially changed the name of one of its streets – by mistake. A municipality employee accidentally renamed Nørregade as Zinzendorfgade, and because the municipal and state IT systems are connected, the change was implemented everywhere, affecting 65 residences on the street.
Vestager in the running
Construction culpable: threats, lies and criminal rates 3F
Sex change interest soars
29 March - 11 April 2019
New documentary lifts the roof on disreputable employment practices of building firms MAJA MARIA CHRISTENSEN
HE ADVERTISEMENT for a property on Vejrhøj in Holbæk proclaims: “Newly-built villa in family-friendly neighbourhood”, but the sales pitch hides the murky truth behind its origins, according to a new DR documentary. ‘Afsløret – Slaverne i byggebranchen’ reveals how a network of construction firms have been exploiting foreign workers to such a degree that it is now being investigated by the police as possible human trafficking. Treated like animals FOREIGN construction workers are enticed to work on Danish constructions sites with the promise of decent pay and good working conditions, but the reality is often very different. A former worker, Yasir Dawaud, recalls how he was offered 35,000 kroner per month whilst in Poland, but then not paid for three months. When he complained, he was turfed out of his accommodation. Shabbir Hussain got the same offer, but was only paid 3,000 a month over a period of 16 months. “I was treated as if I was a slave,” he said.
COMPETITION Commissioner Margrethe Vestager is a 10/1 fourth favourite to replace the European Commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, when he steps down after the European elections in May. Vestager, whose term of office expires in October, faces tough competition from the 4/5 favourite Manfred Weber, a prominent German politician.
Early pension rate soars
A life on easy street became a struggle on every street
from the Romanian manager who persuaded him to take the job. “They’re saying they want me dead and that they know I’m living on the streets of Copenhagen. They say they’re looking for me and want to kill me,” Ioan read from his phone. According to official statistics, there are currently 34,000 foreign workers on Danish construction sites and an unknown number working illegally under conditions well hidden from the public gaze.
rial as possible from torn-down buildings in newer constructions. It is estimated that around 40 percent of societies’ contribution to global warming stems from the construction of buildings.
Death threats WHEN POLICE temporarily detained the managers of one of the companies, former employee Ionut Ioan showed them threats
Sustainable construction IN OTHER construction news, Copenhagen is entering into a collaboration with London, Hamburg and Helsinki to investigate and promote the development of a more sustainable and environmental way of constructing buildings. The EU-funded project ‘Circular Construction in Regenerative Cities’ will investigate how cities can recycle as much mate-
Historically ugly AND THERE’S no accounting for whether we will like a new building these days – not even if it has been designed by world-famous architects BIG and its star founder Bjarke Ingels. BIG’s design for a new 27 metre-high headquarters building in Nordhavn received a critical mauling earlier this year and was turned down by Copenhagen’s technical and environmental committee. According to TV2, Konservative committee member Jakob Næsager went as far as calling it “historically ugly”, and it was also criticised for not being ‘green’ enough. However, BIG went back to the drawing board, and its new, distinctly greener submission was last week approved.
Timetable chaos expected
Digital changes ahead
Lorries an easy target
TENS OF thousands of commuters across Denmark can look forward to enduring delays, fewer departures and congested trains in the coming months. At the end of March, rail company Banedanmark will initiate a series of significant track repairs along critical stretches, and the work preparing the rail link for the future Fehmarn Belt connection will also commence.
BY THE summer of 2022, the NemID system will be phased out, eliminating the need to carry a physical card around. MitID, which will be rolled out in 2021, will be fully digitalised and involve other log-in methods. In related news, Netcompany is bidding to replace e-Boks as the digital post box provider – a switch that could result in consumers having to use both.
NEARLY 75 percent of tarpaulin lorries crossing the border have had holes cut in their coverings, according to checks carried out by South and Southern Jutland Police, which has joined ‘Project Cargo’, a European initiative to stop thieves. In related news, the Transport Ministry has cited economic gains for plans to increase the speed limit for lorries from 70 to 80 km/h.
AT NO TIME since 2004 have so many people between the ages of 60 and 64 taken the early retirement pension as they did in 2018. Some 2,484 Danes took it up. Union leaders have welcomed the results saying that the early retirement system has become better at helping people who are worn-out to leave the labour market with dignity.
Loneliness awareness walk THE ‘MARCH against Loneliness’ movement is planning a 550 km trek around Denmark to raise awareness of how solitude is a serious health and societal issue. Taking place from April 1-28, the walk will start in Copenhagen, travel down to Funen, and then loop up to Aalborg. An estimated 35,000 people in Denmark are severely lonely.
Vanishing in the UK FIVE DANISH-BASED African youngsters have used study trips to vanish in the UK in recent weeks. Last week, a 17-year-old Eritrean boy from Helsingør disappeared in Manchester, while earlier this month three Eritreans aged 19-20 from Zealand scarpered in London. Finally, a 17-year-old based in Aabenraa was arrested two days after jumping ship in London.
Poor performance A REPORT made in the wake of the DR documentary ‘The Hidden Abuses’ reveals many municipalities are poorly prepared to handle cases involving the sexual abuse of minors. The municipalities of Albertslund and Brøndby were singled out for criticism.
29 March - 11 April 2019
ONLINE THIS WEEK
THE DANISH Astronomical Society has discovered long-forgotten letters written by Albert Einstein in its archives. Written in German in 1920, Einstein wrote to the head of the society about a forthcoming engagement to speak in Copenhagen about his 1916 Theory of General Relativity.
More measles concerns THE LIBERAL Alliance in Frederiksberg has called for measures to ensure daycare employees have received the MMR vaccine. Meanwhile, another case of measles has been recorded – the nation’s seventh. However, the new case is a different type of virus, which means there is an unknown source currently in Denmark – most likely related to Germany, Italy or eastern Europe.
Viking house found GOOGLE Earth has helped Museum Vestsjælland to locate a formerly inhabited area in northwest Zealand that includes a palisade, burial mounds, workshops and a Viking Era long house. Aerial shots helped the museum to detect telling colour changes in the fields and rotting supporting posts in the ground.
Bronze medal in patents THE NUMBER of Danish patents submitted at the European Patent Office (EPO) rose by 14 percent in 2018 – a jump that has earned Denmark a bronze medal from the EPO as the continent’s third most innovative country, behind Switzerland and the Netherlands. Novozymes accounted for 192 applications, followed by Vestas (142) and Novo Nordisk (118).
AI strategy launched DENMARK has launched a strategy for artificial intelligence that sets out four objectives: a common ethical basis for AI with humankind at the centre; a focus on R&D; growth at a company level; and the use of AI in the public sector. Additionally, ethical principles have been laid out.
Nicotine, nightwatch and nasty nibbles GIDEON
Einstein letter discovery
Recycle the same way!
How smoking substitutes, shift duties and supermarket snacks are doing their best to derail our childhoods
OR A LONG time, pregnant women have known they need to be careful. No heavy lifting, no drinking or smoking, and no raw eggs are common warnings, along with don’t, whatever you do, date a man with German measles. And this past fortnight has served up a number of new caveats – some perhaps obvious, others not so – along with a tip-off about some nasty snacks aimed at kids. No nicotine = no worries USING a nicotine substitute such as chewing gum or vaping can be just as damaging as smoking, according to the University of Copenhagen. Its study of mice found that nicotine will reduce the flow of blood through the placenta leading to the brain of the foetus being deprived of oxygen. This can cause conditions such as ADHD, anxiety, depression and addictive tendencies later in life. The researchers insist the only safe method, therefore, is ‘cold turkey’.
THE ENVIRONMENT and food minister, Jakob Ellemann-Jensen, wants rubbish to be recycled in the same way everywhere in the country. At present, methods can vary wildly among the municipalities. For example, there are six ways to sort plastic waste. The ministry hopes to implement common rules in the coming years.
Secrets of narcolepsy
“Am I bothered ... like I’m going to work nights”
Working two or more night shifts a week increases the risk of a miscarriage by 30 percent, according to data taken from 22,477 pregnant women who mostly worked in healthcare. It is believed the main cause is the nightshift workers’ failure to produce much melatonin – a hormone mainly generated by daylight. The women are most at risk during the first 22 weeks of pregnancy.
six contained levels exceeding EU recommendations. Among the products were Bornholm Rugkiks, Ella’s Kitchen Vanilla + Banana Baby Biscuits, and Allin-one Rodfrugt-kiks.
No daylight = danger zone WORKING night shifts is also perilous for pregnant women, according to a study carried out at the occupational and environmental medicines clinics at Bispebjerg and Frederiksberg hospitals.
