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Listen and learn: Your informal guide to decoding Danish culture

Updated: Jun 6, 2021

Text: Ophelia Wu

Pictures: What The Denmark

We know, integrating into a new culture is daunting. Danes have somewhat a notorious reputation of keeping a distance (sorry lovely Danes); while many of us know that's just an urban myth, there's still a lot of cultural mistranslation. New podcast, What The Denmark, produced by a Brit and a Dane, is set to be your audio guide on debunking myths and fundamentals of Danish culture. The episodes will surely help you feel good about this integration process and guide you as you navigate, perhaps with the Danish sense of humour, which you will laugh along after listening.

Cultural shock? Not entirely sure if someone is rude or sarcastic? Lost in translation? I get it. Moving to (and living in) Denmark is an exciting leap of faith if you're one of those who brave the unknown without any local network to help you learn the ropes of the Danish culture. As a foreigner, so much had been said about how distant and unfriendly Danes can be, and if you do not "get them" the right way to crack in, your life is doomed to be miserable. That is why Sam Floy and Josefine Volqvartz, a Brit and a Dane, decided to partner up and start a podcast to debunk all these myths. Namely, What The Denmark believes the longer audio format is the perfect medium to help resolve this cultural confusion. This allows them space to go in-depth and talk about the nuance behind many topics that non-Danes find confusing. It's rarely black and white, and talking about all angles of a topic is what makes it understandable, rather than veering into "us vs them" territory.

“As a foreigner, so much had been said about how distant and unfriendly Danes can be, and if you do not "get them" the right way to crack in, your life is doomed to be miserable.”

Sam, a professional podcast company owner, and Josefine, whose whole career has been in TV & Podcasts, these two experienced professionals are adamant that they invest and produce podcasts of the highest quality possible. As necessary as it is for foreigners, it goes the same for Danes. Episodes will cover all sorts of issues from linguistics to cultural differences, with experts being interviewed to discuss and explain why. Adopting an inclusive, respect for equality and free speech approach, pretty much the essence of Danish culture, together with a team of researchers and professional producers, they cover topics like "Why Danish couples sleep with separate duvets", "How handball explains Danish society" and "How to make friends with Danes" etc. in an informal and entertaining manner. Since the start, they had received a breadth of support from Danes and non-Danes living in Denmark and worldwide. After listening to the episodes, they can see people becoming more open and curious to engage with others. It seems like everyone is interested in understanding why Danes behave in certain (peculiar!) ways and bridge the gap in understanding. See? The Danes are not that cold after all.

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