Danish Language Blog

What’s Dangerous in Denmark? Posted by on May 19, 2017 in Uncategorized

A rare sign in Denmark: Mortal danger! Quicksand! (Photo by the blogger.)

Australia’s got sharks, Canada is grizzly ground, Iceland has volcanoes. But what is farlig [farlee] (dangerous) in Danmark?

Lots of people enjoy a bit of spænding i tilværelsen (excitement in ”the being” = in life). If we as mennesker (humans) didn’t appreciate a good kick, I guess we wouldn’t springe ud i faldskærm (”jump out” in a parachute) or bestige bjerge (climb mountains) for fun. What do Danes do to keep their adrenalin levels above zero?

Life in Denmark is very orderly and I’ve heard foreigners call the country something like ”pretty but boring” (no names revealed!) In fact, the word tryghedsnarkomaner (safety junkies) was once coined by a poet – Vita Andersen – to describe the Danes and their struggle to control anything that threatens the fred og ro (peace and quiet). Here are just two examples of how fare (danger) and kaos are avoided in Denmark:

  • folk (people) are always reminded to remember things. Husk din bagage. (Remember your luggage.) Husk at stemme. (Remember to vote.) Husk at checke ud, hvis du rejser på Rejsekortet. (Remember to check out if you travel with an official Travel Card.)
  • whenever søerne fryser til (the lakes freeze) om vinteren (in winter), some kommuner (municipalities) forbyder (forbid) walking or skating on the is [ees] (ice)  until tykkelsen (the thickness) has been officially checked and approved as safe.

So, på den ene side (on the one ”side” = hand) life is really safe and comfy in Denmark, which makes it really børnevenlig (”kids-friendly”). You’ve got cykelstier (bike lanes), lots of cykelhjelme (bike helmets), lots of social security – and no peaks, no earthquakes, no tigers outside of the zoo. På den anden side (on the other hand), Danes are travelling all around the world to watch sharks and grizzlies and volcanoes! 🙂

(Free photo from Pixabay, public domain.)

If you’re in Denmark and miss that special hjertebanken (beating of the heart) that makes you thankful being alive, you could perhaps try to get lost in a Danish forest in November, maybe during a real vinterstorm (winter storm) with væltende træer (falling trees) and lynnedslag (lightning strikes). 🙂

Well, no, just go on a skovtur (forest trip) and keep quiet… If you’re lucky, you just might meet one of those ulve (wolves) that recently have returned to Denmark! Even if they’re not really dangerous (you are to them!), don’t you think their being there makes Denmark just a little bit less kedelig (boring) and a little bit more spændende (exciting)?

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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.