Kiks to leave kids in bits SURVIVE all that, and the supermarkets will do their best to get you, as worrying levels of the chemical acrylamide have been found in products aimed at children, according to tests carried out by the Forbrugerrådet consumer council. The chemical tends to form in starchy food products when they are overcooked or burnt (like toast and French fries), and it is thought to be carcinogenic. Out of 29 products tested,
Burnt human flesh IN OTHER healthcare news, a study of Danish operating theatres has revealed that personnel are exposed to toxic smoke and particles from burnt human flesh. Most surgery tends to use electronic instruments that cut through tissue by burning it, and this generates smoke and carcinogenic particles. Although personnel wear masks, it seems that they are not finely-woven enough to filter out all the toxic particles. The smoke can contain more than 80 toxic chemicals, so being in an operating theatre for a whole day is the equivalent of smoking 25-30 cigarettes. And the risk of contracting respiratory disorders is also doubled. (CPH POST)
PM’s tobacco promise
Hot rock solution
Dispute over origins
PM LARS Løkke Rasmussen is ready to raise tobacco prices to deter young people from smoking – but not until after the general election. Around 40 young Danes start smoking every day, according to Statens Institut for Folkesundhed, and last year saw a rise in smokers for the first time in 20 years. Cigarettes in Denmark cost 40-45 kroner a pack – double the price of Norway.
RESEARCHERS at DTU, Energiselskabet Seas-NVE and Aarhus University are developing a method of storing energy in hot rocks at a pilot plant in Risø. Stones can be heated by excess energy to 600 degrees and then kept in an insulated chamber. In related news, it has been confirmed that electric car users will face much higher taxes on their ‘fuel’ from 2020, which will double the cost.
AN ACADEMIC at Aarhus University rejects the National Museum’s claim that two of Denmark’s most revered grave finds – the Egtved girl and the Skrydstrup girl – were in fact immigrants from southern Germany. The bodies’ high level of strontium, a metallic element found in chalk, can be easily accounted for claims Erik Thomsen in an article in Science Advances.
DTU, UNIVERSITY of Copenhagen and Rigshospitalet researchers claim they are close to proving the long-held belief that narcolepsy is an autoimmune disease, which may affect the future treatment of the condition. Around 2,500-3,000 Danes suffer from narcolepsy, which is typically treated with drugs that stimulate the central nervous system.
Rise in organic land SOME 10.5 percent of land reserved for agriculture in Denmark is being used for organic purposes, according to a report from the Landbrugsstyrelsen agricultural agency. Some 4,000 organic farmers are taking on more land – an additional 34,000 hectares in 2018 to take the total up to 280,000.
Pills for the promiscuous PREP, a blue pill that offers a much higher level of protection against HIV in cases of unprotected sex, is now available to 500 people (mostly men) whose sex lives could be described as risky. Many have questioned the viability of a dosage that annually costs 25,000 kroner, but the health service spends far more treating the recipients for STDs.
Sleeping med fears ALMOST 10,000 children are prescribed sleeping medication such as melatonin every year, even though there is no guarantee it works, reports Berlingske. Additionally, it is feared the medication results in long-term side-effects. MP Liselott Blixt blames parents for producing a generation of children who sit in front of a screen all day – and then find it hard to sleep.
THE COPENHAGEN POST | CPHPOST.DK
ONLINE THIS WEEK Moves like Fallulah FALLULAH collected the Artbeat Prize’s Talentprisen 2019 – a prize given to outstanding Danish cultural communication – in recognition of her launch of Hello Sister, a feminist movement to bring more attention to women in the Danish music industry.
Disgusting ditty from ‘The Dame’ The ‘Yum, yum’ song might make the tum-tum run BEN HAMILTON
IVEN THE number of odious characters who get their just desserts in the works of Roald Dahl and Dr Heinrich Hoffmann, we’re no stranger to depravity and grossness in children’s fiction. And now ‘Fungus the Bogeyman’ has received a 21st century upgrade with the ‘Yum Yum song’, a work penned by British expat Iven Gilmore, who many
Expat’s ‘X Factor’ bid
might know as ‘The Dame’ in the CTC annual panto. The catchy song relates a day in the life of a young girl who loves eating bogeys and other bodily offerings – which is just as well given that all of her meal plans are completely scuppered (Mum made liver again!).
received encouragement from his after-school club colleagues, he didn’t do much with it … until recently. His choice as vocalist was Antonina Eleonora Seymour, a trilingual eight-year-old at Rygaards international school
who was able to sing both the English and Danish versions. But Antonia was not the inspiration for the song! “That was my classmate Philip,” Gilmore told CPH POST. “He did pretty much everything portrayed in the video. He was revolting!”
Chess at the circus
Ghita Nørby outraged
Horror hit on our hands?
Focus on food THE GOVERNMENT has launched Gastro 2025, a six-year strategy that will aim to keep Denmark at the gastronomic epicentre for both tourists and star chefs. An estimated 25 percent of tourists cite food experiences for choosing Denmark.
GHITA NØRBY/ FACEBOOK
OMD on their way BRITISH electronic band Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark are celebrating their 40th anniversary with a visit to Store Vega on 12 February 2020. Tickets cost 310 kroner. Elsewhere, John Mayer (Royal Arena, Oct 6) and King Diamond (KB Hallen, Aug 10) have also announced concerts.
Loves earwax, and the song is an earworm
An expat production GILMORE – a graphic designer who describes himself as self-unemployed – originally wrote the song in 1988 as a Danish number entitled ‘Bussemandsangen’, and although he
THE POWER of Instagram cannot be understated. Just two years after completing her education as a designer at Margretheskolen, the 27-year-old fashionista Sofie Sol credits her recent employment by Copenhagen clothing store Nørgaard to the exposure given her to work on the social media platform.
29 March - 11 April 2019
Backing Benny to win
Cool customer Carlsen
Ghita was a little aghast
Living it up in Das Metro
CIS AND Rygaards are making a habit of sharing famous alumni. Denmark’s first man in space, Andreas Mogensen, got the ball rolling when he attended both schools in the 1990s. And now Benjamin Rosenbohm, a former Rygaardian who is currently at CIS, is taking a giant leap into the unknown on the TV2 show ‘X Factor’, which he is a strong 13/10 favourite to win. Rosenbohm’s mother is from Germany and his father is from Madagascar, but he wouldn’t be the first full international to win the contest. The winners in 2016, the duo Embrace, were from Angola. (BH)
THE US-FRENCH painter Marcel Duchamp once stated: “I have come to the personal conclusion that while all artists are not chess players, all chess players are artists.” Well, if that’s true, the best ‘artist’ of them all, the Norwegian world chess champion Magnus Carlsen, is coming to Denmark in May to showcase his skills on the checkered board. The 22-year-old phenom will participate in the 2019 Energi Danmark Champions Battle at the Circus Building in Copenhagen on May 22, where he will take on Denmark’s newly-crowned chess champion and 25 other lucky players. (CW)
“I PREPARED for this for a month,” said Iben Maria Zeuthen, an interviewer from Radio 27syv in response to the actress Ghita Nørby telling her: “Poor you. You are nothing.” The interview of the 84-year-old, which was listened to over 100,000 times on the day of its release, was supposed to be about her long career, but she quickly became outraged, calling the journo’s microphone and headphones “the most stupid thing I have ever seen”. Nevertheless, the interview went on for an hour, during which Nørby talked about how she was often verbally abused by her mother. (MMC)
NOT SINCE the 1962 movie ‘Reptilicus’ – in which a 90-foot monster, found frozen in the Arctic Circle, wreaks havoc in Copenhagen – has there been something as sinister stirring in the bowels of the capital. And ‘Cutterhead’, which came out at Danish cinemas last week to good reviews, would appear to have a great change of surpassing the lowly 3.6 ‘Reptilicus’ has amassed on IMDB. The story follows a female PR co-ordinator who goes down to the Metro construction site to interview some of the workers. But she soon encounters some tight spaces, and claustrophobia ensues. (MMC)
READ THE REST OF THESE STORIES AT CPHPOST.DK
29 March - 11 April 2019
ONLINE THIS WEEK It’s who Xee knows
Birdsong central DANISH cyclist Jakob Fuglsang bigged up his chances of making a breakthrough in one of this year’s Grand Tour events when he finished third in the Tirreno-Adriatico race in Italy, 30 seconds behind Slovenian rider Primoz Roglic. Spare a thought for Britain’s Adam Yates in second place, just 0.31 seconds behind!
