APPLE OLIVE OIL CAKE
HALLOWEEN IN DENMARK
OCTOBER 2023 - WWW.THE-INTL.COM
FROM THE U.S. TO THE HYGGE CORNER:
A HEARTWARMING JOURNEY OF LOVE AND LEARNING.
OCTOBER 2023 - WWW.THE-INTL.COM
AUTUMN HOLIDAYS IN DENMARK:
CELEBRATING "KARTOFFELFERIEN" AND FAMILY FUN!
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GRAPHIC DESIGN The International
VISIT PUMPKIN PATCHES: Denmark has embraced the
Autumn in Denmark is a time of colourful landscapes, crisp air, and vibrant festivities. This season brings a unique set of holidays that revolve around the traditional potato harvest, making it a perfect time for families to immerse themselves in Danish culture and enjoy the great outdoors. In this article, we'll delve into the origins of Denmark's autumn holidays, including the Danish name for the potato holiday, "Kartoffelferien," and provide practical tips and hints for parents looking to make the most of this season with their children.
pumpkin patch tradition, offering a great opportunity for family fun. Let your kids select their favourite pumpkins for carving and decorations. Some farms even organise pumpkin-related events and activities.
Ophelia Wu; Alexandra Beck; Mariano Davies;
INDULGE IN TRADITIONAL DANISH FOOD: Autumn is the perfect time to savour traditional Danish dishes like "stegt flæsk med persillesovs" (pork with parsley sauce) and "æbleskiver" (apple dumplings). These specialities are found in local restaurants, street vendors and most supermarkets.
Skak Harboe; Dominic J Stevenson
ORIGINS OF AUTUMN HOLIDAYS IN DENMARK Denmark's autumn holidays are deeply rooted in the country's agricultural traditions, specifically the potato harvest. In the past, this was a crucial time for Danish farmers as they gathered their potato crops to prepare for the upcoming winter. To celebrate a successful harvest, they initiated a week-long holiday known as "Kartoffelferien." "Kartoffelferien" translates to "Potato Holiday" in Danish. It marked a time of abundance and gratitude. Families would gather to dig up potatoes, often in picturesque fields with scenic autumn views. This labour-intensive activity became a communal event, strengthening bonds between the family and the local community. The harvested potatoes were stored to provide a vital source of sustenance throughout the long, cold winter months. Today, it's celebrated as a family time of togetherness and local travel.
PRACTICAL TIPS FOR PARENTS
PARTICIPATE IN POTATO HARVESTING: Embrace the tradition by joining local farmers during "Kartoffelferien". Many farms open their doors to families, allowing you to pick your potatoes. It's a beautiful opportunity for children to connect with nature and learn about the importance of agriculture.
EXPLORE DANISH NATURE: Denmark's stunning landscapes come alive with the rich colours of autumn. Plan outdoor activities like hiking, picnics, or nature walks in parks like Rold Skov, Dyrehaven, or Mols Bjerge National Park. Encourage children to collect colourful leaves and pinecones to create autumn crafts.
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ATTEND LOCAL FESTIVALS: Keep an eye out for local autumn festivals. These events often feature music, dance, and arts and crafts. They provide a fantastic chance for your family to immerse themselves in Danish culture.
PREPARE FOR CHANGING WEATHER: Danish weath-
Monika Pedersen; Sara R. Newell; Michaela Medvedova; Natasha Liviero; Heather Storgaard; Natália Šepitková; Luke Hannon; Rikke
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er can be unpredictable during autumn. Dress in layers, and make sure your family has warm, waterproof clothing to enjoy outdoor activities comfortably. As the Danes say, There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes.
Michaela Medvedova; Aina Masood; Ane-So-
PLAN COSY INDOOR ACTIVITIES: Have a list of in-
Jadhav; Shaeema Zaman
door activities ready for rainy days. Museums, art galleries, and cultural centres offer educational and entertaining options for children.
BLENDED CULTURES: Halloween, an international festival of ghouls and costumes, has gradually crept into Danish culture. While not a traditional Danish holiday, it's increasingly embraced by the younger generation. Danes now blend this fun celebration with their own rich traditions. Denmark's autumn holidays offer something for every family!
EDITOR & FOUNDER THE-INTL.COM
phie Custura; Terumi Mascarenhas; Leslie Noygues; Shelly Pandey; Shivangi Singh; Ritika Jain; Pavlos Tsiakoumis; Sakib Akhter; Rashmi
SALES firstname.lastname@example.org The International is published online 12 times a year. This issue was published on 16 October 2023. Notice: The publishers regret that they cannot accept any liability for error or omissions contained in this publication. The opinions and views presented need not necessarily reflect those of the publishers. Readers are advised to seek special counsel before acting on any information contained herein. All rights reserved. No part of this publication or contents thereof may be reproduced, stored or transmitted in any form without written permission from the publishers. Published by and © 2021 The International ApS. Registered in Denmark / CVR Number: 39118181
OCTOBER HOLIDAY EVENTS IN DENMARK LYNDSAY JENSEN EVENTS COORDINATOR email@example.com
VISIT COPENHAGEN - DANIEL RASMUSSEN
TIVOLI FB PAGE
FRILANDSMUSEET FB PAGE
VISIT ODENSE - JOHAN TOBIAS JOENSEN
12 OCT - 5 NOV
HALLOWEEN AT THE TIVOLI GARDENS
HALLOWEEN AT FRILANDSMUSEUM
While Halloween, in general, is not a big holiday in Denmark, it has significantly gained popularity in the last few years. Take your friends and family on a frightfully fun experience at one of Copenhagen's most famous attractions, the Tivoli Gardens, for pumpkin fun in a bewitching atmosphere. The park celebrates Halloween from mid-October to November with enchanting decorations, Halloween-themed shops and ghoulish surprises. Ride along on The Little Ghost Train, shop for monster trinkets, watch Halloween fun in the Glass Hall Theatre and taste delicious autumn dishes across the Gardens or treat yourself to a Witch Punch. Do you dare to enter the Haunted House?
(Un)happiness filters through Frilandsmuseet. During the autumn holidays, Halloween returns to Frilandsmuseet, and this time, creatures from Nordic folklore have taken over the museum. During the autumn holidays, creatures from Nordic folklore attend the Open Air Museum's village, and the villagers need your help to overcome trolls, witches and goblins. Meet wise wives and frightened villagers and fight creatures with a bow and arrow. There will also be fun breaks from spooky experiences with magic, face painting, a pumpkin lantern workshop, obstacle courses and dangerous snacks such as toxic candy floss, mouldy popcorn and more.
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TIVOLI FB PAGE
VISIT AARHUS - MARIA HALSE
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BACHATA DOMINICANA COPENHAGEN FB PAGE
ZENZA FB PAGE
GRENNESSMINDE - TVENDEHUS FB PAGE
AUTUMN HOLIDAYS AT TVENDEHUS
Welcome to the scariest event of the year!
Come by and visit us during the autumn holidays!
Are you ready to step into the darkness where nightmares come true? Zenza will be transformed into a terrifying universe. Come and join if you dare!
Bachata Dominicana Copenhagen was first created by Lærke Birk in 2020 but since 2022 has been a joint adventure with Mette Larsen who then took over the project in 2023. They've since made sure to keep their knowledge and inspiration fresh by frequently participating in Dominican Festivals around Europe, participating in Instructor courses, and visiting the Island. Come and join us for a night of dance! You don't need experience in Dominican Bachata to join.
Tvendehus is open Tuesday-Sunday from 10:00-16:00 in week 42, so come by for some fun and cosy days.
Halloween Bingo Don't expect an ordinary night of bingo. Our host, Kid, will seduce you into a world of unexplained events. Win wilder than-ever prizes that will send chills down your spine if you dare to enter.
The week offers various (un)pleasant activities for the little ones, including a monster hunt that gets the children out into the beautiful autumn surroundings. Stay tuned to this event to see what activities are offered. The activities can be paid for on the day.
NEW: Introducing Bachata/Merengue Animations
Best dressed costume Ready to show off your scariest costume? At 00:00, the winner of the year's best dressed will be announced.
The café is also open so parents, grandparents, and friends can settle in the courtyard and the cosy nooks at Tvendehus.
