17 episodes

Danish culture can be pretty confusing, especially if you are not from Denmark.


This podcast is on a mission to resolve cultural confusion in the country, and help anyone understand how people in this unique country think and behave.


Co-hosts Sam Floy (British podcaster, "The Outsider") and Josefine Volqvartz (Danish TV journalist, "The Insider") speak to experts and members of the public to understand and explain why something so normal in Danish culture is confusing to outsiders.


Rather than simply point fun, or say something like "Danes have an ironic sense of humour" we go deep, by speaking to experts to explain why.


Importantly, this show is as much for Danes as it is non-Danes.


What The Denmark is an educational, entertaining and inclusive show where we take a curious look at things that seem normal in Denmark, and get to the bottom of why.


The show is aimed at everyone with a connection to Denmark, and people around the world looking to learn more about the happiest country in the world.


If you've ever felt that you want to understand more about Denmark and Danish culture, then this is the podcast for you!


Learn more at https://www.whatthedenmark.com/

What The Denmark | Danish Culture for Expats, Internationals and Danes Cofruition

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 21 Ratings

Danish culture can be pretty confusing, especially if you are not from Denmark.


This podcast is on a mission to resolve cultural confusion in the country, and help anyone understand how people in this unique country think and behave.


Co-hosts Sam Floy (British podcaster, "The Outsider") and Josefine Volqvartz (Danish TV journalist, "The Insider") speak to experts and members of the public to understand and explain why something so normal in Danish culture is confusing to outsiders.


Rather than simply point fun, or say something like "Danes have an ironic sense of humour" we go deep, by speaking to experts to explain why.


Importantly, this show is as much for Danes as it is non-Danes.


What The Denmark is an educational, entertaining and inclusive show where we take a curious look at things that seem normal in Denmark, and get to the bottom of why.


The show is aimed at everyone with a connection to Denmark, and people around the world looking to learn more about the happiest country in the world.


If you've ever felt that you want to understand more about Denmark and Danish culture, then this is the podcast for you!


Learn more at https://www.whatthedenmark.com/

    New Nordic Cuisine: how can Denmark have the best restaurants in the world?

    New Nordic Cuisine: how can Denmark have the best restaurants in the world?

    Danish food culture has an outsized impact on the world stage.






    For a country with less than 0.1% of the world's population, Denmark boasts the two best restaurants in the world and has a culinary movement that is the envy of chefs and kitchens around the world.






    But it wasn't always that way...






    In fact, there was a very distinct turning point when Danish (and more broadly Nordic) food became "New".






    In 2004 a group of restauranteurs and food experts gathered in Copenhagen to write an outline of how they were going to revolutionise the region's food industry, much in the way the film and TV industry had done.






    The result was The Manifesto for the New Nordic Kitchen.






    Two of the chefs present were René Redzepi (Head Chef of Noma, now the #1 restaurant in the world) and Claus Meyer (food entrepreneur).






    In this episode Sam speaks with Jonas Astrup, head of product innovation at Meyers Madhus ("Meyers Food House" - the company Claus founded) to encourage more people to get interested in cooking and food.






    Sam and Jonas talk about:


    The history of the New Nordic Cuisine movementWhat "old" Danish food practices valuedWhat it looks like in practiceHow the founding principles are becoming increasingly relevant to the sustainability agenda How anyone can useJonas' inspiration for working in foodChallenges to overcome in tackling e.g. food waste





    and how methods such as fermentation are becoming increasingly more popular as a way to create the umami flavour from plants.






    You can learn more about Jonas and Meyers Madhus at: https://meyers.dk/










    Thanks to Hotel Mayfair in Central Copenhagen for hosting us for the recording. You can get 25% off your stay by using the code WTD at checkout










    Learn more about What The Denmark via: www.whatthedenmark.com and @whatthedenmark on Instagram

    • 43 min
    "I love the calmness of queueing in Denmark" + other observations

    "I love the calmness of queueing in Denmark" + other observations

    Guki is originally from Georgia (the country, not the US state), and moved to Denmark for studies after growing up fascinated by Scandinavia.


    This is a different type of episode to our usual ones, where we speak with people are learning about Danish culture after moving to Denmark.


    These interviews, we feel, are a great way to learn practical advice from others adapting to Denmark, but also to get fresh perspectives on things that seem peculiar to outsiders.


    Guki and Sam talk about a variety of different topics, including:


    Guki's experience growing up during conflicts in GeorgiaSimilarities between Georgia and Denmark (rice pudding)Differences (approach to drinking; people volunteering in Denmark; how Danes queue)Advice for people new to Denmark

    as well as how Guki's parents are still worried about her cycling.






    Learn more at: https://www.whatthedenmark.com/










    Do you have some interesting advice to share?


    Be in touch via the contact form on the website + subscribe to the What The Denmark newsletter (via the website) where you'll receive details of how to be interviewed on the show.






    We'd also love to hear what you think of these types of episode. Should we do more? Let us know!

    • 22 min
    Adults in onesies: what flyverdragter says about Danish fashion

    Adults in onesies: what flyverdragter says about Danish fashion

    As winter approaches, you might spot an unusual sight on the streets of Denmark: fashionable people (mostly women) wearing an all-in-one ski suit worn predominantly by toddlers.






    These ski suits (or rather "flight suits") have become a fashion trend in Denmark in recent years, and they show no signs of stopping.






    Sam and Josefine discuss the past, present and future of this trend with lifestyle expert Julia Lahme, and what it says about Danish culture as a whole.