Dramatic Superliga day THE FINAL day of the initial stage of the Superliga came to a dramatic conclusion on March 17 with six teams in contention to finish in positions fourth to sixth and qualify for the championship playoff. A late goal saw Esbjerg doom AaB to the relegation playoff, while Brøndby and FC Nordsjælland also made it, joining FC Copenhagen, FC Midtjylland and OB in the top six.
Most goals in Superliga FC COPENHAGEN striker Dame N’Doye’s goal against FC Nordsjælland in early March saw him become the highest-scoring foreigner in the history of the Danish Superliga with 73 goals. In all competitions the Senegalese marksman has netted 98.
Promising Greenlander UKALEQ Slettemark won the women’s 10 km individual title at the recent 2019 Biathlon Junior World Championships in Slovakia, taking Greenland’s first ever medal in an international competition.
YOU DON’T often see the headline ‘FC Midtjylland beats Manchester United’, but the Danish club’s under-19s did exactly that in mid-March to sail through to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Youth League, where they joined the likes of Real Madrid, Chelsea and Barcelona. Next up is FC Porto in early April.
Mikkel top again THE INTERNATIONAL Handball Federation has named Mikkel Hansen as its world player of the year for 2018 – the third time he has won the award following triumphs in 2011 and 2015. The only other Dane to ever win the award was Anja Andersen in 1997.
Most games for Ajax LASSE Schöne has now played more matches for Ajax than any other foreigner in its history. The midfielder’s 270 games and counting puts him top of a table in which he is followed by Søren Lerby (269), a fellow Dane, and Jari Litmanen (255).
New DBU sponsor ARBEJDERNES Landsbank has signed a six-year official partnership deal with the men’s national football team. The bank’s logo will feature on the players’ training gear, along with the logos of Danske Spil, Carlsberg and Hummel – the other official partners.
So close for Viktor
Woz similar back in the day Clara Tauson’s recent form reminiscent of Caroline’s breakthrough year in 2007 BEN HAMILTON
T DIDN’T take Caroline Wozniacki very long to make the step-up to the main WTA circuit, and now it looks like Danish starlet Clara Tauson, 16, is on the verge of the big time as well. Excluding a defeat in the Fed Cup in February, the 16-year-old has won her last 27 contests – a run that started with winning her first junior grand slam, the Australian Open, in January. In March, she has won three back-toback tournaments on the ITF Women’s Circuit: the Monastir Open in Tunisia, the Pingshan Open in Shenzhen, and W15 Xiamen, which was also in China. Wildcard imminent WHILE two of the tournaments only had 15,000 dollar prize money, Pingshan was a 60,000 affair, and her success mirrors the form Wozniacki showed in her first
VIKTOR Axelsen came within one set of becoming the first Dane to win the men’s singles at All England since Peter Gade in 1999, but ultimately fell short, losing 11-21, 21-15, 15-21 to the world number one, Kento Momota of Japan.
Kevin on song in Oz KEVIN Magnussen made a solid start to the Formula 1 season, finishing sixth in the Australian Grand Prix after qualifying in seventh.
29 April - 2 May 2019 Literaturhaus
tian Gytkjaer and then a last-gasp Henrik Dalsgaard got the Danes an unlikely point. Aside from the point, Åge Hareide’s boys can also appreciate that their now 26-game unbeaten streak (in regular time at least – they lost to Croatia on penalties at the World Cup last summer) remains intact. They look to continue that impressive run at home against Group D leaders Ireland on June 7 and then, at the Telia Parken Stadium again three days later, against Georgia.
The Goat, Sylvia? Møllegade 7, København
Tickets at teaterbilletter.dk
ENMARK somehow found a way to get a 3-3 draw against Switzerland in their opening match of Group D of the Euro 2020 qualifiers, thanks to three goals at the end of a game they had been outplayed in for 85 minutes. The Swiss led by three with six minutes to go before Mathias Zanka Jørgensen, Chris-
Clara is morphing into Caroline
year as a professional in 2007. In fact, it was after a victory in a similar tournament to Pingshan that Wozniacki landed a wildcard in a WTA event, and the tour will no doubt be considering similar options for Tauson following her recent success. The Pingshan win propelled her up to number 407 in the WTA world rankings, with some experts predicting she will break into the world’s top 150 later this year.
Provocative and surprisingly funny ...when infidelity strips a marriage bare...
Danes in epic Swiss comeback Danes overturn three-goal deficit to draw their opening Euro 2020 qualifier
GEORG BEYER CLAUSEN
THE ENGLISH Premier League won’t be on Discovery’s K6 channel next season. Nordic Entertainment (Nent) Group has sub-licenced the secondary rights to YouSee, which intends to broadcast the games (116 over three years) on Xee, its joint-venture channel with Fox Networks Group that launched in January.
FCM beats Man Utd
or Who is
Directed by Boel Marie Larsson Recommended for mature audiences Presented by arrangement with Josef Weinberger Limited, London
THE COPENHAGEN POST | CPHPOST.DK
ONLINE THIS WEEK
Large stake in icon
Greenlandic airport offer approved KALAALLIT AIRPORTS
Arla’s climate bid
29 March - 11 April 2019
DAIRY giant Arla has announced a new climate plan to reduce its milk production greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2030 and to totally neutralise them by 2050. The plan covers 1.5 million cows, 10,000 farms and 70 dairies in northwest Europe. In related news, Arla has launched a new lactose-free drink to meet consumer demand for more plant-based foods.
Arrested for laundering
Jobs for internationals SCANDIC is seeking 500 new employees in conjunction with expanding its business in Copenhagen, which will include the opening of a new hotel at Falkoner Centret. Among the jobs on offer are positions for chefs, waiters, receptionists, bartenders, housekeepers, conference co-ordinators and technicians.
Legoland opening hotel THE LEGOLAND Castle Hotel, a new attraction near the theme park in Billund, is opening on Friday, with festivities set to continue all weekend. The enchanted castle-themed hotel has 142 rooms. The Legoland season starts on the following day.
Record house prices HOUSE prices rose by 4.2 percent in 2018, and levels are now higher than before the financial crisis in 2007, reports Finans Danmark. A 140 sqm home on average costs 1.923 million kroner, ranging from 5.088 in Copenhagen to 0.988 on Bornholm. Nevertheless, house prices are still 14 percent lower than 2007 when inflation is taken into consideration.
Island for sale HALMØ, a 43-hectare island between Funen and Æro, is up for sale. While the 200 sqm house is valued at 3.8 million kroner and the ground at 1.2 million, estate agents are asking for 15-20 million. The owners are an 82-year-old married couple who were unable to convince their children to take it on.
TEMASEK, the Singaporean state investment arm, has signed a deal to buy a 30 percent stake in Haldor Topsøe, which values the Danish engineering firm at 9.9 billion kroner. In other acquisition news, US biotech company Biogen has agreed to sell a manufacturing plant in Hillerød to Fujifilm for 5.87 billion kroner. Fujifilm is expected to retain the plant’s 800 employees.
Some glorious vistas await passengers before and after takeoff
Denmark offers to stump up 700 million kroner to radically upgrade island’s air capabilities STEPHEN GADD
Has already cost Siumut THE DANISH offer, which needs the approval of the Danish and Greenlandic parliaments, has already ruffled feathers in the island, causing Partii Naleraq to withdraw from its coalition with Siumut last autumn, leaving it with a parliamentary minority. Partii Naleraq warned that the deal will make independence, one of its main goals, less likely. Proponents of the scheme argue the airports will underpin business expansion and support tourism. The remaining 66.6 percent of the shares will be owned by Kalaallit Airports Holding (KAH), which will contribute 1.4 billion kroner. KAH is wholly-owned by Greenland’s Naalakkersuisut.
The defence minister, Claus Hjort Frederiksen, has already expressed his concern about an increased Chinese presence. According to a poll, most Greenlanders would be against secession if it caused a decrease in living standards. As an independent country, Greenland would no longer receive the annual block grant from the Danish government.
ARLIAMENT’S finance committee has approved a landmark deal that will see the Danish government take a one-third share in plans to completely revamp air travel in Greenland. Kalaallit Airports International (KAI) will redevelop the existing airports at Nuuk and Ilulissat – introducing runways 2,200 metres in length, which is long enough for the trans-Atlantic flights that currently use Kangerlussuaq and Narsarsuaq – and build a new airport at Qaqortoq with a 1,500-metre runway. Under the terms of the deal, the Danish state will acquire its stake in KAI for 700 million kroner, and the airports could be completed by the end of 2023.