- Intro workshop at 19:00 - everyone can join (no experience needed) - With carefully selected music: Dominican Bachata but also Salsa and some Merengue - At a cosy bar in the centre of Copenhagen (close to Nørreport) - Your hosts: Mette - Closing at 01:00 at the latest
Don't wait, get your scary weekend ticket now!
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Tvendehus is a social economy company, so by shopping with us and participating in the activities, you also support our work for young people with special needs.
If you are coming from outside of Denmark, please sign up by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or PM on Facebook or Instagram.
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BACHATA DOMINICANA COPENHAGEN FB PAGE
ZENZA FB PAGE
GRENNESSMINDE - TVENDEHUS FB PAGE
FOR MORE INFO: HTTPS://FB.ME/E/1J5D2HJSC
ART ESCAPE STUDIO
WEEK ESCAPE FB PAGE
UGERLØSE KIRKE FB PAGE
VAMPIRE PADDLE BY NIGHT
THE LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS
GLOW IN THE DARK PAINTING
Join the Vampire Paddle by Night on Saturday, 28 October 2023, on SUP or in your kayak and help light up the night in a scary way with demon masks.
Again this year, the horror hits Ugerløse town and church. Last year was a huge success; it will be even wilder and creepier this year.
BLACK LIGHT PAINTING FRENZIE Have you ever painted in the dark? Join us for a super hip Halloween glow fest.
Masks are available for loan (limited number). You are welcome to wear other scary costumes and mount lights. Pictures will be taken so you will always be remembered. Both Stand Up Paddlers and kayakers are welcome to participate in the event, as well as children accompanied by an adult.
This year, the city will be full of barbaric Vikings and bright warriors who will create a lot of drama and horror. Both for young and old.
Art Escape Studios is inviting you in for a spooky good time! We will be decorated with creepy crawlies and ready for you. We LOVE Halloween.
On the sports grounds, there will be a medieval market with everything that goes with it and plenty of opportunities to buy handicrafts, food and drink. In addition, this year, give our labyrinths a try.
Experience Glow in the Dark Painting on a whole new level.
You can participate with your own equipment or rent equipment for only DKK 179. Contact us for board/kayak hire.
Ugerløse will be the setting for medieval services throughout the day, with lots of beautiful Gregorian chant.
After the event, there will be scary witch fingers to eat, blood for the thirsty (and of course some coffee and tea), as well as lots of other (un)delicious goodies. Dare to attend?
FOR MORE INFO FOR THIS: HTTPS://FB.ME/E/76AUJ4QVU
PRICE: only DKK 200. MEETING PLACE & TIME We meet at Refshalevej 20, Copenhagen, at 17:15 and are ready to go on the water at 18:00
All your materials are provided: - Canvas - Phosphorescent paint - Neon Paint - Acrylic Paint - Brushes - Easels - Palettes Halloween inspiration in every corner, and of course, your first drink is on us!
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Come dressed up, covered in neon or just in your best painting clothes and get ready to have a great experience...
FOR MORE INFO: HTTPS://BIT.LY/3OY00PA
A value-driven community that welcomes students ages 4-16. Rygaards has a strong reputation of a rich educational experience with a nurturing atmosphere where students learn to think for themselves, find their own voice, and engage with the world with confidence and curiosity. • High academic standards • Christian ethos • Beautiful campus, located in Hellerup • Global community • NEASC accreditation • Cambridge Assessment International Education Bernstorffsvej 54, 2900 Hellerup +45 39 62 10 53
Learn more at rygaards.com
OCTOBER 2023 - WWW.THE-INTL.COM
SHANNON’S HYGGE CORNER
DENMARK MIGHT NOT HAVE BEEN THE ORIGINAL PLAN, BUT SHANNON FREDERIKSEN QUICKLY FOUND HER FOOTING AND CARVED UP A COSY PIECE OF DENMARK FOR HERSELF AND THE CHILDREN SHE EDUCATES.
WHEN YOU'RE TALKING to Shannon, it's not hard to see why her students are happy to see her when it's time for tutoring. Full of excitement for her Danish life and helping children progress through play, she's made Denmark her home after love brought her across the ocean.
PITTSBURGH FOR LIFE But before she opened up the Danish chapter of her life, Shannon grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and stayed in the same state for college. "I would describe Pittsburgh as such a homey city. Once you've lived there once, you're Pittsburgh for life. Everyone's so friendly, and it's almost like everybody knows everybody. And there's such a good culture around sports and family… I just think that when you're in Pittsburgh, you feel like you're at home." No wonder Shannon likes to go back and visit once or twice a year. Going there for a few weeks never seems like enough time to enjoy with friends and family. "It's hard because there's so many things here in Denmark that I love, and then there's so many things in Pittsburgh that I miss." After all, she had taught in Pittsburg for eight years.
THAT IS, UNTIL LOVE BROUGHT HER TO DENMARK Jakob, her husband, was studying for his Master's, and they were doing a two-week exchange during which they came to New York City. Shannon was just there for a girls' trip. They met at a bar one Friday night and hit it off. "But I was like: You're from Denmark, I'm from here, this isn't going anywhere. We didn't even exchange phone numbers or anything. I never thought I would see him again, and the next night, we ran into each other again, which, people would say, seems like fate because you don't really run into people in New York City twice."
LOCKED OUT They stayed in contact, Jakob visited her again, and they decided to give things a go.
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TEXT MICHAELA MEDVEĎOVÁ
They spent two amazing weeks together and knew right then they had something that would last. For two years, they dated long-distance. "I would come to Denmark during Christmas break or on summer holidays because I had the summer off as a teacher, or he would visit me. Those times when we were actually together were so special and exciting. But then the time between was hard, and we missed each other." They got married in July 2019 in Frederiksberg in a small, sweet ceremony. They wanted Jakob's grandparents at the wedding and knew they couldn't travel to the US. The plan was to follow it up with a big US wedding the year after. "We got married, and four days later, I had to return to the US because I still had a job there. We planned for Jakob to come to the US, but while his visa was being processed, he wasn't allowed to live in the US with me. We thought it would just be a couple of months. And then COVID happened, and we were locked out of each other's countries. The government buildings were shut down, things were taking a long time, and they couldn't expect the visa to come anytime soon. "So many people asked me: How's married life? I didn't even know how to answer that question because I lived with my parents, and my husband lived across the world." So when, in May 2020, the borders opened up in Denmark to foreign spouses, they decided for Shannon to come to Denmark instead. Two weeks later, she packed up two suitcases and moved. "We didn't have a lot of time to think about it. They didn't give a timeline for how long they kept the borders open. Jakob and I are both big planners; in this instance, we just had to go with it and hope for the best."
MESHING CULTURES TOGETHER At first, being in Denmark was great because Shannon and Jakob could finally be together. On the other hand, Shannon landed in Denmark just when everything was shut down, so she couldn't explore the country like a new expat would. Jakob was home with her for a while. "But when he returned to work, I think that's when it really sunk in with me. The schools weren't looking for teachers, and finding a job was very hard for
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me. So then I was just at home all day - and it's not like I could go to a coffee shop or try to meet friends because everything was shut down." Luckily, Jakob's family and friends made Denmark feel more like home. "Danes get a bad rap sometimes for being cold and standoffish, but I have never had that experience. They've been so warm and welcoming. They're just going to take their time to get to know you." With Jakob, there are definitely little cultural differences in their relationship. "He wants an open-face sandwich, and I'm like, no, it's like a smushed burger, and I'm going to eat it with my hands, whereas he grabs a fork and knife. It's funny little things like this that we started to learn about each other and the cultures. But we both value each other for who we are and try to mesh the cultures together." Jakob's family, for example, always wants to celebrate the big US holidays like Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July. Shannon also loves learning more about Danish Christmas traditions or Festelavn through them. Still, it wasn't easy for the independent Shannon to relearn everything in a new country and rely on other people. "Grocery shopping took me an hour because I had to Google translate every label. I really had to rely on Jakob a lot. I mean, there was a day when I wanted to do laundry and didn't even know how to work the laundry machine without him translating the settings. But he's been so sweet, going above and beyond to ensure I feel at home here." Eventually, Shannon also found her professional footing. She made some connections and started tutoring online. "But I was still itching for the school environment where I had colleagues and could make friends. In spring 2021, that's when things kind of changed because I got a job at Copenhagen International School (CIS). I felt like I had found my groove a little, found my own friends, started to learn Danish, and felt a little more at home."
