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Denmark

Denmark is a part of Scandinavia bordering Germany to the south. Each place in Denmark is no more than thirty miles from a body of water. The peninsula is currently under the rule of Queen Margarethe II, and the Prime Minister is Lars Ramussen. The most famous monarch was probably King Christian X, who inspired many to stay courageous during the German invasion of Denmark. The island of Greenland is politically a part of the Danish territory. It is also a part of the European Union.
Within the depths of the country of Denmark lie many entertaining activities. One spectacle that is definitely worth visiting is the famed Copenhagen Zoo. It is the only zoo in the world home to the Tasmanian devil outside of Australia. There are over two thousand other creatures as well. Chess and bridge are some popular games to enjoy. At the age of twenty-one, Denmark’s Bent Larson was the winner of several international chess tournaments.
The Danes take pride in their diets and food production. Farms are home to pigs, chickens, and dairy cows. Because of them products such as butter, bacon, eggs, and cheese are produced, consumed, and exported. It is even said that these products have saved the Danish economy. Potatoes, barley, wheat, rye, oats, grass, clover, beets, grains, and seeds are also harvested. Due to awareness about coronary heart disease, many Danes are eating less butter, cream, and animal fats. Some farmers grow vegetables, fruits, and flowers instead. Fishing along the coast provides various fish, eels, and crustaceans for eating and marketing, including young lobster, a Danish specialty. Typically, people eat the meals of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a nighttime snack, only less in quantity and healthier than in the United States. Some national dishes include eel fried in butter, cured herring, and “beer-bread”. Denmark is also known for its blue cheese, pastries, and schnapps, or akvavit.
The unique language of this country is well understood. Derived from early Germanic dialects, Christianity brought Latin words, and the Hanseatic League brought German words. Danish is also verbally very similar to Swedish and Norwegian. Through his works, Ludvig Holberg, the man considered the founder of Danish literature, helped the language morph into a national tongue. Søren Kierkegaard was an existentialist, saying there was no proper reasoning behind religion and monotheism. The world-famous Hans Christian Anderson is probably the best-known Danish writer. His works include tales such as The Ugly Duckling, The Little Mermaid, and The Emperor’s New Clothes. Karen Blixen became famous for the novel and recent movie Out of Africa. Kaj Munk wrote plays during the 1930s, and his strong feelings against the Germans during World War 2 resulted in his murder in 1944.
The Danes listen to a diverse array of musical genres. This includes jazz, classical, opera, rock, and electronic. The capital city happens to be home to a number of aspiring jazz musicians. Some music-accompanied dances include the waltz and the polka. The instruments include accordion, violin, skalmeje (folk clarinet), and bytromme (town drum). There are currently five Provincial Orchestras in the country, all being symphonic orchestras. They are located in Aalborg, Århus, Odense, South Jutland, and Zealand. The concerts consist of both older and newer pieces. Denmark is also home to about 235 music schools with close to 134, 000 students. Every one in five people either sings or plays a musical instrument.
Recently Denmark has been in the global news for its discoveries and achievements in the fields of cloning and genetics. In August of 2007, seven completely identical sibling piglets specifically bred to have Alzheimer’s were born in Denmark. Seeing pigs and humans are so similar in genes, these piglets became some of the first used to help find cures for serious diseases. Hereditary diseases and health are also thought to be understood better from the research. The Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences has perfected the art of cloning. However, it is illegal to clone, import cloned beings, or export cloned beings for any uses except potentially helpful scientific studies.
Out of the population of Denmark, about eighty-five percent belongs to the National Church of Denmark. Their religion is Evangelical Lutheran, which is ruled by the Danish Parliament. There is no supreme religious leader, such as a pope or Dalai Lama, but instead, religion is directed by a group of ten bishops. Few Danes actually attend church services regularly, Easter and Christmas being exceptions. A small percentage of people’s taxes automatically are handed over to the church unless a formal, written report is submitted in objection. Islam is the second most practiced religion, but some Danes appear to be paranoid about an increased chance of terrorism in the country. Coming in third would be various forms of Christianity and Judaism.
Schools in America are much more different than those of Denmark. First of all, there are no school buses, so students either walk, bicycle, or are driven by their parents. As for school subjects, Danish replaces the role of English. Taking English and one other foreign language is common. There is a lot more respect and appreciation for teachers. From first to ninth grade, one would have the same teacher. The Danes focus on learning without all of the grueling examinations.
The most favored sport for watching is soccer, or football. There are many volunteer-run clubs throughout the country. Most of the international rivalry comes from fellow Scandinavians, the Swedes. Some other athletic games played include handball, badminton, jogging, water sports, and cycling. Many females tend to enjoy gymnastics and horseback riding as well. At an early age, children are introduced to water sports, such as rowing, swimming, and fishing.
Danish culture is definitely very rich. Some folk music is still common at times. Traditional dress and dance are part of various events. Religious tolerance keeps people wanting to settle there just so they can feel safe. It is a shame that the Nazis tried to ruin that during the World Wars.




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