Blocking the Chinese EXPERTS say that without Danish funding, Greenland could become a hub for Chinese investment, thus paving the way for Chinese influence.
Boeing grounded IN OTHER airport news, the transport authority temporarily grounded all Boeing 737 Max 8 and 9 aircraft on March 12 in response to a major crash in Ethiopia two days earlier. And as part of its 20 billion kroner revamp, Copenhagen Airport is currently busy adding an 80,000 sqm section between Gates B and C that should enable it to increase its annual number of visitors from 30 to 40 million.
On the fiddle
Huawei loses out
A QUARTER of packages received from China are either incorrectly documented as a private gift – to enable a higher VAT limit – or contain illegal goods, claims PostNord. Dansk Erhverv estimates it costs Danish companies 500 million kroner a year. In related news, PostNord is rolling out more local self-service post box depots to shorten the journey to pick up parcels.
TDC HAS denied that allegations of industrial espionage went against China’s Huawei in its final decision to award the contract to build the country’s new 5G network to Sweden’s Ericsson. The new network, which will replace the 4G network, promises much faster communication. TDC insists its decision was purely based on business considerations.
A REPORT in the trade union publication Fagbladet 3F accuses a Facebook sub-contractor of underpaying foreign construction workers engaged in building the social media giant’s new 56,500 sqm data centre in Odense. British firmTag og Facade DK is also accused of using foreign bank accounts to take care of overtime, and therefore not paying the workers’ income tax.
A 45-YEAR-OLD woman has been remanded in custody for four weeks charged with laundering around 105 million kroner and trying to sell stolen goods worth 100 million kroner. Over an 18-month period she is accused of making fictitious transactions between a number of companies and non-existent customers abroad.
DI to aid exporters DANSK Industri is setting up a centre in Munich to help Danish companies that want to export to Germany, but may have difficulty coping with the different laws in place in the 16 German states. In related news, 25hotels, the German hotel group, is on the verge of signing a long-term lease deal with Hines to open up its first Danish location near the Round Tower in Copenhagen.
FSA warning to bank FOLLOWING a routine inspection in March 2018, the Financial Supervisory Authority has issued a warning in relation to a Danish subsidiary of the Swedish bank SEB, which it claims runs an average-to-high risk of being used for money laundering.
Gap in the food market DANISH food companies are capitalising on the mistrust many Chinese consumers have in their own producers – particularly in the area of baby food in light of a 2008 episode that left three infants dead and around 300,000 ill. Dansk Industri has been helping companies form joint ventures with Chinese partners.
29 March - 11 April 2019
Panda-monium at Copenhagen Zoo ahead of big arrival The introduction of the pandas heralds a new era in Chinese-Danish relations BY DAVE SMITH
HEN MAO Sun and Xing Er arrive in Copenhagen on April 4, they won’t be your average Chinese visitors taking in the Danish capital. Unlike most tourists, they will be getting a right royal welcome, with both Queen Margrethe, Crown Princess Mary and the Danish PM waiting to greet them. If you haven’t yet guessed, the Chinese pair are pandas and their arrival is the culmination of at least four years’ worth of preparation and behind-the-scenes diplomacy. On a two-day state visit to China in 2014 the then foreign minister, Martin Lidegaard, clinched the deal with Chinese President Xi Jinping that has led to the pandas coming to Copenhagen Zoo. Pandas only live wild in China and, so far, have only been lent to 14 zoos worldwide, so it is considered a great honour to be able to ‘borrow’ them. Champagne corks popping A NUMBER of events have been arranged to welcome the furry visitors, starting at 18:30 on April 10 when Queen Margrethe, Crown Princess Mary, PM Lars Løkke Rasmussen, zoo officials and Chinese dignitaries will be in attendance. “Thanks to contributions from 16 large Danish companies, we’ve built a state-of-the-art panda enclosure that will define Denmark’s profile internationally for many years to come,” said Copenhagen Zoo’s administrative director Jørgen Nielsen. “We’ve had keepers, zoologists and vets on exchange visits to China and been in close dialogue with Chinese experts since 2010. And not least, we’ve got a whole plantation in southern Zealand with thriving, fresh bamboo, so I can safely say that we’re ready to receive our new guests.”
PM pandering to the public
An historic occasion THE PANDAS will arrive on 4 April at around 18:45 aboard a SAS Cargo flight. ”We’re very proud of being responsible for this prestigious job, and right now we’re putting the final touches to the planning so that we can ensure a safe and smooth journey for the two VIPs,” said Leif Rasmussen, the administrative director of SAS Cargo. After a formal welcome and the obligatory paperwork, the pandas will be transported to the zoo. The gala opening of the new panda enclosure will take place on 10 April at 18:30, where Queen Margrethe and the zoo’s new patron, Crown Princess Mary, will officially open the enclosure. At 09:00 on April 11 it will be possible for everyone to meet the pandas, as well as catching a glimpse of Crown Princess Mary. “The two pandas are an official gift to the queen and we’re naturally extremely honoured that the zoo in Copenhagen will be housing them, but it is very
PANDA FACTS • Unlike other bears, pandas don’t hibernate. They migrate down the valleys during the winter where they continue to eat bamboo • Their distinctive black and white markings provide good camouflage on the snow-covered mountain slopes • Pandas have six fingers on their forepaws. The sixth finger (false thumb) is used to pick bamboo • Female pandas ovulate once a year and are only fertile for 2-3 days. The gestation period is 3-5.5 months and they give birth to two cubs, but only the healthy one is reared • New-born pandas are pink and almost hairless, measuring around 15 cm and weighing around 80-200 grams. They are blind at birth and open their eyes at around 6-8 weeks • Pandas have a lifespan of up to 30 years, with adults weighing around 100-125 kilos much in the spirit of the Royal Family that at the same time they are the whole of Denmark’s pandas,” said Nielsen.
12 SPECIAL FEATURE THE COPENHAGEN POST | CPHPOST.DK
29 March - 11 April 2019
The panda car is full: Furry little charmers on the way to capital CPH POST recently visited Mao Sun and He Xing at their home in Chengdu BY LISSEN JACOBSEN
N 2019 TWO GIANT pandas will take possession of their brand-new, architect-designed enclosure at Copenhagen Zoo. BIG Architects and Schønherr Landskabsarkitekter are behind the new design and great weight has been placed on animal welfare, architecture, aesthetics and providing a good experience for visitors. CPH POST obtained a sneak preview of the ‘panda experience’ in the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in the Chinese metropolis of Chengdu, where they are working intensively to save the endangered species. A great honour IN 2019 THE giant pandas Mao Sun and Xing Er are expected to arrive at Copenhagen Zoo. Giant pandas only live in the wild in China, but have been lent to 14 zoos worldwide by now. But the giant panda is a species under threat, and synergy between the work of all the research centres and improving their natural habitat is essential.
At Chengdu Research Base they research and breed giant pandas, just as they do in other centres in the province of Sichuan and in two other provinces. Humans are the biggest threat to the animal’s population but at the same time, essential for their survival. So cute IT’S A FANTASTIC experi-
ence coming up close to real, live black and white giant pandas at the research centre that also functions as a zoo for the animals. I managed to grab a place in the front row at an enclosure containing two pandas – perhaps a mother and her cub. The smaller panda appeared to be sleeping but the large one stood up, took a drink of water and strolled towards a little
mound. Here, she climbed up with quite some agility considering her size, selected a piece of bamboo, lay on her back and began to eat one of the day’s many meals. And then the smaller one came lumbering over. I felt as though I’d witnessed a special moment between the two of them. Everything seemed to be slightly in slow motion and it was fascinating.