LEARNING THROUGH PLAY Shannon knew she wanted to be a teacher from when she was little. She used to come home from school and continue to play school. She had imaginary students on a chalkboard in her room and would do homework and pretend to be a teacher. "I was always around kids growing up. I love their pureness and how fun and curious they are. I just think there's so much to learn from kids. My family is full of teachers, so it was a nobrainer for me to become one. My friends in high school had no idea what they wanted to do, and I've known I wanted to be a teacher since I was 5." She found every opportunity to work with kids - from babysitting to being a swim coach for younger kids. "I love spending time with them and seeing their growth through the years." Of course, teaching comes with challenges, but Shannon loves going home at the end of the day, knowing she did something that day that really mattered. Having worked in Pittsburgh and Copenhagen, she had the chance to compare the ed-
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"SHE REALLY APPRECIATES DANISH SCHOOLS BECAUSE T H E Y VA L U E C H I L D H O O D I N T H E E A R LY Y E A R S , A N D THERE'S NOT TOO MUCH PRESSURE AND STRESS PUT ON KIDS." ucation systems. "In the US, kids start kindergarten at 5, but it's not like here. By the end of kindergarten, they're expected to read, write, and do math. Here, it's more about enjoying childhood, learning through play, and learning through nature." She really appreciates Danish schools because they value childhood in the early years, and there's not too much pressure and stress put on kids. "They can just be kids and have fun. I know some parents think they're just playing all day. But there's so much to it: when you're in it with them, you see how they're growing and how their minds are working. I'm a firm believer that kids learn best through play."
THE HYGGE CORNER After a year of working at CIS, Shannon could reapply for a new contract or try something different. At the back of her head, she always had this idea of working with kids differently. "I found a lot of families who moved here throughout the school year, and I would help them settle in. They needed extra support, but they only found extra activities in Danish - and no one in the family speaks the language. That's where the idea of The Hygge Corner stemmed from." Shannon talked to Jakob about her idea, and he was supportive from day one, saying that she should take a risk and try it out. "And so far, so good." The Hygge Corner offers tutoring and homeschooling help, working with children oneon-one on skills where they need extra support. She's also the person who helps parents navigate the educational system for their kids. In addition, she works with families that have English as their second or third language. "I had a little one who didn't speak any English when I first met her a year ago. Now, she's just blabbering away about everything and anything. It's cool to see the progress and say: We did this together." As another part of her business, she's also creating sensory playboxes - for example, a make-your-own-pizza box or a construction box where kids can pretend to be construction workers - and then she's creating maker kits. Here, kids can work on different skills - sewing, creating their own herb garden, or creating their own nightlight aquarium. "We really try to make fun boxes, and the kids want to do it, but we're also trying to weave in some learning simultaneously. I never want to do tutoring with a kid where they think, oh, here comes Shannon again. And I would say right now, all my kids are super excited
when I arrive at their door. The same goes with the products - we want the kids to want to open up their box and try and learn something new."
DOUBLE PARTNERSHIP As any small business owner would likely agree, especially at the start, you must wear many hats behind the scenes. So Shannon's not just the tutor and maker of the boxes. She's also the accountant and secretary and is getting increasingly into Instagram as the social media manager. "I love making boxes and branding our whole product series. I would like to give somebody else those tedious tasks like invoicing and talking about pricing." Luckily, she has Jakob to help her run the business. By day, he is a fulltime IT and finance consultant; at night, he is Shannon's business partner. She's the educational and creative side of the business - he's the operational side. "We've been trying to find the balance because when he's been working all day, and there are things I need to work on with him afterwards, it can get tricky. But we have come up with a little system where I give him some downtime, and then I ask: Can we talk about the business, or do we just need to relax tonight? I never want this to become a strain in our relationship." Now, they're both looking forward to expanding their business and product line, starting collaborations with other companies, and organizing events like free story times in the park. "Being out in the community where we can meet more families is one of our main goals - we want to keep bringing the hygge to everybody and provide more community events where families can meet each other. I know from working at the CIS that it's hard for families when they first move here and don't have the community." And as for their life in Denmark? "We've really found our home here. Jakob and I feel so settled here, and we hope to start a family soon. We think it's the best place to have kids and let them grow up and feel safe and supported. So, we are pretty set on staying in Denmark. Once you're here and see how great things are, you couldn't ask for anything more." THE-INTL
OCTOBER 2023 - WWW.THE-INTL.COM
BECOME AN EXPERT IN ONLINE INTERVIEWS THE ART OF NAILING THE DO’S AND AVOIDING THE DON'TS.
TALENT ACQUISITION PROFESSIONAL LUKE HANNON SHARES RELEVANT TIPS AND HINTS IN YOUR CAREER SEARCH. PHOTOGRAPHS PEXELS
TEXT LUKE HANNON
I’VE BEEN IN the recruitment industry for over eight years now. That’s over a quarter of my life! In this time, the industry has been transformed by online interviewing. The Covid lockdown has only transformed even faster and more widespread. Even so, I still see people making the same mistakes and harming their chances of landing their dream job. These five dos and don’ts will help you become an expert in online interviews!
“Nothing gets an interviewer’s blood boiling more than constant interruptions."
DO: REMOVE ALL DISTRACTIONS Slack, email, and social media. These three things have caused more failed interviews than I can count. We live in a world where people are online 24/7, which often means they are tied to their emails and Slack messages. If you can’t be away from your emails for the duration of the interview, you need to rearrange. I’ve been in interviews where the interviewee's focus has been split between the manager's questions, incoming emails and listening out for the mailman. Not removing distractions meant that he didn’t focus entirely on the interview he was a part of and didn’t get the job he was, on paper, perfect for. Always remember: When you’re in the interview - be in the interview.
LUKE HANNON SENIOR TALENT ACQUISITION PARTNER
DO: TREAT IT AS A “PROPER” INTERVIEW I once had an interviewee interrupt the manager because they were in a queue at Starbucks. Needless to say, she didn’t get the job. Many people still see an online interview as less critical than an in-person one. This attitude is holding so many people back from landing the job of their dreams. Just because you’re not physically meeting the interviewer, you should treat it as if you are. This means finding a quiet place for your call. It means coming prepared, having researched the company and prepared a list of questions. Always remember: A video interview is still an interview.
DO: SHOW THE CORRECT VIRTUAL BODY LANGUAGE 55% of communication is body language. 38% is your tone of voice, and the remaining 7% is what you say. This means that your body language greatly affects how you come across in an interview. You can maximise your chances of landing the job by nailing your body language in a video interview. This means: • Hold “eye contact” • Use “open” body language (no crossing your arms!) • Have good posture • Smile These simple things will hugely increase your chances of nailing your online interview. Always remember: 55% of what you communicate isn’t from what you say.
DON’T: INTERRUPT Nothing gets an interviewer’s blood boiling more than constant
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interruptions. Sometimes, delays caused by technology can mean you and the interviewer talk across each other. Sometimes, you’re so eager to answer the question that you forget to wait for the interviewer to finish. That’s okay! Once. Twice max. Just don’t make a habit of it! To avoid this, all you need to do is relax and take a pause. A few seconds is all you need to make sure the interviewer has finished, and you can give yourself a little time to think of the best answer you can. Many people interrupt because they feel that they need to answer the question immediately. This isn’t true at all. So, take a breath, take a moment and then respond. Always remember: If you want the job, don’t interrupt.
