Danish culture is premised on various values such as trust, equality and respect for privacy. Whilst this has many virtues, from an outsider perspective, this can also appear to play out in scenarios where Danes come across as... well, a bit rude.SpotifyApple Podcasts
This week on What The Denmark we have a really "foundational" episode that gets to the heart of how Danish culture/ society functions: what does it mean to be polite?
In many cultures, politeness comes from being overtly welcoming to people you don't know. For example, asking questions to strangers and helping out in situations where someone seems to be struggling.
In Denmark, however, such behaviour isn't normal.
From the outside, this can seem a bit... rude. But is it?
To find out, we invited Danish anthropologist Dennis Nørmark into the studio.
Dennis spends his working life looking at different cultures through an academic lens, and trying to pinpoint how different societies behave, and what could be the cause.
We talk about a whole range of scenarios in Danish culture that can seem perplexing to outsiders, but begin to make sense when viewed through the Danish prism (for example, buying your own birthday cake on your birthday?!)
We discuss various other things such as:
You can learn more about Dennis' work at: https://dennisnormark.dk/