Eating non-stop THE RESEARCH centre’s work is essential to save the giant panda, which is considered one of the most charming of the many endangered species in the world. The giant panda has also become a symbol for endangered species in general because since 1961 the World Wildlife Fund has used it as its logo. Its chubby, cute appearance, with its distinctive black and
29 March - 11 April 2019
EVERYONE CAN JOIN IN white fur, pronounced black rings around its dark eyes and the fact that it can sit and lie just as we do, makes it look so sweet. With its extra thumb or sesamoid bone it can grasp the bamboo tightly and peel the leaves off, and a panda’s day is more or less fully taken up with finding enough bamboo when it lives in the wild. Here, it is rather easier because they are of course fed using a special dietary scheme. It takes many kilos of bamboo every day – around 45 for a fully-grown male. When they are not eating, they sleep – preferably up in a tree, where they seem to thrive lying on a couple of branches. A need for space THERE are a number of reasons why the existence of the giant panda is under threat. Firstly, they need a lot of space – preferably around 10,000 square metres to find enough food, so they prefer to live alone. So it is necessary to build corridors in the forests that connect the bamboo thickets in the Chinese cloud forests, as they are called. They are found at a height of 1,500-3,500 metres spread over six mountain ranges in
three provinces – in Sichuan as well as in Gansu and Shaanxi. In addition, the female giant panda is only fertile for a couple of days a year and when the animals are so spread out, there is not always a male panda ready to breed in the neighbourhood. In that way, the chance may be missed for that year. In captivity they don’t necessarily feel like breeding at the same time, and generally speaking they may have even less interest in breeding than they have in the wild. This has been observed in Chengdu and the other research centres. A growing population ATTEMPTS have been made to put males and females together who were both ready to breed but it has not always succeeded. After many tries, it has been decided to inseminate the females with sperm from different males. Gradually, the natural breeding program is becoming a success, leading to one panda cub being born every second year per female panda. The newborn cubs are incredibly small, only weigh around 100-200 grams and many don’t survive in the wild. The giant panda population in China, which is the only place
where they live wild, has in fact increased over the last few years and there are now around 2,2002,500 in all. This is very much down to the work of the centres. Giant pandas are something special and in Chinese culture,
represent peace and harmony. Their calmness and black and white colours mirror the ying and yang, and its obvious cuteness factor has intensified interest in the animal and made it into a tourist attraction.
• Both Chinese people and tourists from all over the world flock to the centres’ zoological gardens where they also do a great deal to teach both visitors and local people how and why it is important to preserve the worlds’ endangered species in their natural environments. And everything that is done for the giant pandas also helps other endangered species • The panda centre that opened in 1987 has become one of the largest tourist attractions and it has been optimally arranged for the animals. The paths are flanked by bamboo and fern hedges, here are lawns, streams and ponds and each enclosure for one or two pandas is laid out so that it is as close to the animals’ natural environment as possible, with trees, bushes, cliffs and caves. You can also see the red panda which is not a bear but looks more like a fox, as well as birds, butterflies and hundreds of insects • Scientific research is not enough to preserve the giant panda. An important part of the work is to educate and teach visitors, local people and everyone that they can be part of creating the fundamental improvements for preserving and protecting the natural environment for the giant pandas and other endangered animals
14 SPECIAL FEATURE THE COPENHAGEN POST | CPHPOST.DK
29 March - 11 April 2019
Top-notch Danish architecture waiting for the new arrivals Only the best is good enough for the new visitors who will even be pampered with heated stones BY DAVE SMITH
OPENHAGEN Zoo is starting to put itself on the map when it comes to cutting-edge modern architecture. First came the Foster and Partners elephant house and now the new pandas will be moving into a purpose-built enclosure designed by Danish star architect Bjarke Ingels and BIG, with landscaping by Schønherr Landskabsarkitekter. With its central location, the new panda enclosure will become one of Copenhagen Zoo’s focal points. Seen from above, it will resemble a Chinese yin-yang symbol. “The arrival of the two pandas will be a really big event for the zoo, and we’ve set the bar high when it comes to animal welfare, architecture, aesthetics and the visitor experience,” said the zoo’s administrative director Jørgen Nielsen. “I think the ambitious co-operation with BIG and Schønherr Landskabsarkitekter shows this extremely clearly, and we are really looking forward to sharing it with our visitors and our new pandas.” Hot logs WHEN THE pandas move in, they can look forward to an almost spa-like level of cosseting, including large rocks and tree trunks with built-in cooling and heating systems. The Danish company Neotherm has supplied this (rather unusual) equipment. “It’s a nice challenge when we get this type of special order in addition to our more traditional plumbing and ventilation jobs, and of course we can also make rocks and tree trunks with built-in heating and cooling systems,” said the company’s project manager Ole Puggaard. These elements are part of the process of making the enclosure’s
An idyllic haven will await zoo visitors
environment as similar as possible to the one where the pandas come from. “When heating and cooling elements are made in the form of streams and artificial stones and tree trunks, it is in order to give the animals the chance to behave naturally and, at the same time, give visitors an idea of their natural habitat,” said zoologist Katrine Friholm. Cliffs, rocks and streams are built up using steel constructions sprayed with concrete, formed and painted to look as natural as possible. Some of them also have heating elements included. This work has been carried out by ScenArea, which specialise in artificial landscapes. Home-grown bamboo PANDAS have a prodigious appetite and can easily get through 30 kilos of bamboo a day. The zoo has signed a contract with a Danish grower just outside Vordingborg, where between three and five hectares of bamboo has been planted. To assuage the hunger of the new pandas, around 120 kilos of fresh bamboo three times per week is needed.
• When bamboo flowers and dies off, pandas look for alternative sources of food – for example crops and kitchen waste from local villages • Pandas eat more than 60 different types of bamboo, although 35 varieties comprise the bulk of their diet. They prefer types with a high protein and low fibre content as they are easier to digest The grower, bamboo expert Søren Ladefoged, has a great deal of expertise in this field, as he is also responsible for supplying Dublin Zoo. “We’re going to be harvesting every day, all year round. Luckily, it’s relatively easy to prevent frost by covering the bamboo with netting and plastic, and heated pipes can help to keep the temperature up,” said Ladefoged. Harvesting takes place manually and the bamboo can reach the zoo in just one hour. The Danish bamboo also has the advantage of being sustainable, given the very short transport distances involved in its supply chain.
29 March - 11 April 2019
To China with Sichuan Airlines
A direct flight to Chengdu is Copenhagen Airport’s latest route to China. CPH POST was on board the inaugural flight, reviewed here. By Jan Aagaard Translater: Stephen Gadd
ir traffic from Denmark to China is experiencing massive growth and in 2018 alone, four new air routes from Copenhagen Airport to China were opened. This increases the number of seats on direct flights between Copenhagen and destinations in China in 2019 by 88 percent on the year before and compared to five years ago, the increase is 230 percent. The latest route to China is Sichuan Airlines’ flight to Chengdu in the southwest of the country. CPH POST was on board the inaugural flight from Copenhagen Airport on December 10, where the route was officially opened before departure from the airport’s Gate 37 on Finger C. At the inauguration Deng Ying, China’s ambassador in Denmark, and the CEO of Copenhagen Airport Thomas Woldbye took part, along with a number of representatives from both Sichuan Airlines and the airport.
Sichuan Airlines flies from Copenhagen twice a week – on Mondays and Fridays. The plane to Chengdu departs at 13:10 and the flying time is around 9 hours 50 minutes. On this route the company uses modern Airbus A330’s, with space for 301 passengers – 36 of them business class. On the inaugural flight from Copenhagen only around 60 seats had been sold, so there was a great deal of space on board the four-year-old aircraft. We checked in at the airport’s Terminal 2, where on the inauguration day there was only a short queue to the desk when I arrived around three hours before departure. Shortly afterwards the check-in procedure ground to a halt due to what was apparently a technical problem. However, after about 10 minutes things got going again and after that, it all went quickly with effective and friendly service from the personnel. The queue at the airport’s security check was short and the same applied to passport
control, so I was in good time for the boarding and inauguration ceremony at the gate.
FLEXIBLE BOARDING PROCESS The ceremony consisted of a number of speeches, an official ribbon-cutting and coffee and cakes for everyone, after which boarding started on schedule at 12:40. With the comparatively few passengers, the procedure was easy and flexible, with no queues or pressure in either the jet bridge or cabin. I was welcomed on board by two smiling Chinese stewardesses dressed in the smart red uniforms of Sichuan Airlines and quickly found my window seat in economy class. The cabin was equipped with seats in the same distinctive red colour as the uniforms and appeared modern, inviting and clean. Pushback on the aircraft was on time and around 10 minutes later, the plane took off from Copenhagen Airport.
THE COPENHAGEN POST | CPHPOST.DK
UNION VIEWS Steen is senior advisor at Djøf, the Danish Association of Lawyers and Economists. He is a blogger and manager of various projects aimed at generating jobs in the private sector. In this column he writes about trends and tendencies in the labour market. Follow him on Twitter @SteenVive
HE WORLD is facing massive climate challenges that require new solutions and business approaches. The next decade is critical. Prioritising the goals A RECENT study showed that Danish companies are prioritising the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs). I hope this development is mirrored globally. Of these companies, 63 percent are aware of the SDGs – a twofold increase on 2017. The same trend applies to companies that have integrated SDGs into their strategies, with an increase from 12 percent in 2017 to 22 percent today. Triple bottom line THE CONCEPT of sustainable development is not new. The Brundtland Commission defined it in 1987, and John Elkington theorised it in 1994 when he introduced the ‘triple bottom line’. The accounting framework
A new hope UNLIKE the triple bottom line, SDGs are being utilised by companies all over the world. They constitute a framework and global language for corporate communication about business activities that contribute to sustainable development. The SDGs pave the way for sustainable development because they contain clear business potential for companies that manage to deliver the solutions needed to meet the global challenges. More than consuming THE GLOBAL market for sustainable solutions is rising steadily due to greater demand from consumers. In addition, people, especially the younger generations, now tend to seek purpose in their work beyond paying their bills. Not only do they want to buy more sustainably, they want to work more sustainably. Hopefully, this tendency becomes a trend, making it crucial for companies to integrate SDGs into their strategies to attract and retain employees. If so, companies are forced to consider people, planet and profit, which means the number of companies integrating SDGs is bound to increase.
