American wonder: the Danes are tremendously busy with the business of the

the Season for christmas parties is almost upon us, and we all know what it means. At the end of this column I will after many years of experience as a Danish-a

American wonder: the Danes are tremendously busy with the business of the

the Season for christmas parties is almost upon us, and we all know what it means. At the end of this column I will after many years of experience as a Danish-american reveal, which subject In the most love to talk about at christmas parties.

In the course of the next few months we are going to have to sit for hours at langborde (or jigging round table) side by side with the people, we – hopefully – have something in common with.

the danes have grown up with this kind of celebration, so you understand, quite naturally, how to balance between småsnakke a little with the person sitting next to them, listening to his bordherres history and throw in a joke over the juleretterne and værtindens yndlingsdekoration to the person on the other side.

Outside often find this discipline very hard, because they are accustomed to a more liquid feststruktur, where one moves around between each other and can quickly get away from Uncle Boring for the benefit of one, you actually have something to talk about with.

But not in Denmark. Here is one tied to the same chair the entire evening, right up until the risalamanden is served.

And even then it is good custom to be seated on its seat. It is also something that newcomers have difficulty, for in many other places in the world is the opposite – that is, to travel right after the food – good usage.

'How to make small talk with a dane' is one of my main points at my seminars, 'How to Live in Denmark,' precisely because of these long helaftensarrangementer. In the danes do well enough almost a virtue out of telling how much you don't like to smalltalke, but there is no way around it at christmas parties.

Fortunately, there are always a few topics, one can pull out of his sleeve to get the conversation to stop.

One of the topics I like to talk about, is the danes ' ability to always renovate and ommøblere their home. Just try to ask your bordherre or lady about where they live, and whether they should renovate before they moved in, or whether they have some projects in the pipeline.

you can easily go an hour's time to discuss bathroom tiles, cabinet doors, and – not least – the grip. The last seems particularly important for you danes for one reason or another.

I have a secret theory about why the danes are buying second homes: in order to have two houses to renovate and furnish.

of course You can also always talk about the weather – or even better: compare the weather. Anyone can talk about today's continued rain and how dark november is. But the ability to compare this October's weather, with the f.ex. the weather in 2012 or this summer's amount of rain in the summer of 200, see, it is particularly Danish.

If your neighbour is a gardener, farmer or just a house with a leaky basement, you can easily get several hours to go to talk about rainfall patterns.

past and Future travel plans are always a good topic to take up. As citizens of a socialist welfare state has plenty of holiday, and it should preferably be used far from the Danish grey.

We have gone into november, and everyone has had their thanksgiving, so you can always ask about one's sidemakker was out to travel. From there you can go on to talk about the summer holidays, or to hear, on the planned skiing holiday in the new year.

What to avoid to get into? Policy of course, and religion. I also have always to be careful, when it comes to the royal family. You never know if one's interlocutor is fuming royalist or fanatic advocate of abolishing the royal family.

I made once the mistake to insinuate that the crown prince probably had not come to Harvard if he had just been an ordinary, Frederik Jensen. An offended this woman spent most of the dessert to recount all the crown Prince's holdings from birth to now.

It's probably the best advice I give to my foredragsgængere, however, is: talk about Denmark. Whether or not they need to firmajulefrokost or familiejulefrokost with their Danish in-laws, then Denmark is always a perfect topic.

you love your country, and love to talk about your yndlingsaspekt of the Danish life, ranging from food and culture to the quality of the air and the specific ro.

Evidently applies to the jante law only to individuals, if you ask a dane, so is Denmark – of course – the world's best country.

Kay Xander Mellish

Kay Xander Mellish is a lecturer and has written several books, fol.a. 'How to Live in Denmark' and the 'Top 35 Mistakes Danes Make in English'. She is born in the UNITED states and became a Danish citizen in 2017. Kay speaks English, but writes in English. Her post is translated by Emil Ørum-Engraff.

Updated Date: 23 November 2019, 13:01

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