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Culture & Identity of Denmark

Introduction

The way of life in Denmark is reflective of life throughout much of Europe as most people get paid well enough to enjoy life, but the higher wages also lead to higher prices. The overwhelming majority of people in Denmark are urban dwellers, so the pulse of the city heavily influences the daily life for most people in the country.

Most working Danes have jobs in the services sector, but there is also a significant industrial sector, while agriculture is almost unheard of in the country. Nearly 80% of the people have jobs in service fields, which range greatly as do the hours, but most positions have somewhat standard hours. Many industry positions have evening and night shifts and some service positions, particularly those in the entertainment sector, also have many jobs that work evenings and weekends.

Most jobs with regular daytime hours begin at about 7:00 am and end at about 5:00 pm, but other begin earlier or run later. Schools also have regular daily hours as most being at about 8:00 am and end at about 1:00 pm. Schools tend to run from about September to June.

Most evenings are spent with family and weekends are also often spent with family or friends. The activities during these times vary greatly from person to person and the entertainment options in the country are numerous. For many young singles going out to the bars, night clubs, or to a restaurant for dinner are quite common, especially in the cities where these options are numerous.

Identity

Nearly every Dane identifies as such, but how this is defined is slowly changing. In centuries past, to be a Dane one had to be an ethnic Dane, who lived in Denmark and spoke Danish. However, the Danes are very open and welcoming people so today there are numerous people who have Danish citizenship who are not ethnically Danish. Due to this, the definition of being a Dane is slowly altering to mean anyone holding Danish citizenship; having said that, many ethnic Danes still believe that one must be a native Danish speaker to be included in this definition. Due to this, many first generation immigrants identify in a different way and some second generation immigrants do so as well. Additionally, any ethnic and linguistic Dane who lives abroad is generally also considered Danish.

This page was last updated: November, 2013