Early Rejser Adam is a nanny, a multi-sports fanatic and a budding ultra runner. He was faster off the mark than his fellow Brits, quitting England for Denmark moments before they voted to stay out of Europe. When he isn’t caring for kids, screaming at a screen or tearing up his feet, he writes unsettling poetry and prose.
consists of three parts: ‘People’, the social equity bottom line; ‘Planet’, the environmental bottom line; and ‘Profit’, the economic bottom line. According to the triple bottom line concept, a company’s responsibility lies with stakeholders rather than shareholders, which means companies must focus on their stakeholder interests and not on maximising shareholder profit. Unfortunately, the approach never became a globally incorporated business strategy.
29 March - 11 April 2019
FTER THREE years of calling Copenhagen ‘home’, I now have a tiny piece of it to call my own – or perhaps not exclusively my own, but shared with a brave partner and a braver bank. Rats up a drainpipe YOU CAN debate whether my partner is brave or simply foolish, but the bank is inarguably brave, entering as it is into a deal with Brits, a primitive island people known for their masochistic passion for economic self-harm. With a little manoeuvring I might have delayed the reference for another line or two, but you can only postpone Brexit for so long. Much like the gloriously warm weather we enjoyed this winter, it’s impossible for me to talk about buying an apartment in Denmark without addressing the sinister forces behind it. We left the UK just before the ‘titanic success’ that is Brexit set sail, so we weren’t exactly rats fleeing a sinking ship. We were rats that saw through the ‘unsinkable’ hype and disembarked at Queenstown, Ireland, the last stop before disaster. All that’s passed since then has made the move look like a masterstroke, making the decision to commit to this city one even a fool would make (as indeed one of us may be). In stark contrast WE RECENTLY found refuge in Ireland in a less metaphorical way when my partner received her Irish passport. Our perilous EU status, combined with more restrictive loan options introduced in 2018 and the fact we didn’t have a clue what we were doing, had been a source of concern, so this was a welcome relief.
In it to bin it
In the end, we overcame the obstacles – those placed in our way by others and those we placed there ourselves – and arrived at a deal everyone was happy with. This outcome stands in stark contrast to Brexit, which at the time of writing is still without one. This seems especially incredible when I think that even I, the least productive person I know, have achieved things since the referendum. To name but most of them, I’ve moved country, found a job I love, learned a musical instrument, bought my first home, completed several ultra-marathons and built some great friendships. Neverending marathon IN FAIRNESS, Brexit is the ultimate marathon, but they haven’t completed it and they certainly haven’t made any friends along the way. When I try to understand why getting Britain out of Europe has been such a shipwreck, when my voyage the other way has been such a success, a few possibilities occur to me. Firstly, I must concede there was less resistance to my decision to leave Britain than to Britain’s
decision to leave the EU: fewer communities divided, fewer petition signatories, and less debate at a parliamentary and social media level. Secondly, the vagueness of my goal (‘start a new chapter in life’) makes it hard to identify failure. It’s easier to identify failure when a series of specific and incompatible goals are promised and pursued (e.g an end to free movement, a continuation of the economic benefits of EU membership, a withdrawal from the customs union and an avoidance of a hard Irish border). The third, and likeliest, cause of our divergent fortunes is my superior negotiating skill, forged in the fires of DBA and buy/sell/ swap Facebook groups. Whatever the truth, it’s clear those primitive islanders could learn a lot from me – and especially my recent property purchase, which was not as a demonstration of said negotiating skill, but one of prioritisation. By tying myself to a more powerful partner I chose prosperity and togetherness over sovereignty. And that’s always the right call, fool or not.
29 March - 11 April 2019
Crazier than Christmas Vivienne McKee, Denmark’s best-known English entertainer, is this country’s most beloved foreign import. Over the last 36 years, hundreds of thousands of Copenhageners have enjoyed her annual Crazy Christmas Cabaret show at Tivoli, marvelling at her unique, wry Anglo wit and charm.
A Dane Abroad KIRSTEN LOUISE PEDERSEN IN 2 ISSUES
LONDON TOAST THEATRE
Mackindergarten ADRIAN MACKINDER
Straight, No Chaser STEPHEN GADD IN 3 ISSUES
An Actor’s Life IAN BURNS
Living Faith Join Vivienne and friends for ‘Oh Baby − It’s Cole’ at Krudttønden in May
ANY OF us love our theatre trips to London and, as it’s my profession, I indulge more than most.
No swift exits here LAST WEEK I was there and I was amazed that although it was a rainy Tuesday in March, during the countdown to Brexit, the theatres were doing fantastic business. I bought a last-minute ticket for one of the hit shows in the West End, not online but at the theatre’s box office (tip: you often get a better deal). Normally, the cheapest tickets at the back with a restricted view are 55 pounds and the most expensive are 150 pounds. I got my stalls ticket, unbelievably, for 25 pounds (see what I mean!). The theatre was packed. There was neither a child nor, with the exception of a few face-lifts, a wrinkle-less face to be seen. Before the curtain rose we were told to turn off our mobile phones. Nobody moved. In the interval, there were no Harry Potter glasses or witch hats for sale. The conversations buzzed. This was something that people wanted to talk about.
High on emotional punch SO WHAT was this extraordinary theatre experience? A rarity these days, it was a play comprising four actors and a simple set – a room cluttered with dusty old furniture of all shapes and sizes, reflecting, if one was to be unkind, the audience looking at it. There were no spectacular scene changes, no flashing lights and sound effects, no toe-tapping music, and no eye-popping costumes. Just actors telling a story of such emotional punch, it kept the audience spellbound for two and a half hours. It goes to prove that you don’t need to stage a musical to be a success, even though most producers choose this option. Right now musicals are the mainstay of the West End and, increasingly, theatre in Denmark. As I write this, there are 36 musicals and only 10 plays in the West End – and similar numbers on Broadway. I suppose if you are going to pay an average of 100 pounds a ticket and go with friends to the theatre and enjoy drinks and dinner, then you want to see something that
is ‘worth the money’, and for most people these days that means spectacle and escapism. When the price is right THE PLAY I saw was ‘The Price’ starring David Suchet (aka Hercule Poirot on TV) and written by the legendary Arthur Miller. When it was first produced in 1968, it was not a success. How interesting that today its powerful themes of business, bankruptcy and the vulnerability of family ties is more pertinent than it was then. And how pleasing it is that my profession still provides a platform for actors to be appreciated for their acting skills and not for how many songs they can belt out or dance steps they can bounce to. However, I must confess that the next evening I bought a ticket for a musical with glamorous sets and costumes! After all, I told myself, I need inspiration for my own musical cabaret show (‘Oh Baby – It’s Cole’ running from May 15-June 1; tickets via londontoast.dk), which is opening soon in Copenhagen. Vive la difference!!