    We discuss:


    How flyverdragter are linked to the importance placed by Danes on fresh airThe history of flyverdragter - from shipyard apparel to fashion itemWhy it is deemed a human right (kind of) for small children to have flyverdragter in DenmarkFlyverdragter in other countries, and how it is a growing export marketGeneral fashion trends, especially as the Covid pandemic finishes





    Find out more from Julia via: https://julialahme.dk/






    Thanks to The Dalset for sharing flyverdragter we referenced in this episode, head to https://thedalset.com/ to see more of their flightsuits and how you can get one too.






    Thanks also to Eco Hotels for hosting us in their Guldsmeden Hotel in Islands Brygge, Copenhagen. Learn more: https://guldsmedenhotels.com/










    Learn more about What The Denmark via: www.whatthedenmark.com and @whatthedenmark on Instagram

    • 37 min
    Danish etiquette: "ignoring people is polite here"

    Danish etiquette: "ignoring people is polite here"

    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.






    For example, it's not natural for Danish people to hold the door open for each other, or to offer help for someone struggling to take a baby stroller off a train.






    In this episode Sam and Josefine are joined by Danish anthropologist Dennis Nørmark.






    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:


    How whether cultures seem cold/ rude is linked to the sense of privacyHow Denmark (and Scandinavian countries) are in fact living a sort of extreme individualismWhy Danish people won't instinctively help people struggling in publicHow Danes view specific reciprocity vs generalised reciprocity in other culturesHow the trust in Denmark means there's not the need to "get to know" people you do business withHow the smiley face is the Danish word for pleaseGiving and receiving giftsThe fear (or not) of being laughed at





    You can learn more about Dennis' work at: https://dennisnormark.dk/






    Thanks to Hotel Mayfair in Central Copenhagen for hosting us for the recording. You can get 25% off your stay by using the code WTD at checkout






    Learn more about What The Denmark via: www.whatthedenmark.com and @whatthedenmark on Instagram

    • 45 min
    Work life balance (US vs Denmark) with David Heinemeier Hansson (DHH)

    Work life balance (US vs Denmark) with David Heinemeier Hansson (DHH)

    David Heinemeier Hansson is a tech entrepreneur and internationally successful racing driver. Anyone who has worked in computer programming will likely have come across Ruby on Rails. Well, David invented it.






    David is the author of several business books with his American Basecamp business partner, Jason Fried including Rework, Remote and It Doesn’t Have To Be Crazy at Work. He writes frequently about the importance of simplicity and work life balance in the working (and especially tech) world.






    In this conversation, Josefine and Sam speak with David about his experiences working/ living in the US and now back in Denmark (where he grew up).






    We cover:


    How Denmark is a country made for kids compared the USThe American "enthusiasm for newness"The Danish conservatism (both positives and negatives)The effects of the lack of societal hierarchy in DenmarkHow Basecamp's company philosophy is inherently shaped by David's Danish upbringingWhat Denmark can learn from the worldWhat the world can learn from Denmark





    Thank you to the wonderful Hotel d'Angleterre for hosting us for the recording. If you ever visit Copenhagen, try to go there.






    Learn more about What The Denmark via:


    www.whatthedenmark.com and @whatthedenmark on Instagram

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Danish pronunciation: How to speak with a potato in your mouth

    Danish pronunciation: How to speak with a potato in your mouth

    The initial stumbling block for a lot of non-Danes speaking Danish is being able to say things in a (somewhat) comprehensible manner, and understanding what others are saying back to you.


    Danes are notorious amongst their Scandinavian counterparts for mumbling, earning the not so flattering reputation of sounding like they speak with potatoes in their mouth...


    In this episode we understand why this is!


    We talk about what makes the Danish language special, including:


    Vowels, vowels, vowels: three extra letters (å/æ/ø); a vowel-heavy language; intonation; assimilation (a.k.a. sounding like you have potatoes in your mouth)How Danish differs from Swedish and Norwegian: and perhaps reflects the countries' personalities?Danish is effectively two languages: the one you speak and the one you read/ writeViking roots: how the longstanding (written) history of Danish differs from, say, languages written down more recently (such as, say, Swahili)The Danish word committee: how new words enter the lexicon compared to, say, Norway ("is it majonæse or mayonaise?")Danglish: the fun mix of Danish and English (it's hard to be a nissemand)Lene, Lena, Line, Lina: four distinct Danish names that are basically indistinguishable to non-Danes because of the additional vowel sounds that Danish possessesMonophthongs vs diphthongs: plus other linguistic differences between Danish and other languages

    as well as a discussion about the theory of language acquisition.


    We also spend a lot of time discussing practical tips for how to practice pronouncing Danish from three experience language teachers


    Signe Tofte Brantelid (Studieskolen)Naja Hou Alberdi (Copenhagen Language Center) andAnders Basby (UC Plus)

    The book that Josefine brings in is the Danish children's classic Halfdans ABC.






    A big thanks to our excellent researcher for this episode Eli Tornøe, and the rest of the What The Denmark team.






    Learn more about What The Denmark via:


    www.whatthedenmark.com and @whatthedenmark on Instagram

    • 49 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
21 Ratings

21 Ratings

JSlagslunde ,

I binge-listened to this series!

As a British woman living and working in Denmark, I was delighted to hear about this podcast series and have already recommended it to friends and colleagues. Settling in Denmark is very tough and despite committing to the language, my new husband and life here….it is still a challenge. The constant thought is: ‘is it me?’ This podcast answers that question and many more. I can’t wait for series 2!

thomaschristensen ,

Very well produced 👍🏼

I’m only one episode in, but as a Dane I’m shocked about how many ‘aha’ moments I get that explains all these things that I thought was just normal. Did you know that Danes are the very hardest in the world to make friends with!?!?

CuteChoir ,

Interesting and Insightful

I listened to this podcast with my mom and we both really like it so far. Excited to hear more!

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