DON’T: FORGET TO CHARGE YOUR DEVICE Imagine being 30 minutes into a 60-minute interview. You’re wowing the interviewer with your “great attention to detail” and by how “tech-savvy” you are… and then your screen goes blank. You bash the keyboard in a panic before you realise that your laptop is out of charge. You spend five minutes to find a charger and another ten to turn the computer back on, the interview is over. Much of your hard work until now has been undone by not charging your device ahead. It may not seem like a big deal, but why run the risk? Always remember: Don’t forget your charger. There you have it! Nail these dos and don’ts, and you’ll be sure to land your dream job before long! Stay tuned for next month. THE-INTL
Luke is a Senior Talent Acquisition Partner at SYBO Games, t he comp a ny b e h i nd t he smash-hit game Subway Surfers. Based in Copenhagen (by way of London)!, he has been working to make SYBO grow. He spends his time finding the best talent that the games community has to offer! He is always keen to build relationships by bringing passion and enthusiasm to the recruitment process. An advocate of Employer Branding, Luke works with the talented people at SYBO to let the world know how great a place it is to work. When he's not hiring awesome talents for SYBO or cycling (he does live in Copenhagen, after all!), he's busy reading his favourite books and channelling his inner Hemingway as a writer! @Luke Hannon @ Hannon Recruits @ hannonrecruits
UNDSKYLD VI ER HER
SORRY FOR BEING HERE PHOTOGRAPHS PEXELS
TEXT MICHAELA MEDVEDOVÁ / SARA R. NEWELL
THE DANISH MINISTER of Finance recently found himself in the middle of something the Danish media called "a shitstorm". So what was all the fuss about?
THE SPECIALISED SOCIAL AREA - A SCAPEGOAT FOR MUNICIPAL CUTBACKS At a recent press conference where the government presented the financial bill for 2024, a journalist from DR asked the Danish Minister of Finance, Nicolai Wammen, how it was possible that so many municipalities had to make welfare cutbacks such as closing down primary schools, at the same time as the government has found several billion kroner extra and states that the Danish economy is strong and that money is not an issue. Nicolai Wammen replied that Danish municipalities make a massive effort every day but have a difficult task, as they are hit by inflation and have to make cutbacks due to expenses caused by the specialised social area - i.e., people with disabilities and other challenges. Although the term "specialised social area" includes several groups of people who need specialised assistance services, the term is also primarily associated with social services for people with a disability. As The International has covered in several previous issues, "the specialised social area" has a long history of being underfunded and under-prioritised, which has given rise to increasing criticism of the current government and Danish social policies by citizen groups and disability organisations.
cebook profile, stating his regret that his words were perceived by people with disabilities as a criticism of them and the existence of their needs. He wrote that it was in no way his intention and that this didn't reflect his values. "I know how important it is for people and their relatives that there are good offers in the specialised social area it is a crucial part of our welfare society," he said, concluding that he was upset if his words left people with a different idea about his views on people with a disability.
"A THANK YOU TO THE MINISTER OF FINANCE"
Among others who reacted to the statements by the Minister of Finance was Monica Lylloff, one of the founders of #enmillionstemmer. In her commentary published by Altinget.dk, she writes that the rhetoric of using people with disabilities as a scapegoat for cutbacks is nothing "THE SITUATION IN TODAY'S new: "This cuckold rhetoric has since created a political DENMARK HAS ALREADY REACHED narrative that people with disabilities cost our country SUCH A POINT, THAT SOME PARENTS OF a lot of money, and that it is at the expense of everyone else. It has almost become the norm that when decisions SEVERELY DISABLED YOUNG PEOPLE about municipal cutbacks are made, the 'expensive disability area' is pointed at as one of the reasons why primaAND ADULTS ARE SO WORRIED ABOUT ry schools have to close, and why there is no money left to WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THEIR LOVED make sure that there are enough employees to take care of ONES WHEN THEY NO LONGER ARE NOT children in daycare." Monica criticises the notion that the Minister of Finance THERE TO LOOK AFTER THEM, THAT wants to negotiate with municipalities to bring down costs for the specialised social area and points out how often THEY ACTUALLY HOPE THAT THEIR municipal decisions are overturned and, furthermore, how CHILDREN WILL DIE BEFORE THEM." further cuts will affect people with disabilities: "Parallel THE #UNDSKYLDVIERHER CAMPAIGN to this narrative, municipalities make mistakes in up to MONICA LYLLOFF The day after the press conference, hundreds of Facehalf of the rulings in the specialised social area, often rebook posts flourished under the hashtag #UndskyldViErsulting in rulings simply being overturned by a higher authority. This means that in far Her (#SorryForBeingHere). #UndskyldViHer was started by the grassroots movement too many situations, people do not get help or have to wait a very long time for the nec#enmillionstemmer, and the movement's Facebook group was flooded with ironic posts essary help. The consequences are enormous, both financially but also at a human level. from people with disabilities and their families, where they apologised to Nicolai WamConsequences for incorrect rulings can often be that people develop additional diagnomen for existing and for costing society. Facebook group members used the #Undskyses, parents become unemployed and get sick from stress. In other words, cutbacks are ldViErHer campaign to speak out against the Finance Minister's statements and used planned for a system which is already totally dysfunctional." their posts to detail the realities of their daily life with a disability to shed light on the Monica continues, "Therefore, it is quite reasonable to conclude that the Minister of Fialready diminishing social services and support. Furthermore, several posts highlightnance and other politicians are using a cynical scapegoat effect to avoid taking responed how difficult it is for people with a disability to gain access to social services, regardsibility for implementing the major structural changes necessary to change the current less if they are legally entitled to social services and assistance from the municipality. situation for a large group of people. It is undignified." One mother wrote on behalf of her 4-year-old daughter, "I am sorry. I am sorry that I was born with a rare congenital deformity which is just caused by genetic bad luck. I am sorry that the municipality I live in has to spend money on me. I am sorry that I have severe epilepsy, and that I need constant surveillance to make sure that I am ok. I am sorry that it is necessary to employ people to monitor my terminal condition. Sorry for being here!" Shortly after the start of the campaign, Nicolai Wammen posted an apology on his Fa-
MICHAELA MEDVEDOVÁ comes from Slovakia and moved to Denmark 3 years ago to study for her Master's degree. She says living in Odense is the perfect city for her because it's not too large to be intimidating, but still exciting! She works at Umbraco as a Magical Copy Whisperer and started a podcast with her friends - @humans.of.sdu. She loves watching and talking about movies, Harry Potter, karaoke nights (even though she can't sing to save her life), and pub quizzes (winning them, to be specific).
While commenting on the situation on her website, Monica Lylloff paradoxically thanked Nicolai Wammen - she thanked him for reopening a much-needed discussion about the situation for people with disabilities in Denmark and their rights: "I would like to start by thanking the Minister of Finance Nicolai Wammen. Thanks to his statement at the press conference on 31 August 2023, the debate on the situation of people with disabilities and mental vulnerability has now reached a level higher." THE-INTL
SARA R. NEWELL is from Canada, went to high-school in Costa Rica, and has worked and studied in Iceland and Denmark. She is a disability rights activist and has a master's degree in Technological Business Development and Biomedical Engineering from Aarhus University. Sara has lived in Denmark since 2003, and lives with her husband and daughter. She hopes to contribute and share insights with others who have children with disabilities. https://www.linkedin.com/in/sararose-newell-b1904726 / https://m.facebook.com/groups/bakopomdepaarorende
OCTOBER 2023 - WWW.THE-INTL.COM
SPICE UP YOUR WORKOUTS AUTUMN IS TIME TO UN-PAUSE THE GYM MEMBERSHIP OR DISCOVER AN OPPORTUNITY TO TRY SOMETHING NEW!
TEXT ALEXANDRA BECK
IF YOU ARE like me, you absolutely love the autumn for all the cosiness it brings to our free time - pumpkin spice lattes, fluffy sweaters and lots of chestnut hunting with the kids. As cooler days set in, we are also starting to feel like it’s about time to get into some fitness routines to keep up with the cinnamon buns. We have been blaming the good weather for postponing the gym sessions, and now we are discussing with our inner selves about what will make us move our bodies more.
Whatever you decide, here are some tips on how to spice up your workouts:
PERSONAL TRAINER &
1. TREAT YOURSELF TO SOME EXPERT HELP
Alex is a Swiss/Brit mom and
Yes! Hire a personal trainer for a few sessions to get your goals set and your programme in place. Nothing is better than getting external advice on how to go around the gym’s equipment efficiently and according to your time needs and physical objectives. We have all been aimlessly wandering the gym floor and spending valuable time doing nothing but a few stretches. Believe me when I tell you that you can get a very good programme in the bank within 30-40 minutes if you know exactly what to do.
