Danish Language Blog

A love letter to the Danish sky Posted by on Jun 30, 2014 in Uncategorized

Everybody knows that Denmark is not Copacabana. Does such a sad thing as the Danish himmel, where all that cold regn [rhyne] (rain) originates, really deserve a kærlighedsbrev (love-letter)? Well, take a look at the classical oil paintings of Skagensmalerne (the Skagen painters). P.S. Krøyer, Mickael Ancher, Anna Ancher and the others – they were all enchanted by the infinite lyseblå (bright blue) of the sky, mirrored in the ocean on both sides of the Skagen peninsula (the northernmost “branch” of Jutland). Even with skyer (clouds) they found it so smuk (beautiful) that they left their original homes and settled down in Skagen to capture lyset (the light).

Carl locher skagen september 1913

“Skagen september 1913” by Carl Locher

If you fancy a selfie in front of the “bright Nordic skies”, though, there are other options than Skagen. After all, Denmark is a flat country, where one half is made of veje (roads), marker (fields), øer (islands) and vand (water). The other half is made of clouds and solnedgange (sunsets).

People coming from bjergrige lande (mountainous countries) are often surprised by the wide horizons in Denmark. There is so much sky that the country virker større end det faktisk er (seems bigger than it actually is). It does take some time, however, to appreciate. If you live in a
wild country with a lot of amazing landscapes, Denmark most probably will seem a bit kedelig (boring) at first. Skønheden (the beauty) is in the details. Walk slowly, and the sky will open!

Okay, most Danes har benene solidt plantet på jorden (“have their legs solidly grown i the earth” = are down-to-earth-ish), and spend more time looking at screens and each other than looking up. But we also love talking about vejret [vare-eth] (the weather) and how bad or cold or lovely it is. If you’ve ever felt the gentle sun on a Danish beach, or driven through idyllic-but-monotonous villages of røde murstenshuse (red brick houses), or bopped along to the groove among the people on the huge plains of the Roskilde music festival, you’ll see why people still refer to the legend that claims the Danish flag fell from the sky…

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About the Author: Bjørn A. Bojesen

I was born in Denmark, but spent large parts of my childhood and study years in Norway. I later returned to Denmark, where I finished my MA in Scandinavian Studies. Having relatives in Sweden as well, I feel very Scandinavian! I enjoy reading and travelling, and sharing stories with you! You’re always welcome to share your thoughts with me and the other readers.