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'Dinner with a Dane' is a community initiative to welcome new residents in Denmark
Recently launched project ‘Dinner with a Dane’ gives opportunity for internationals to dine with native Danes.
The project was started in March 2015 by Nanna Klerk from Denmark and Amanda Dale from Alaska, USA. The inspiration came from an exercise in Amanda’s Danish language class, where the students had the task to interview a Dane. It had proven to be difficult for many students, who did not know any Danes at all.
This encouraged Nanna and Amanda to start the project. ”We want to help people build bridges and help find new contacts,” said organiser Nanna Klerk.
The goal is to match people with common interests. When a match between a Danish host and an international guest is found the participants can decide on a dinner together. Already 30 matches have been found in the first month and more than 160 participants from 43 different countries are motivated to take part in the initiative. Everyone is welcome to participate – families, students, or refugees.
”When you meet people here you can expect them to be open-minded. They want to meet new people,” said Rosa, a participant from Canada.
Foreigners who take part in the project mentioned their problems of meeting locals so they see the dinner as an opportunity to get a better understanding of the Danish culture as well as practicing Danish.
Organiser Amanda Dale wants to meet and welcome people in Denmark: ”Within one month they already got plenty of requests. People wrote such lovely things and gave us feedback, it has been a great experience by now.”
The reasons for participation vary. Many Danes take this project as a chance to work against the negative tendency in public debates about foreigners in Denmark. ”I think we have to change the way we are treating people and show an open-hearted Denmark”, said Liv, a Danish participant. ”It is important that we stay together, especially against the negative tone in current debates,” mentioned Inge, who also comes from Denmark.
Due to many requests the organisers are currently working on a separate network only for students.
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