2. DITCH THE OLD MEAL PLAN You have decided to get back on the nutrition train and dug out the meal plan you got ten years ago… leave it in the drawer, or even better, throw it out! Your body, lifestyle and movement patterns have almost certainly changed over the years, meaning your old meal plan will no longer be relevant, no matter how it “worked for you” back then.
3. MODERNISE YOUR WARDROBE This may sound odd, but getting some new gear may just help you to get moving! Not only will it make you feel more “ready” for a workout by making you feel more confident, but it will also give you more free-
OCTOBER 2023 - WWW.THE-INTL.COM
wife who has lived in Copenhagen since 2009. She switched from corporate life in communications to the independent life of an outdoor personal and group fitness trainer. She coaches people of all dom in your movement by choosing the right clothing. Moreover, consider changing your footwear regularly if you plan on working out 2-3x per week - although your shoes may look new if you have been wearing them for months (or even years), they may no longer be providing you with the support you need and may be the cause of some unwanted injuries, like heel spurs.
4. UPDATE YOUR WORKOUT PLAYLISTS The power that music has on your motivation is unbelievable! If you have repeatedly listened to the same tracks, it may be time to update those Spotify playlists. Did you know you can easily share playlists with friends and family or find amazing new ones on most online music platforms? It’s a great way to get some excellent sound in your headphones and level up your overall pace. Ensure that the music is uplifting and
with a happy beat to avoid wanting to meditate instead of lifting the weights.
5. INVEST IN A FITNESS TRACKER Fitness trackers and pulse watches are an excellent way of making your daily movement more fun and a little competitive if that is what you enjoy! Personally, I love my Apple Watch. I make it a mission to close all my “circles” daily - clocking in my steps, daily exercise goals and staying time. It may just be another gadget, but if it will help you to get going, it’s worth a try! It’s never easy to start or stay in the workout routine game, so if you have been thinking about it and want to make a conscious step towards a healthier lifestyle, some of the above may just help nudge you in the right direction. It did for me. Especially getting new workout accessories. THE-INTL
ages and fitness levels to find fun and consistency in movement through individual and group workouts. Delivering entertainment and spreading group fitness magic is her superpower. Alex encourages you to high-five her if you see her in the capital!
@alexbeck.fit @alexbeck.fit @alexbeck.fit
HALLOWEEN IN DENMARK A SPOOKY EVOLUTION FROM FOREIGN TRADITION TO FESTIVE FAVOURITE! PHOTOGRAPHS PEXELS
TEXT RIKKE SKAK HARBOE
HALLOWEEN, A HOLIDAY with roots in Celtic traditions and Christian rituals, has become a global phenomenon in recent years. While it has always been popular in countries like the United States, it has also found a special place in the hearts of people in Denmark. HALLOWEEN'S HUMBLE BEGINNINGS IN DENMARK In Denmark, Halloween started as a niche event celebrated by expats and a few enthusiasts introduced to the holiday through American media and culture. During the late 1990s and early 2000s, it was primarily seen as an imported custom, lacking deep cultural roots in Danish society. However, the fascination with Halloween began to take root, and over the years, it has grown into a nationwide celebration.
THE INFLUENCE OF GLOBALISATION One of the key factors contributing to Halloween's popularity in Denmark is globalisation. As the world becomes more interconnected through the internet, movies, and television shows, traditions and customs from different cultures are easily shared and embraced. Danish youth, in particular, have been exposed to Halloween through Hollywood films and popular TV series. This exposure ignited a curiosity about the holiday, and many young Danes started to adopt Halloween as a fun and exciting event.
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AND CULTURAL EXCHANGE Halloween also started to gain traction in Denmark due to community engagement and cultural exchange. International schools, expat communities, and social media platforms were vital in promoting Halloween-related events, such as costume parties and haunted house tours. These activities helped introduce Halloween to a broader audience and encouraged more people to participate.
SCHOOLS AND EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS Another factor that contributed to the growth of Halloween in Denmark was its incorporation into educational institutions. Schools began to organise Halloween-themed events and activities, allowing students to learn about the holiday's history and traditions. This educational aspect helped demystify Halloween and made it more accessible to the younger generation.
DANISH ADAPTATIONS While Halloween was initially an imported tradition, the Danes started to put their unique spin on it. They began incorporating elements of Danish folklore and mythology into Halloween celebrations. For example, some people would dress up as traditional Danish creatures like trolls, elves, or the legendary "Nisse." This fusion of cultures gave Halloween in Denmark a distinct flavour that resonated with the local population.
THE WIDESPREAD POPULARITY OF HALLOWEEN TODAY Today, Halloween in Denmark is no longer seen as an outsider's holiday. It has become a beloved tradition that
"TODAY, HALLOWEEN IN DENMARK IS NO LONGER SEEN AS AN OUTSIDER'S HOLIDAY. IT HAS BECOME A BELOVED TRADITION THAT BRINGS PEOPLE TOGETHER FOR A NIGHT OF SPOOKY FUN."
brings people together for a night of spooky fun. In cities and towns across the country, you can find houses adorned with jack-o'-lanterns, children trick-or-treating, and adults attending costume parties. Danish bakeries even offer Halloween-themed pastries and treats. You can also check your local area's events for Halloween activities. Some towns have haunted houses or bingo-style trick-or-treating. THE-INTL
OCTOBER 2023 - WWW.THE-INTL.COM
COPENHAGEN AIRPORT THE NORDIC TRAVEL HUB.
TEXT MARIANO ANTHONY DAVIES
COPENHAGEN AIRPORT WAS originally called Kastrup Airport after the small town it is next to. It was opened in 1925 and was one of the world's first civilian airports. It is located just eight kilometres from the centre of Copenhagen, and with its 60,000 daily passengers, it's the largest airport in Scandinavia. Pier E is Copenhagen Airport's latest wing, covering 36,000 square meters, with 13 gates and a brand-new passport control. Pier E is central to the airport's comprehensive plan towards 40 million travellers. It has a raw look, with specially designed chairs and two gigantic works of art by HuskMitNavn and Alexander Tovborg.
MARIANO ANTHONY DAVIES PRESIDENT & CEO OXFORD BUSINESS SERVICES APS
THE AIRPORT'S ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY Vilhelm Lauritzen was one of Denmark's most important architects and the man behind several touches of genius in this airport. He was the one who laid the jatoba wood flooring, installed the round skylights and created the iconic VL-Terminal, which has already celebrated its 80th anniversary. Vilhelm Lauritzen was a poetic modernist who, more than anyone else, has been influential in creating the airport's visual expression. He has made his mark in Copenhagen with iconic buildings that include the VLTerminal, the concert venue Vega, Radiohuset in Frederiksberg and Daells Varehus. Vilhelm Lauritzen was one of Danish architecture's most striking individuals and, without comparison, the most influential architect in the airport's history. In addition to the old terminal from 1939, he designed Terminal 2, thus laying some of the architectural cornerstones for how the rest of the airport was later to develop. The old airport terminal, which was later named after the architect himself, won the original tender in competition with another iconic Danish architect, Arne Jacobsen. Today, the building is protected and functions mainly as Danish Queen Margrethe's VIP terminal when she welcomes visiting foreign Heads of State.
WHO WAS VILHELM LAURITZEN? Vilhelm Lauritzen completed his architectural training in 1921 and founded his own practice a year later. He was deeply fascinated by butterflies and once stated in an interview that if he had not become
OCTOBER 2023 - WWW.THE-INTL.COM
Mariano has over 40 years global experience as a bus "ONE IN TEN PASSENGERS TRAVELLED TO SPAIN, THE MOST POPULAR DESTINATION OF THE YEAR AND ON THE LONG-HAUL ROUTES, THE UNITED STATES MADE A REAL COMEBACK WITH ALMOST 800,000 TRAVELLERS." an architect with butterflies as a hobby, he would probably have studied zoology and designed buildings in his leisure time. Consequently, natural science also became a professional focal point. He had the same scientific approach to a building process that he had when studying the life cycles of butterflies in his leisure time. Lauritzen's architecture also applied art; his buildings were designed for the people, not the elite. In his drawings, there is thus a clear ideal: space and form must exist for generations, which is exactly what makes his buildings, even today, seem modern, according to his peers.