REVD SMITHA PRASADAM IN 4 ISSUES
The Road Less Taken JESSICA ALEXANDER
Mishra’s Mishmash MRUTYUANJAI MISHRA
THE COPENHAGEN POST | CPHPOST.DK
29 March - 11 April 2019
PHOTOS BY HASSE FERROLD
The Canadian Embassy hosted a screening of Geneviève DuludeDe Celles’s film ‘Une colonie’ at Cinemateket on March 18. Among those in attendance were (left-right) Cinemateket’s program director Rasmus Brendstrup, Canadian ambassador Emi Furuya and Australian ambassador Mary Ellen Miller
Polish ambassador Henryka Moscicka-Dendys was the host of a highlevel NATO seminar on March 12 at her embassy. Also in attendance were (left-right from centre) Finnish ambassador Vesa Vasara, US ambassador Carla Sands and Slovakian ambassador Miroslav Wlachovsky. The seminar coincided with the 20th anniversary of Poland joining NATO
German ambassador Andreas Meitzner (second left) was the proud host of a recital by German-Korean concert pianist Caroline Fischer at his residence on March 14, which was followed by a reception. Among those in attendance were South Korean ambassador Choi Jai-Chul (right) and Slovenian ambassador Edvin Skrt (centre)
French ambassador Caroline Ferrari (right) hosted a food tasting event at her embassy on March 21. Goût de France invited those in attendance to sample the best of French cuisine as part of a worldwide celebration marked by 5,000 chefs on five continents
South Korean ambassador Choi Jai-Chul (fourth right) was the proud host of two concerts on March 12 at the Black Diamond to mark the 60th anniversary of the commencement of diplomatic relations between the two countries
Italian ambassador Luigi Ferrari (right) hosted the event ‘Artist in Residence – A dinner with Massimo Catalani’ on March 14 at his residence, just one day after the Italian artist (centre right) had presided over a workshop at the Italian Cultural Institute
29 March - 11 April 2019
The Pakistani Embassy hosted a reception following the screening of the documentary ‘Indus Blues’ at Cinemateket on March 20. Among those present were (left-right from third left) Palestinian ambassador Amro AA Alhourani, UAE ambassador Fatema Khamis Almazrouei, Polish deputy ambassador Rafal Wisniewski, film director Jawad Sharif, Pakistani ambassador Zulfiqar Gardezi, Saudi ambassador Fahad Alruwaily, Serbian ambassador Jasmina Mitrovic Maric and Georgian ambassador Gigi Gigiadze
Chilean ambassador Isauro Torres (fourth left) hosted a reception at his residence in Skodsborg following his presentation to the queen on March 15. Among those present were (left-right) were: Argentinian ambassador Conrado Solari (second left), Mexican ambassador Carlos Pujalte (sixth left), Cuban ambassador Yiliam Sardinas Gomez (sixth right), Portuguese ambassador Rita Laranjinha (fourth right) and Brazilian ambassador Carlos Paranhos (second right)
Swedish ambassador Frederik Jörgensen (second left) was among those in attendance at a Q&A following a performance of August Strindberg’s play ‘Fröken Julie’ at Skuespilhuset on March 14 in which the main roles were gender-swapped
Three new ambassadors have arrived in Denmark: Vladimir Barbin (Russia), Isauro Torres (Chile) and Pham Thanh Dung (Vietnam). In time-honoured tradition, may we say: Da-bro pa-zhalovat, Bienvenido and Chào anh!
Contact: Rev. Jens Christian Larsen firstname.lastname@example.org
tel. 2810 2776
THE COPENHAGEN POST | CPHPOST.DK
29 March - 11 April 2019
All hail the green machine: a weekend to make St Paddy proud
PHOTOS: HASSE FERROLD, MAJA MARIA CHRISTENSEN & VIRGINIA PEDANI
O, THAT’S not weedkiller or a particularly bad mojito, it’s beer that has been dyed green, which can only mean one thing: St Patrick’s Day was in town. And once again, the Irish – and everyone else, as we’re all honorary Celts on March 17, providing we wear green – were in full song, as the Copenhagen St Patrick’s Day Parade and the St Patrick’s Day 3-Legged Charity Race took over the streets of the Danish capital. Given it was a Sunday, it wasn’t quite as raucous as last year, but they still did Ireland proud!
ALL PHOTOS: HASSE FERROLD
The parade and three-legged race once again reigned supreme, while the Radisson Collection made a stunning cameo
A huge crowd assembled at Rådhuspladsen ahead of the parade setting off. This year’s honorary starter was Irish ambassador Cliona Manahan, who addressed those present from the stage
Ambassador Manahan then led the parade through the streets of the city centre, with Irish Among the pipers out in force on the parade was Kaj Larssen (left), the president of the St wolfhounds, Gaelic dancers and St Patrick himself – actor Ian Burns Andrew Society of Denmark and also KUKS
Two days earlier, Ambassador Manahan was the proud host of a St Patrick’s Day reception at the Radisson Collection in central Copenhagen, where hotel manager Brian Gleeson and his little helper, along with Helen McEntee, the Irish minister for European affairs, The result, as in previous years, was breathtaking – underlining how no other national together turned on a button to illuminate the façade of the building day can come close to the way St Patrick’s Day has permeated its way into Danish life
29 March - 11 April 2019
of seven participating pubs – along with Kennedy’s, Axelborg Bodega, The Shamrock Inn, Pub & Sport, Victoria Pub and The Dubliner – where the ‘athletes’ had to down half a pint each. It must be said that our correspondent witnessed very few running – except for in the final 100 metres, where they all gamely mustered a final sprint.
ALL PHOTOS: MAJA MARIA CHRISTENSEN & VIRGINIA PEDANI
EANWHILE, across town, there was slightly more urgency among the competitors in the St Patrick’s Day 3-Legged Charity Race – 250 this year, accor ding to race organiser Siobhan Kelleher-Peterson, who has confirmed the race has now raised over half a million kroner since becoming a charity in 2007. The Globe (above) was one
Outside The Dubliner was clearly the place to be as the warriors of the course congregated to share their stories of trip-ups, over-steps and leg-overs
Say it loud “We are the men in green”: Morten, Alexander, Rasmus and Gorm
James’ father Jon found fresh wind to blow him over the line
Camille and Emilie: three legs, eight eyes, two World Cup winners
All smiles with DJ Vinyl Fluff, Louisa Thorsém, Sven Persson, Olga Kulikova and Stefan Ringstrøm
Spanish joker Carlos found his perfect match in Jack from Ireland
Sarah didn’t need to get Cornelius changed out of his pyjamas
THE COPENHAGEN POST | CPHPOST.DK
29 March - 11 April 2019
A Column of Fire Sat & Sun 15:00, until March 31; Bellevue Teatret, Strandvejen 451, Klampenborg; bellevueteatret.dk The Danish-language musical adaptation of Ken Follett’s historic bestseller, which is set in the 16th century, has English subtitles at the weekend – via the ‘thea dogood’ app. (MMC)
CPH: DOX March 20-31; various venues; cphdox.dk Catch the last four days of CPH: DOX’s program of 200 films, along with debates, conferences, concerts, art exhibitions, VR installations and parties. Some 110,000 guests attended in 2018. (VP)
Science & Cocktails March 30: Den Grå Hal, Refshalevej 2, Christiania: 50-150kr The meeting asks: Can media affect how we see the world – and how? Researcher and entertainer Johanna Blakley provides the talk ahead of a documentary screening – all mixed with good cocktails. (MMC)
Meet the doc makers March 29, 18.30; Aveny-T, Frederiksberg Alle 102; 90kr Meet Moria Demos and Laura Ricciardi, the makers of Netflix show ‘Making a Murderer’, at this CPH:DOX event. (MMC)
Stråla Yoga at Absalon Fridays 09:15; Absalon Church, Sonder Boulevard 73, Cph V; 50kr Stråla Yoga focuses more on the process than the final postures, leaving more space to move intuitively and naturally. (PM)
Didier Fassin lecture March 29, 15:00; University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Sciences, room 35.01.05; free adm A lecture that questions why so many people are incarcerated but not rehabilitated. (PM)
Danish Language Social April 3, 19:00; Café Cadeau, .C Ørsteds Vej 28, Frederiksberg; free adm Join enthusiastic language learners at this weekly event. All levels are welcome. PM)
Delicate and Rarely Shown ongoing, ends April 28; Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Dantes Plads 7, Cph K; 115kr An exhibition of works from the museum’s storage that rarely see the light of day. (PM)
Open My Glade ongoing, ends June 23; Louisiana Museum, Gl Strandvej 13, Humlebæk; louisiana.dk Pipilotti Rist is acclaimed for her exploration of the moving image, and this exhibition includes single-channel videos, large spatial video and audio installations, and video sculptures. (VP)
An Inspector Calls April 3-13; Krudttønden, Serridslevvej 2, Cph Ø; 140kr; ctcircle.dk Director Jack Wake-Walker has given JB Priestly’s classic 1945 play a timeless setting, with all the actors adopting US accents and cultish costumes for this production. At the very least, it looks interesting! (MMC)
Vesterbro Book Festival March 30, 10:00-15:00; Absalon church, Sonder Boulevard 73, Cph V; free adm A spoken word gathering and a book market where it is also possible to buy a stand and sell your own collection. At the very least, you’ll expand your reading and maybe your social circle. (PM)
Andy Warhol March 30-Sep 8; Moderna Museet Malmö; free adm Discover a whole new side of Warhol that you didn’t know existed. The exhibition is created in a very special atmosphere including silver foiled walls, quotes, murals and a soundtrack with all the Velvet Underground songs. (PM)
A World of Love Feb 9-Sep 8; Arken, Skovvej 100, Ishoj; 60kr; arken.dk Arken presents a vast, sensual exhibition featuring the Australian artist Patricia Piccinini’s wondrous universe of fabulous tales and creatures, which has been known to feature the odd mutated human. (VP)
Pub quizzes March 28 & April 11, 19:30; The Globe, Nørregade 43, Cph K; 30kr, five per team / April 1, 19:30; Kennedy’s, Gammel Kongevej 23, Cph V; 25kr, four per team Don’t miss the quizzes at the Globe and Kennedy’s. The winners get 1,000 kroner at the Globe, and 800 at Kennedy’s.
