An Introduction to Danish Culture


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About the Book

Denmark, the southernmost Nordic nation, remains little-known to many citizens of the world. Too often conflated with its Scandinavian neighbors to the north, it is a land of generally flat terrain, with an inviting temperate climate. The land of the Danes has much to offer visitors, and this guide to Danish society, culture, and history offers an inside look, with details on Denmark’s substantial contributions to science, engineering, exploration, seafaring, literature, philosophy, music, architecture, and many other fields. Brief portraits depict such Danes as “Clown Prince” Victor Borge, Hans Christian Andersen, Kierkegaard, and Out of Africa author Karen Blixen. Throughout, there is a focus upon Denmark’s human rights record, democratic institutions, and humanistic traditions. By examining Danish culture, this work fosters a greater understanding of Denmark, its people, and their way of life.

About the Author(s)

Norman Berdichevsky is a professional translator, writer and lecturer for several major cruise lines. Formerly a lecturer of Judaic studies at the University of Central Florida, he is the author of several books and lives in Orlando.

Bibliographic Details

Norman Berdichevsky
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 239
Bibliographic Info: 29 photos, 2 maps, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2011
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6401-2
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8652-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1


1. The Rise and Fall of the Danish Sea State      5

2. Danish Wind Power      11

3. Bornholm: Denmark’s Easternmost Baltic Reach      17

4. The Faroe Islands: An Ancient Nordic North Atlantic Outpost      22

5. “Arctic Denmark”: Greenland Yesterday and Today      28

6. How the Danish West Indies Became the U.S. Virgin Islands      33

7. The Gågader: Denmark’s Pedestrian Streets      42


8. Jewish Provincial Cemeteries: A Cultural Landmark to Tolerance      49

9. Jutland vs. Copenhagen      57

10. The Danish Language      64

11. The Rebild Celebration, Danish Americans, and U.S.-Denmark Relations      76

12. Hygge and Happiness      85

13. Food and Drink      92


14. Piet Hein: Renaissance Man      101

15. Victor Borge: The Clown Prince      107

16. N.F.S. Grundtvig: Spiritual Father of the Nation      114

17. Hans Christian Andersen      120

18. Søren Kierkegaard      130

19. Arne Sørensen and Danish Unity      137

20. Arne Jacobsen: The Father of Danish Design      144

21. Tycho Brahe: Astronomer without a Telescope      148

22. Niels Bohr and the Copenhagen Mystery      153

23. Karen Blixen: From Rungsted to Kenya and Back      159

24. Queen Margrethe II      163


25. Canute and the Danelaw in England      167

26. The German- Danish Border Question, 1815–1919      174

27. The German- Danish Border Question, 1920 to the Present      187

28. The Yellow Star Legend and Kings Christian X and Boris III      199

29. The “Jewish Question” and the Danish Minority in Nazi Germany      208

30. The Danish- Swedish Sibling Rivalry      216

Bibliography      223

Index      227