Denmark is worldwide famous for being home to author and poet Hans Christian Andersen whose fairy tales have been translated into over 125 languages. His works are popular among children and adults alike, inspiring films, plays, animations and even ballets, a particularity of the fairytales being the moral aspects they contain.
Foreigners usually see the Danes as being a very happy people, according to numerous international studies they are the happiest nation in the world. A high quality of life reflects in the people’s satisfaction with themselves, the Danes arguing that their fulfillment is also due to a realistic view of life, contemplating success as well as failure.
Although the Danish families tend to be small, the people have a high regard for family life and the children are raised to be independent from a young age. Being an evolved society with modern values, the women here are very respected in their chosen fields of work, their egalitarianism is also reflected in the usage of gender – neutral words.
An interesting fact about the Danes is that, even though the people greatly value proper etiquette and politeness, the words “please” and “thank you” are not usually used in conversation or when asking for something. When visiting, it is polite to bring flowers, quality chocolates or a bottle of good wine.
An interesting Danish tradition is to hang the national flag (known as the “Dannebrog”) outside the house’s window on someone’s birthday. Also, the Dannebrog is said to be the oldest flag in the world, its design having not changed over time. Another fun Danish tradition is that if one turns 25 and is not in a relationship, he or she will probably be covered in cinnamon by their friends. Also, the unmarried people who turn 30 will most likely receive a peppershaker among their birthday gifts, the local names for the single 30-year olds meaning “pepper man” and “pepper maid”.
A must-see place in Denmark is Copenhagen, the country’s capital city which has a very long and rich history. Among the popular attractions are the royal family’s four residential palaces, built in the classicist or renaissance architectural styles. Copenhagen also offers tourists the chance to visit world famous art, science or natural history museums, the “Danish National Gallery” containing paintings by Rembrandt, Picasso, or Matisse.
Another famous destination is the town of Ribe, the oldest and best preserved medieval town in the country. Here one can find numerous tales of the Viking population, see the evolution of their civilization and culture in the Ribe Vikings Museum as well as experience their lifestyle inside a reconstructed Viking residence (at the Ribe Viking Centre).