Oprah Winfrey was in Denmark recently, promoting Chicago for the Olympic Games (which ultimately went to Rio). While here, she made a programme about Denmark. The show will be shown in the US on Friday and the title is (I kid you not) “Oprah on Location: The Happiest People on Earth”! 🙂
I lived in Scotland for the first 20 years of my life, then spent another 10 working in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg – that tiny country of 300,000 inhabitants, tucked inbetween Belgium, France and Germany. It was in Luxembourg that I met DH, and we got married and moved to Copenhagen 10 years ago. So I’m not Danish myself but have two Danish-Scottish kids, so that’s pretty close 😉
Yes, the circa 5 million Danes are generally a pretty happy bunch. What makes us happy? The definite change in seasons? The long, long, long summer evenings? Danish traditional food – different types of pickled herring, roast pork is all shapes and forms, a staple diet of ryebread? Beer and snaps? That Denmark is made up of over 400 islands – you’re never far from the sea? Affordable daycare for kids? Breastfeeding in public is the norm? That education in schools and universities is free? Equality for the sexes? A talent for, and emphasis on, good design? 2 million cars in Denmark and over 5 million bikes (and miles and miles of cyclepaths)? Libraries which are not only overflowing with books, multimedia, magazines (in several languages) but also organise free craft workshops and concerts? A love of football and a team that just qualified for the World Cup in South Africa next year? National pride from this tiny nation when a sportsman wins a gold, silver or bronze medal? The desire to be eco-friendly? A healthcare system which works pretty well and takes care of you from cradle to grave? A love of satire and a very, very dry sense of humour..?
Of course, not everything is rosy in the state of Denmark. At the moment there is a street war going on in the usually quiet streets of Copenhagen between Danish Hells Angels, called ‘Rockers‘ – or can’t we just call a spade a spade and say ‘Big, Ugly-All-Day Bullies’? 😉 – and a rival gang. On Monday night there was a drive-by shooting at a nearby resto where DS9 and I go when we need a sushi fix. It’s in a so-called ‘posh’ area of town. There were several families having dinner in the restaurant at the time. Luckily only a gang member was hit.
No sooner than the story made the news, came an outcry from the Danish public who are worried that next time an innocent bystander will be killed. This morning I heard on the radio that restaurants and fitness centres are beginning to turn gang members away. Now see, there’s something about the Danes that made me happy! Have a wonderful Wednesday, wherever you are… 🙂