Improv Comedy CPH nights weekly shows Wed-Sat 20:00, stand-up Sun 20:00; Frederiksholm Kanal 2, Cph K; 100-125kr The Byens Bedste winner Improv Comedy Copenhagen offers a staggering five English-language shows a week. The pick right now is Murder of Crows, a film noir-inspired show.
CPH Architecture Festival April 4–14; various venues; 150kr; cafx.dk The broad, public program focuses on architecture, design and urban development. Enjoy 11 days of films, exhibitions, seminars, bike trips, walks and talks. (PM)
Turandot ongoing, ends June 8; Operaen, Ekvipagemestervej 10, Cph K; 150925kr; kglteater.dk Ann Petersen, who last season dazzled audiences as Minnie in Puccini’s La fanciulla del West, will sparkle once again in the demanding title role in Puccini’s fairy-tale opera. (VP)
Copenhagen Comedy Night April 4, 20:00; Dubliner Downtown, Ny Østergade 14, Cph K; 110kr, billetto.dk An evening of comedy in the company of British comics Rich Wilson and Jayde Adams, who are joined by Irish wisecracker Conn O’Sullivan. (MMC)
Smørrebrød Festival April 5-14; Tivoli, Vesterbrogade 3; 270kr Tivoli is celebrating the Danish lunch classic with a festival. (PM)
Nobody’s Perfect March 28-31; Nørrebrohallen, Cph N; free adm To avoid clothing waste, a big discounted sale is being held by the brand Mads Nørregaard. (MMC)
Reggaeton and Latino Party April 11, 23:00-05:00; La Boucherie, Vestergade 10, Cph K Check out the city’s best reggaeton party with music by DJ Nika Official. (PM)
Katherine Ærtebjerg ongoing, ends April 20; Galerie Mikael Andersen, Bredgade 63, Cph K Ærtebjerg experiments with spray paint and elements from both nature and the domestic toolbox to create large evocative paintings. As the title suggests, everyday tools come together and form strange collage-like skeletons. (PM)
Copenhagen Vintage March 31, 11:00-17:00; Vega, Enghavevej 40, Cph V; 75kr Source original vintage clothing and accessories at the 25 stands present. (PM)
C Grace Chang ongoing, ends April 21; Skanes Konstforening, Bragegatan 15, Malmö; free adm The Asian-American C Grace Chang uses VR, performance and installations to explore queer diasporas and other tensions in ‘The Appearance and Disappearance of Futures and Pasts’. (PM)
Michelle Obama Book Tour April 9, 20:00; Royal Arena, Hannemanns Alle 18, Cph S; billetto.dk Check internet forums for tickets to watch Michelle Obama talking about her book ‘Becoming’. (PM)
SOUTH AFRICA In April experience 13 hand-picked classics and new film hits from South Africa. Join us for talks and debates about the country’s present and past. South African specialties in Restaurant SULT. We present some 50 films with English dialogue or subtitles every month. See what’s on at cinemateket.dk or visit us in Gothersgade 55
29 March - 11 April 2019
Long before April Fools’ Day took hold, Politiken was happy to oblige
From fake alien landings to cannibals eating theatre promoters, the newspaper was a bastion of fake news a century ago DAVE SMITH
PRIL FOOLS’ Day – how we have laughed! From fooling half the foreign staff at the US Embassy in 2017 with the news that their new ambassador would be the golfer John Daly, to trying to convince you that Scandinavians are more proficient at English than the Brits (partly due to their erroneous use of the word ‘literally’), we’ve done our best over the years. But given the rise of fake news emanating from a White House where every single day it is Groundhog Day stuck on April Fools’ Day, there has been an undeniable trend amongst newspapers in recent years to not include a hoax story – with the majority now coming from the business community. In Denmark, it is a tradition that began in 1914 when a Copenhagen newspaper tried to convince its readership that the sun had ‘slept in’ and was nine minutes late rising. But in reality, one newspaper had been at it for years, although it didn’t always need April Fools’ Day as an excuse to publish a bogus story. Telegram from the Moon IN AUGUST 1904, fully three decades before Orson Welles’ famous ‘War of the Worlds’ radio broadcast caused panic across the United States, an advertorial in Politiken for the Dalsgaard’s Coffee Company claimed that aliens living on the Moon had sent an optical telegram to an observatory in Mexico. The problem was that it wasn’t marked ‘advertorial’. And it was placed on the front page! It led to a priest in Frederiksberg pronouncing that Judgement Day was imminent and that we would soon be walking “hand-
A train crashes at Rådhuspladsen in 2001: perhaps the most famous Danish April Fools’ Day prank of them all
in-hand with our brothers from the Moon”. But this was not the first time that the newspaper had courted controversy, as seven years earlier one of its young journalists decided to invent a story. Digestion issues NOTHING in the career of Valdemar Koppel, 25, had suggested he would one day disregard the standards advocated by the newspaper’s founder Edvard Brandes, who decreed Politiken to be “an organ of the highest quality”. But after five years in the job, Koppel had clearly had enough. Assigned to the most mundane stories, and with no sign of promotion, the young journalist decided to have some fun. In April 1897 he wrote a news article that was completely fabricated. The story went to print and caused uproar on the streets of the capital as the public digested the alarming realisation that the city was playing host to a group of people with very different
digestion problems: cannibals! Impromptu midnight feast KOPPEL mischievously timed his story to coincide with a performance by a group of some tribesmen at the Circus Theatre on Studiestraede – the Danish leg of their European tour – and claimed in his article they had very likely murdered their booking agent, Carl Scheel-Vandel. Many spluttered into their coffee as they read about a “drama so horrible and so inhumane that at first your mind will not allow you to accept it as the truth”, learning that the popular promoter had “come to a gruesome end”. The story related that when Scheel-Vandel had entered the theatre’s sleeping quarters late one night to check on the tribesmen, disaster struck. In the aftermath of the midnight feast, a witness described how half-eaten bones were left on the floor, while the walls were covered in bloodstains. “All the promoter’s clothes, including his hat, were placed neatly in a pile. The only
conclusion could be that Mr Scheel-Vandel had been eaten by cannibals,” wrote Koppel. “The only person who could give an accurate account of what occurred that night is no longer with us.” On the fleshy side HAVING already broken the cardinal rule of journalism, Koppel then went on to break the second: speculation. How could a “powerful man, if a little fleshy”, he reasoned, be overpowered by his diminutive guests? The journalist suggested they must have “leaped on him from behind, overpowering him before he had chance to utter a sound”. The report caused uproar, and soon an angry crowd had gathered outside the theatre. Despite the indignant tribesmen claiming they had eaten nothing more sinister than Danish meatballs that evening, they were led away in handcuffs by police. One officer, who had no doubt read the article, described the “cannibals” as having “sinister
grins and bared teeth, lacking only a bone through their nose to complete the picture”. Esteemed infamy IT WAS not until the next day that the truth came out. After Scheel-Vandel appeared intact, apparently none the worse for his “grisly ordeal”, demanding to know what all the fuss was about, Koppel was summoned to the editor’s office to explain himself. When they discovered that they had been duped, angry subscribers deserted the paper in droves and a number of grovelling apologies had to be issued – not least to the innocent tribesmen. The question of how the paper’s editor had allowed the story to slip through was answered by Koppel himself, who claimed that his boss had glanced at it and grunted: “Stick it on page seven.” In his story, Koppel had joked: “Although a grand funeral has been planned, very little remains to be buried.” And the same was true of his career, although his infamy lives on thanks to articles like these.
Try the finest Danish courses in town
Do you have a taste for high-quality learning, outstanding teachers and fast progression? At Studieskolen, Danish has been on the menu for more than 40 years. We know how to serve it. Choose from a variety of different classes at studieskolen.dk
Check out whatâ€™s cooking at Studieskolen