A Lovely Land Is Ours

denmark09 From left to right, going clockwise: Copenhagen pedestrian street (Fiolstræde) with secondhand booksellers, quirky fashion and a Japanese supermarket; typical Danish pedestrian street in Holbæk with parked bikes (and bike helmets); Copenhagen City Hall tower; Mjølnir (Thor's Hammer) seen at an exhibition on amulets at the National Museum; cloudy skies over a field in north-west Zealand (note the characteristic gentle slopes); early Viking Age/Late Iron Age drinking vessel seen at the National Museum; some of the yarn I bought; and some sheep at the sheep farm just south of where I grew up.

Not pictured: the nineteen people I saw during my visit, the copious amount of delicious (and mostly organic) food I had, and the six yarn shops I visited.

As I wrote in my previous entry, visiting Denmark feels bitter-sweet. I feel so connected to Danish history - how could I not when I grew up in an area which has been populated since Pre-Historic times and where you interact with History everytime you go for a walk - and I love speaking Danish with its quirky pronounciation and lightly-nuanced intonation. I love Denmark and the Danish landscape. You are never far from the sea, the rolling hills have such gentle slopes and the woods are friendly and inviting. Denmark in spring is a beauty to behold.

It's just a shame that Denmark is populated by the Danes. This is when my problems with my nationality set in. Denmark is a tiny, tiny country with a huge ego. The average Dane truly believes he lives in the best country in the entire world and that right way to do things is the Danish way. He travels abroad and marvels at the idiotic way that other nationalities do things. He returns to Denmark, smug in the knowledge that all other nationalities envy him his Danishness. Paranoia sets in: because Denmark is the envy of all other nations on earth, Denmark must be protected from intruders. This has led to xenophobia, protectionism and a deep distrust of anything which is not readily identifiable as being Proper Danish Behaviour (such as preferring non-Danish cultural products, dressing unlike the masses, questioning rampant xenophobia or even criticising Denmark just like I'm doing here). I've always struggled to be a proper Dane and that was part of why I moved to Britain, I suppose.

So this visit was bitter-sweet. I looked with horror at how a key Danish MEP called for the exclusion of  Romania and Bulgaria from the EU on the basis of them being unhealthy and "less than clever". On the other hand, I really enjoyed the new Pre-Historic exhibition at the National Museum and I have found the bestest and nicest LYS in all of Denmark. And it was so damn good to see my family and all of my fantastic friends.