NORDIC HUB HISTORY Copenhagen's Airport was the first in the world designed exclusively for civil traffic. There were only a few small hangars and two small runways at the time. Flying took place exclusively during the summer months since there were no navigational aids. Improved technology allowed for year-round flying in the 1930s. It wasn't long before Copenhagen Airport became the connecting point between the Nordic countries and the rest of Europe. The German occupation of the country in the 40s halted further developments in Danish civil aviation. Then, after the
war, the airport went on to become an international hub since it suffered very little damage in the course of the war. During the 50's, the terminal was extended, and air cargo became a part of the business. It became a two-terminal airport in 1969, and a beautiful Transfer Shopping Centre was added in the 1980s. Work on links to the airport by airway and highway with the Scandinavian Region (Sweden and Norway) and with the peninsula of Jutland/Germany were completed by the end of that decade. By 1993, 12.9 million domestic and international passengers travelled through Copenhagen Airport, and more than 244,000 tons of cargo were handled. By then, it served ten domestic, 139 international, 105 European, and 34 intercontinental destinations, with 12,000 people directly employed by the airport. With 22.1 million passengers last year and 160 destinations on the route map, years of dramatic decline ended, and 2022 became a turning point for Copenhagen Airport. One in ten passengers travelled to Spain, the most popular destination of the year and on the long-haul routes, the United States made a real comeback with almost 800,000 travellers. THE-INTL
iness executive. He spent ten years with KPMG, so far thirty years with British Chambers of Commerce (while also running Oxford Business Services ApS). He is a British citizen, who grew up in Kent, went to boarding school in Sussex and has a British university education. He has been married to a Dane for over 45 years and has held over 150 official anti-Brexit speeches since 2016. He both speaks and writes Danish without difficulty. oxford-business.com
APPLE OLIVE OIL CAKE POPULAR WORLDWIDE, VARIANTS OF THE HUMBLE APPLE CAKE HAVE BROUGHT JOY TO THE KITCHEN TABLE FOR CENTURIES. PHOTOGRAPHS & TEXT: NATASHA LIVIERO / PEXELS
APPLE OLIVE OIL CAKE MAKES 1 X 23CM CAKE
INGREDIENTS: 230g white granulated sugar Zest of 1 lemon 160g olive oil 3 XL eggs 5g lemon extract 210g flour 1g salt 15g baking powder 2g cinnamon 2g nutmeg (optional) 3 apples 230g plain, full-cream yoghurt/Greek yoghurt
CAN BE SERVED WITH WHIPPED CREAM.
METHOD: 1. Set oven to 1800C. Line the base and grease a 23cm loose-bottom springform cake tin. 2. Zest the lemon, and then massage the zest into the sugar with your fingertips. 3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, blend the sugar, olive oil, eggs and lemon extract with a paddle attachment for 8 minutes until thick, creamy and doubled in volume. 4. Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg if using. 5. Peel and core the apples. Cut two apples into 1cm cubes. Quarter the third apple and slice thinly to decorate the cake's top. 6. Gently fold the yoghurt and cubed apples into the mixture with a spatula or wooden spoon. Do not over-mix! 7. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the mixture until just combined. Do not over-mix, or the cake's texture will be dense and gooey. 8. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and smooth the surface. 9. Place the sliced apples in a decorative pattern over the surface of the cake, pressing lightly to prevent the apples from lifting while baking. 10. Bake for 55 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cover lightly with a piece of tinfoil if the cake begins to brown on the surface. 11. Cool cake in the tin. 12. Sprinkle with a dusting of icing/confectioners sugar before serving. 13. This cake keeps well for 3 days in an airtight container.
NATASHA LIVIERO - PASTRY CHEF Natasha is a pastry chef who is South African by birth and Croatian by blood. She spent many years working for a wellness publication but did an about-turn at the beginning of 2020 when she joined a culinary school to fulfil a lifelong dream to study patisserie. She’s passionate about European patisserie and loves spending time in the kitchen experimenting with recipes (while quibbling with her fe-line friends), and is always on the hunt for interesting new cookbooks. natashaliviero
OCTOBER 2023 - WWW.THE-INTL.COM
FROM "POTATO HOLIDAYS" TO HALLOWEEN DANISH PUPILS AND STUDENTS HAVE A ONE-WEEK AUTUMN BREAK EVERY YEAR. IT WILL BE FROM 14TH TILL 22ND OCTOBER THIS YEAR. DANES ARE ALWAYS EXCITED FOR THIS HYGGE FAMILY TIME - BUT IT WASN'T ALWAYS LIKE THAT.
TEXT NATÁLIA ŠEPITKOVÁ
IN THE MIDDLE of October, when nature changes colour from green to yellow, red and brown, and mornings are foggy and evenings cold, Danish children have a small break from school. Some of them travel with their parents to exotic destinations to extend the summer, and others spend a few days in cabin houses (in Danish sommerhus) in Denmark. Still, usually, the majority have family time in nature or at home with a hygge atmosphere. Many cultural institutions, zoos or amusement parks organise special events this week. Copenhagen has, for example, an annual event, Kulturnatten, this year on the 13th of October, when many museums, galleries and cultural centres are open till midnight with an exciting programme offer. Most elementary schools in the country organise Motionsdag – a day of exercise and sports games the day before the beginning of the autumn holidays. So there are many things to do to avoid kids' and teenagers' boredom. The autumn break is a week of having fun and enjoying the freedom of having no homework for the coming days.
WHAT DO POTATOES HAVE TO DO WITH IT? Many years ago, in September and October, which were (and still are) months of harvesting, children living in the countryside were allowed time off from school to help their parents work in fields and gardens. The problem was that each farmer had a different time for harvesting, so it was difficult for schools to maintain the learning process and have children away at another time. The solution came in 1899 when it was decided that the official potato school holiday was placed over all Denmark in mid-October, in week 42. Since then, every year during this period, children were taken out of school for a week to work with their parents, usually harvesting potatoes. By the way, it wasn't only Danish ting. I remember when my parents mentioned that they also had "a potato break" from school in autumn, circa 50 years ago in Slovakia. Nevertheless, they lived in the city. It was
OCTOBER 2023 - WWW.THE-INTL.COM
NATÁLIA ŠEPITKOVÁ FREELANCE JOURNALIST AND WRITER Natalia is a Slovak journalist based in Aalborg, Denmark. voluntary work for pupils and students, organised by the school, and despite the work, it was pretty enjoyable.
MODERN CUSTOMS Today, most varieties of potatoes are harvested during the summer, so instead of "the potato holiday", Danish children have efterårsferien. At most, they go with their parents to pick apples in the orchards or help in small gardens around their houses. Tradition has remained only in some activities during the autumn break, which are thematically focused on potatoes. Many municipalities also organise their own potato fests – Kartoffelfestival. If you want to learn how potatoes made their way from South America to Denmark – first as pig feed and later as a large part of the Danish daily diet – you should visit the Danmarks Kartoffel Museum.
AND THEN HALLOWEEN ARRIVED… Modern autumn holidays are often associated with the upcoming festivals at the end of October. Therefore, it is common for many event centres and amusement parks to be decorated with pumpkins during this period. The American tradition came to Denmark many years ago and be-
came associated with All Saintʼs Day. At that time (end of October and beginning of November), Danes also remember their deceased relatives by lighting candles on their graves. But back to Danish Halloween. It is celebrated in the same way as everywhere else in the world. Children wear spooky costumes, visit houses in the neighbourhood, and ask for sweets. People organise horror parties and not-to-bemissed spooky decorations with candles and carved pumpkins. But they wouldn't be Danes if they didn't adapt it a little. Don't be surprised when many homes will have carved turnips or rutabagas as jack-o'lanterns in addition to pumpkins. THE-INTL
TIPS FOR ACTIVITIES DURING THE AUTUMN HOLIDAY; 1. Collecting chestnuts and making animals from them is the best activity for small kids. 2. Playing board games with the whole family – even teenagers will be entertained. 3. A nice trip around the country to discover new places – can be a good choice for the whole family.
