Please and thank you are not in the Danish vocabulary
The Danes are very polite people, but it’s difficult to know that if you communicate in English. There’s no such thing as small talk, so when you get into a taxi and ask the driver how he’s doing, he’ll likely stare at you blankly. There’s also no word for “please” in the Danish language, so conversations can seem a bit abrupt. Over a lovely Danish meal, you might be asked by someone you just met to “pass the potatoes” without the common pleasantries that North Americans are accustomed to hearing sprinkled in at the beginning and end.
Photo: Holly Vegter/Shutterstock
Hans Christian Andersen’s quirky habit
Remember The Little Mermaid, The Little Match Girl or The Ugly Duckling? Hans Christian Andersen is most known in Canada for these English language children’s stories, but in Denmark, you learn about his unusual habit. In 1857, one of his best friends, Henriette Wulff, died in a ship fire. It’s said she could have been rescued if she had been carrying rope. After that, Hans carried rope with him everywhere he went, whether it was the local pub or a stroll in the gardens…just in case.
Photo: Twin Design/Shutterstock
LEGO was founded in Denmark
Thought Scandinavian design only included IKEA? Practical design also runs in the blood of the Danes. Examples of Danish designs include LEGO, the Rabo Trike (tricycle), GUBI chair, Kompan’s Hen, and the strange Washing-up Bowl, all of which are are featured at the Danish Design Centre in Copenhagen.