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It was just meant to be a small traditional Danish Christmas paper heart making event, but so far 80 have signed up, and it has turned into something else
It is probably one Danish Christmas tradition that is hard to understand for outsiders: The cutting and folding of paper hearts, to be filled with sweets and nuts and displayed on Christmas trees.
Now the University of Copenhagen alumni association has apparently struck a cultural goldmine: An event Wednesday at the university has been swamped by a large number of attendees: 24 international students so far, and, surprise, surprise, more than 56 Danish students. The event is still open.
Louise Berg Ebbesen of the alumni office explains: »I think it is popular because you seldom find an event like this. For the international students, it is a rare look into a Danish tradition and a possibility to learn about the Danish way of celebrating Christmas, which is quite unique. It is a chance to be creative, to come together and to make new acquaintances at the same time«.
The man who came up with it all, Sophus Helle is pleased that over 80 people will be attending. His plans for the evening include a lecture on ‘Advanced Christmas Hearts – History, Theory, Methods and Practice’ and a step-by-step tutorial on paper heart making. Traditional Christmas goodies will also be in stock in order to create a traditional Danish ‘cosy’ atmosphere.
Although the idea is new, the alumni office has supported Sophus’ initiative enthusiastically.
»We saw it as the perfect opportunity to introduce the international students to the Danish Christmas traditions, and to bring them closer to the Danish students as well. We support Sophus in his efforts to bring the idea to life, and we are looking forward to a great evening,« she says.
International students often complain that it is hard to get to know Danes. Often, the only way to meet Danes is over beer at a party, which is a disadvantage to those who are not enthusiastic party-goers.
The Christmas evening is the way to go about the difficult task of introducing the two worlds to each other, in a naturally relaxed and hospitable atmosphere, explains Louise.
The »good mix of Danish and international students,« Louise explains, will be a great chance for Danish students to get to know interesting people from different cultural backgrounds as well.
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