She has around 15 years of experience in journalism. Her experiences as an editor and a reporter were founded in Slovak magazines and newspapers. She was also working as a TV reporter, a TV moderator and a host in radio broadcasting. Part of her career included working with PR and marketing. Natália is also a content creator on her social media. Follow her blog www.mamavda ns k u . com , whe re s he writes about life in Denmark. @Natália Šepitková @Mama v Dánsku @Mum in Denmark
"TODAY, MOST VARIETIES OF POTATOES ARE HARVESTED DURING THE SUMMER, SO INSTEAD OF "THE POTATO HOLIDAY", DANISH CHILDREN HAVE EFTERÅRSFERIEN."
THE DANNEBROG AND FLAG WORSHIP IN DENMARK PHOTOGRAPHS HEATHER STORGAARD
TEXT HEATHER STORGAARD
YOU DON’T HAVE to have been in Denmark for long to notice the ubiquitous flag flying everywhere. Named the Dannebrog, the red and white Nordic cross is (according to most Danes) the oldest flag in the world, one of the few with its own name and a nonnationalistic expression of Danish identity. How much of that is true? And how did the flag become such a part of everyday life? The Danish flag was revealed to the Danes in the thirteenth-century Battle of Lyndanisse in Tallinn, Estonia. This occurred during the Crusades when Danish troops fought to convert the local pagans to Christianity. The Danes were losing but were saved by the Dannebrog falling from the sky. If you are ever in the Estonian capital, there are several statues and monuments to the mythical origin story at the castle, where you can often find Danish tourists snapping pictures. When I was first told this story and the fun facts about the flag, I thought I was being teased. You see, the Scottish and Danish flags shared almost identical origin stories: ours came from the sky in battle as the Scottish Picts were about to lose against the Anglo-Saxon English. The Saltire also has a name and is claimed to be even older than the Dannebrog. However, now I’ve read a bit more about it, it turns out that one of the first regular users of the Scottish Saltire was a Scottish Queen, none other than Margaret of Denmark. With such close links between European royal families, it perhaps isn’t so odd that some stories have been transferred backwards and forwards until no one knows who told them first. Despite the considerable age of the Dannebrog, the ubiquitous nature of the flag wasn’t always as we know it today. Before the 19th century, the permitted uses of the Dannebrog were minimal and ordinary people were not allowed to fly it. This changed with the advent of romanticism when many European countries looked back to their pasts for inspiration in art and culture. Not coincidentally, the Danes were in conflict with their German neighbours for much of that century, prompting a re-think of all things German in origin. And what better symbol for Denmark than the holy flag, the oldest in the world? Thus began the tradition of using the Dannebrog for general celebration and to show unity as a nation. Today, the Danish flag is everywhere in a way that stands out even among other flag-mad Nordic nations. The Dannebrog is flown on certain days of the year to celebrate pretty much anything (this year, we get an extra day, 15th October), is used to celebrate birthdays, graduations, births, weddings, christenings and more, is a welcome sign at airports and flown outside nearly every house in the countryside. In fact, flying any non-Nordic flag without special permission was considered illegal for over 100 years, with critics pointing out that Denmark’s rules were stricter than even some authoritarian states. Earlier this year, the Su-
"The Dannebrog is flown on certain days of the year to celebrate pretty much anything."
HEATHER STORGAARD WRITER
preme Court was asked to decide on the rule after a Dane was taken to court for flying the US flag simply because he was a big fan of the nation! Ultimately, the Supreme Court decided against the guidance of the Danish Flag Society and proclaimed that any flag, other than those of Denmark’s enemies, could be flown freely. Among internationals, using the Danish flag alongside our own has become a famous symbol of mixed culture and appreciation for our adopted country. I was recently at a wedding where the Danish and Peruvian flags decorated a Kransekage (Danish wedding cake) side by side, a lovely symbol of the bride and groom’s international relationship. From now on, we can enjoy this on flag poles, too! THE-INTL
Heather Storgaard comes from Northern Scotland, grew up in Switzerland, and lived in England and Germany. She met her Danish and soon-tobe British husband back in 2017, and they now split their time between Central Scotland and Helgenæs, a peninsula in rural Eastern Jutland. Suitably for a Scot, Heather works with whisky, spending her time writing and translating, with a particular softspot for the up-and-coming world of Nordic Whisky. @heatherstorgaard
OCTOBER 2023 - WWW.THE-INTL.COM
FOOTBALL IN DENMARK
AND PLAYERS IN OTHER COUNTRIES.
TEXT DOMINIC J STEVENSEN
FOOTBALL IS BIG in Denmark, there is no denying it. Most of my neighbours support an English football club and a (maybe local) Danish one. The English Premier League feels like a Holy Grail for many nations across the globe, and Denmark is no different. They love their football here. All the neighbours’ sons are playing it (there are mostly boys in our neighbourhood; I hope lots of girls are out there doing the same), football being a massive part of daily life. Denmark’s football heritage is rich both in and beyond its vast shores. While recent times marked the narrow loss of the Danish women’s national side against England in the women’s World Cup over on the other side of the planet (and then England ended up runners up), I certainly feel an affinity with the Danes now as well as my home nation. I’m not sure who I will choose to win in 5, 10, or 15 years when the two nations coincide. My team, Nottingham Forest, had a Danish player – Philip Zinckernagel – when, in May 2022, we finally won promotion to the hallowed Premier League again (after a 23-year wait to return). He was the most notable of a few Danes to play for my club, and unforgettable scenes mean he is forever in our hearts. Christian Eriksen, the remarkable survivor of the 2021 European Championships, is a global icon for more than just his football. He is a modern hero for what he overcame and what he conquers daily as he continues his career at Manchester United. I know the Laudrup brothers and Jan Molby from past days watching international football, particularly top-flight football in England (Molby played for Liverpool, one of Forest’s nemeses) as a child. Of course, as a young teenager in 1992, Denmark winning the Euros that year lives on in both my mind and the entire nation I now reside in. That accomplishment is one the nation would love to see repeated. And there is an abundance of talent playing both at home and abroad.
OCTOBER 2023 - WWW.THE-INTL.COM
DOMINIC J STEVENSON WRITER / MUSICIAN / ARTIST D om i n ic J Steve n s on i s a 3-time published author and the creator of the Literary Portrait / Visual Artwork pro"OF COURSE, AS A YOUNG TEENAGER IN 1992, DENMARK WINNING THE EUROS THAT YEAR LIVES ON IN BOTH MY MIND AND THE ENTIRE NATION I NOW RESIDE IN."
ject. He comes from Nottingham, England (Robin Hood land) and is a husband and
I know Danish players at Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, Brentford, and several other clubs. There is also an abundance of Danish talent in another two of the best leagues in the world – the Bundesliga in Germany and the Italian Serie A, not to mention a smattering across many other top leagues worldwide. Most famous active female Danish players include national side captain Pernille Harder (goal scorer at the recent women’s World Cup as well as most capped and alltime leading goal scorer for the Danish women’s side), Nadia Nadim (a player with a well-documented back story), Simone Boye Sørensen (a staple since her debut in 2011), and Sanne Troelsgaard (their second most capped player of all-time). While my encounters with Danes have revealed that they all support one of the current creams of the crop of English football, I do maintain the hope of finding someone who follows my own team. I would like it if they also supported some of the lesser globally renowned clubs (Brent-
ford would be a good one, as they have a Danish coach, Thomas Frank, and six Danes in their squad). While I have a lot to learn about Danish football both here on Danish shores and further afield, including the women's and men's games, it's a good starting point to know the once-champions-of-Europe are as nutty about the "beautiful game'’ as the English that designed it are. For now, the English have the most competitive and attractive league globally. Is it any wonder it has Danes, other Scandinavians, and players from across the world playing there? In the meantime, I can’t wait to dive deeper into the Danish football scene here at home. I am still contemplating which Danish side to support. I need to feel that connection, not just support the best side right now, and such decisions take time. A Jutland team would be wonderful to support. A few possibilities do present themselves to me. When the time is right, the club will inevitably make itself known to this fan. THE-INTL
father. He is a writer, musician, and artist. His writing has been published on many platforms - both online and in magazine format. He has lived in Denmark since 2022, in several European countries before that, and has recorded one album as Vincent Bella (The Dark Side Pulling At Us) and speaks fluent Spanish. He is enjoying learning Danish, albeit rather slowly. He loves the arts (music, film/ TV, literature, impressionism and more), tennis, football (Nottingham Forest FC), travel, languages, laughter, and Lego. Dominic J Stevenson
THANKS AND GROWTH PHOTOGRAPHS PEXELS
TEXT MONIKA PEDERSEN
THE SEASON OF Autumn marks the end of the summer and the "Balance is crucial, so whilst learning to read and count is important, it is equally essential to be creative and artistic."
start of shorter and cooler days. It also marks the passage to Winter. However, we are blessed with the beauty of spectacular colour from the leaves on the trees and a few beloved traditions. In past times, it was mainly known as the season when the crops were brought in. In countries such as the United States and Canada, this appreciation is celebrated by ‘Thanksgiving. It is known as ‘w’ in Denmark, remembered on November 10. The focus is on food, feasting, and celebrating the good aspects of life.
