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University of Copenhagen
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Culture

41 reasons why Danes are so strange

The University Post recently collected a list of 119 great stupid questions asked by Copenhagen’s new exchange and guest students. Funny, honest and some almost obscene, the questions were all about the bizarre customs of the Danish people. Now we’re back. This time with what you find strange

International students foreign to the loony whims of Danes were asked to seriously ask stupid questions. At an orientation for new international students, they responded to our stupid question request with some really, well, stupid questions. Could I go to class naked? Why are there so many cows in Copenhagen? How do I get the phone number of the cute University Post editorial assistant?

We were at another orientation meeting last week. And we asked our new students what they considered strange in Denmark and among Danish natives.

A few of the suggestions are a bit cryptic. So if any of you can come up with explanations or a new interesting discovery, please enlighten the rest of us by giving us a comment in the box below. Once you’re done reading this article and you’re still intrigued by Danes and their weirdness then check out our article on Danish stereotypes.

Anyway, what’s so strange about Copenhagen and the Danes? The strange things that we don’t understand in the newsroom we have marked with (?).

• The weather is really weird and scary!
• Cheap shots here taste like mouthwash!
• Babies are left alone in cars and carriages
• People hang out at the cemetery in their free time, just for the fun of it!
• All (a lot) of the doors open IN – opposite to Canada!
• Absolutely nothing about Copenhagen is strange. That’s strange
• Everyone in Copenhagen is so good looking
• There’s no “baker – culture” here (?)
• Danes drink mouthwash
• Few people kiss at parties – few people dance
• So many bicycles, but so much glass on the streets…
• Metros without drivers
• Boxes in the supermarket when you pay your stuff – where you can throw cans in (?)
• The Danes only eat bloody hot dogs all the time! (?)
• Christiania
• Cyclists bump into you every time you turn a corner!
• Danes ride their bikes so fast without getting into accidents. How?
• Too many bicycles around
• Danish sounds really weird
• Employees at the Danish Immigration Service actually treat you like a human being! (?)
• People ride Christiania bikes all over the city. They seem to be quite inconvenient
• So many Danes ride bicycles, but don’t wear helmets
• No one ever crosses the red traffic lights, even when no cars or bicycles are coming!
• Serious issues with the tap water
• It’s illegal to have someone on the back of your bicycle
• All Danish girls wear black, only black
• The bike rules are so hard to learn for foreigners!
• The Danish transport ticket machines
• People are so quiet in the public transportation systems
• You have special roads for bicycles!
• People are not very particular about locking their bikes
• Danes and their way of driving! How do you not kill each other in the public traffic?
• Why don’t you have cottage cheese?
• The strange little green person on the exit signs
• It’s so cold and Danes wear so little clothes
• Danes dislike people from Greenland
• Getting robbed within one hour of arrival in Denmark
• Danes have better beer than Germans!
• Traffic jams with bikes instead of cars!
• People sing very loudly on their bicycles and ring their bells constantly!

We have recently done the same test on a new batch of exchange students. We asked them for their ‘first impressions of the strange kind’, and got 37 new nuggets of strange Danish behaviour, customs and afflictions. See more strange Danish customs here.

Do you find the Danish language weird? If you do, you are not alone. In this guide we show you how to pronounce and use ten strange Danish expressions.

universitypost@adm.ku.dk

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