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Culture & Lifestyle

Despite of its size, Denmark has a rich and diverse culture. Many think of furniture design, literature and architecture when they think of Danish culture and lifestyle. Yet today, Denmark is equally famous for its’ fine cuisine and films.

Noma, awarded best restaurant in the world four times, has spearheaded the introduction of a whole new way of cooking with its New Nordic Cuisine and has inspired chefs and restaurants all over the world. Filmmakers such as Lars von Trier and Susanne Bier have won a multitude of international awards, including The Academy Awards and The Palme d’Or.

The one Dane who outshines the rest when it comes to international stardom is Hans Christian Andersen, whose world famous fairytales are translated into more than 125 languages. The philosopher Soren Kierkegaard and author Karen Blixen are also well-known names of Danish literature worldwide. 

Photo: H. C. Andersen, famous for his fairytales such as "The Ugly Duckling".

When talking about Danish design it is impossible not to mention architects like Jorgen Utzon who build the iconic opera house in Sidney, or Bjarke Ingels, one of the most sought after architects of today. Within design, Denmark does not only excel in architecture. Georg Jensen is known worldwide for his modern silver designs and furniture designers as Børge Mogensen, Hans Wenger, Poul Kjærholm and Poul Henningsen have all made their contribution to making Denmark renowned for interior design. Most famous of all is perhaps Arne Jacobsen. The now world-famous Swan and Egg chairs are great examples of Jacobsen’s contribution in making the “Danish Modern” style world famous.

Photo: The famous Egg chair by Arne Jacobsen.

The Danish people are known for their easy lifestyle, and have been named the happiest people in the world for three consecutive years. A big and important aspect of the Danish lifestyle is “hygge”, a concept closely related to the English word “coziness”. “Hygge” is perhaps best described as a relaxing time with good friends or family, often while enjoying good food, or creating a friendly atmosphere by lighting candles. Christmas is the quintessence of “hygge”, when family and loved ones comes together to celebrate the holidays.

Denmark and Danish people also pride themselves of having a healthy work-life balance which allows Danes to prioritize their time between work and their private life. The Danish welfare model incorporates a high degree of flexibility in its working conditions such as flexible work hours. There are also many social support networks, including maternity leave for both men and women and childcare facilities. This does not only place Denmark as one of the most equal societies, but also contributes to a high standard of living. Many other countries are now trying to understand the ideas behind Danish quality of life to create a higher standard of living in their own societies.

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