As nature is slowing down, the hubbard in the classroom is heating up, as the thrust of learning is turning up a gear. The first weeks in August are a time of introductions, review, and consolidation. It is a time to cement previous knowledge and build trusting relationships with the students in the class. September tends to mark the start, in earnest, of the first-grade programme, specifically the teaching of phonic sounds, numbers and their bonds, and about the world around them. And in an instance, it is October, and the pace of learning is stepping up, for there is a big focus on understanding the sound patterns so the students can sound out the sounds of the letters, run them together, and pronounce a simple word such as ‘red’ or ‘cat’. This is an enormous undertaking for both the teacher and the students. A lot of encouragement needs to be given to build confidence. And the students are trying very hard to grasp the steps to perform. They are incredibly excited to be able to read their first word. This is not to say this is the only focus in the classroom, but it is undoubtedly one of the biggest. Balance is crucial, so whilst learning to read and count is important, it is equally essential to be creative and artistic. Autumn really lends itself to this, as a science lesson is so much more enriching with collecting leaves of different colours in the park and studying them. As well as a discussion about the seasons and how they differ. And art lessons need to involve pumpkins and carving. And, of course, for almost all children, ‘Halloween’ is a huge date in their calendars, so time and energy are allocated to class decorations to mark the date.
PARENT AND TEACHER MEETINGS It is usually the first official meeting with parents during Autumn to discuss a student’s learning and experience in their new grade level. There are small updates as and when you meet parents dropping off or collecting their child, but these are not quite the same. And if any concerns arise earlier, parents are contacted swiftly, so the child can be supported. At the meeting, parents hope their child is progressing well, and the huge interest is in their literacy, numeracy, and social development. A parent’s natural wish is for their child to be happy, secure, and learn. The next steps and the path forward are also of interest. The meeting is an important opportunity to take a big stride in relationship building with a parent. The better the communication and the approach, the more trust, faith, and cooperation a
MONIKA PEDERSEN INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR Monika comes from the London area of the UK, where she worked in the state system and the international school system, as an English teacher of 11-18 students and then a high school principal. She has also worked in leadership roles in Germany and in Denmark. She has an overview of the British, Internationparent will share. This bond is crucial as both parties are aligned in raising a child. It ensures that the efforts are supported at home in the coming months with more intense spiral learning. Home reinforcement through reading together and reviewing numbers truly helps propel a child’s learning.
al, American, and the Danish system. She has many years of experience and continues to enjoy the profession. She has relocated to Copenhagen
and enjoys the city and sum-
Unlike the season’s developments, the reverse process occurs in classrooms. The most intensive learning takes place in the months of September through to the end of April. Each day is precious, as time passes so quickly that the festive holiday seasons will arrive before it has been anticipated! THE-INTL
mer house life with her Dan-
ish husband. @monikapedersen @monikapedersen @monikapedersen
OCTOBER 2023 - WWW.THE-INTL.COM
THE IMPORTANCE OF HAVING A SPIRITUAL BELIEF/ANCHOR. PHOTOGRAPHS PEXELS
TEXT OPHELIA WU
I'M NOT SURE about you, but lately, I've heard many of my friends, myself included, going through some changes. Some may say it's part of life. Yes, life is all about experiences and learning to grow from them. Everyone has a different resilience, so it's tough to comment on how life changes hit anyone. I used to think it all comes down to how strong someone is when they deal with life changes or any setbacks, but as I grew up and became more spiritual, I now believe that it is essential to have an anchor, a belief of some sort, because sometimes in life, no matter how strong and tough you are, you are just helpless and life reminds you that you are a human being after all, you can only hang onto that faith and anchor yourself.
OPHELIA WU FASHION CONSULTANT & JOURNALIST
SPIRITUAL VS RELIGION I like to see that spirituality and religion are positive life teachings, an umbrella term for us to learn how to humble ourselves in front of nature and life. Many are very spiritual without any religious beliefs, and vice versa. I never understood why specific communities are so devoted and religious, but as life has shown me how powerless one can be, how do you go on without destroying yourself? You seek comfort and guidance, you seek support, you want to know answers and the future. As a normal human being, these are all natural things we tend to do when shit hits the fan. I respect all religions and spiritual practices, as I believe the ultimate intention is to guide us to look inward and learn how to be a good person, living an honest life with integrity and kindness. To me, they are ancient words of wisdom and life teachings. However, there is a fine line between superstition and anchoring yourself onto a faith or a belief. Being superstitious is blindly following something without knowing or understanding why, yet having a belief is a proper understanding of all the teachings and rationale behind it, and it makes sense to you where you can apply it in your life to improve it.
OCTOBER 2023 - WWW.THE-INTL.COM
"I LIKE TO SEE THAT SPIRITUALITY AND RELIGION ARE POSITIVE LIFE TEACHINGS, AN UMBRELLA TERM FOR US TO LEARN HOW TO HUMBLE OURSELVES IN FRONT OF NATURE AND LIFE." THE IMPORTANCE OF FINDING AN ANCHOR Why do we need an anchor? What even is an anchor? To me, an anchor is a safe haven, a safe harbour that you know will be protected and reclaiming the sense of peace whenever needed. I believe there is a higher power above us all. Whatever it's called, it protects and guides you in times of need - all you have to do is listen. But amid chaos, mayhem, upheavals, and a storm, you can easily be dragged into all directions without realising it. Having that anchor is crucial because it is almost like an invisible bubble that protects you from the outer world, strength and force that keeps you in place while you calm down and figure out the next step. It's like a seatbelt while you're on a roller-coaster. Why is it important? Because there are so many times in life when things go wrong or not as planned, the despair, the fear of uncertainties and anxiety can easily consume
you, and there is nothing much you can do to change the situation. All you can do is hold onto the faith and belief that something better is coming, things will work out, and you will be okay again. The anchor, if it's a religious belief, is even more critical during these times because it will give you the guidance and calmness you need, the peace you crave and the comfort you seek. I've heard many times from my devoted religious friends saying. 'Let go and let God'- it is a very trusting and liberating act of surrendering. We fight against life and resist letting go because we're so afraid things will be uncontrollable, but it is precisely this holding onto what's not working and our persistence in trying to control the outcome that makes us feel even worse. That 'let God' ( or Universe or whatever you call it) part is the anchor - a safe place, a knowing that will give you the support and strength to get through it. THE-INTL
L i ke he r hometow n Hong Kong, Ophelia has a diverse background and upbringing. She moved to Copenhagen in 2019 after 10 years of living in London. Her fashion and journalism career began in 2007 at ELLE Hong Kong magazine, and later on as an online stylist at Net-A-Porter.com in the UK; she has worked with all sorts of creatives, brands and celebrities globally. She now works on everything fashion and communicationrelated. With her love of travelling and places her work brought her to, people she met from all walks of life inspired her to start her own business M for Minimal: a place to raise the awareness of going back to basics through conscious consumption and mindfulness with a touch of spirituality - something she has been practising since her teenage years. @mforminimal.com @mforminimal.mfm @opheliawu
#STAND WITH UKRAINE #PEACE FOR UKRAINE
OCTOBER 2023 - WWW.THE-INTL.COM