Mention Denmark to most people, and they will think of Viking raiders with horned helmets, looting and pillaging their way across Europe. Others may think of one of Denmark’s more famous exports—Carlsberg beer, or the fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen. But of the Danes themselves they will probably know very little.
One of the purposes of this book is to set the record straight. It aspires to give you an insight into who the Danes really are, and what makes them tick. It will inform you about their history and geography, and of the roles these have played in forming the Danish national character.
You will gain an insider’s perspective on Danish family life, the Danish home and the important concept of Jante. You will also see how a little knowledge of Danish attitudes and values can help in meeting and doing business with the Danes, and there are many practical tips on how to conduct yourself and what to expect in different social situations.
It is hoped that, armed with this guide, you will be able to avoid some of the social and cultural pitfalls that foreign visitors are bound to encounter, and that you will get to know and appreciate the Danish people more deeply.
Punctuality is important to Danes and for the foreign visitor, as the Danes are unlikely to make allowances for cultural diversity in this area. As a rule of thumb, if you are going to be delayed for more than five minutes then call the person you are meeting and let them know. This will make things a lot easier!