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Instructions: How to gain new friends with dice and cards

Photographs: Unsplash

Text: Michaela Medveďová

October brings many lovely things to Denmark. From pumpkin carving for Halloween to pumpkin spice latte, many “hyggelig” pastimes can help you get through the increasingly bleak weather.

One of them could even be dubbed the Danish national pastime: playing board games. And if you want to add tasty snacks and drinks to it and meet new internationals in Odense, join the Odense International Board Games Group!

They started to meet almost one year ago as a smaller, cosy group formed of three or four people. Ironically, the group was initiated by someone who is not such a board games enthusiast. “I don’t play board games much, but my boyfriend likes them, so I thought of gathering some people he can play with once a week to have an evening out for himself,” says the organizer Cristina Victoria Radu.

Inspired by the Odense International Hikes Group, she and her friend set up a Facebook group to make creating events and reminding people of the meetings easier. This way, others can discover the meetups as well.

“Despite having the word international in the title, there are also Danes who are regulars at the meetings.”

The group gets together at Papas Papbar, a board games cafe in Odense city centre, every Thursday at 19:00. There are usually between 8 and 12 people, but the number varies. Despite having the word international in the title, there are also Danes who are regulars at the meetings.

It costs 25 DKK to play games at the cafe, but people can also bring their own games and play for free. “The players don’t have a fixed game. People who know of a good one suggest a game to the group, and they decide whether they’d like to play or not. They rarely play the same game two evenings in a row.”

Playing board games is a fun way of meeting new people - and one that doesn’t necessarily involve alcohol. “It’s also about having nice conversations, sharing knowledge about the games, enjoying a tasty hot chocolate or nachos. Some people come regularly, and lots of friendships have been made.”

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