Happy National Day, Denmark

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Written by Jan Larsen

CEO at BUZZ.travel powered by World Travel Nation

Published: Jun 4, 2020

Grundlovsdag

Denmark got its new Constitution on June 5th, 1848. Denmark became a constitutional monarchy instead of an absolute one. The current Constitution was signed on June 5th,1957.

Tourism in Denmark

Denmark has the most tourist of the four Nordic Countries (Scandinavian + Finland) – 45 pct. Tourism accounts for 4.6 pct. of Denmark’s export.

Almost 60 pct. of the foreign visitors to Denmark are Germans; which to a large extent rent summer houses along the long coasts – mainly the West Coast. 36 pct. of all foreign stays are in rented summer houses; 30 pct. in hotels.

Spending the summer in a Danish summer house is fine; but do not cheat yourself from a drafted beer and pealing scrimps in the harbor in Skagen (where two oceans meet), one of the many music festivals during the summer (if you can get a ticket), a stroll in Tivoli, and Danish smörrebröd, 2 snaps, and a Tuborg in Gröften or in one of the other good restaurants – some of the best food you can enjoy!

Happiness and Other Danish Virtues

OECD makes an annual worldwide measurement of happiness. Denmark is normally among the top three – in spite of high taxes and lousy weather.

One of the explanations for this is transparency. Denmark is one of the least corrupt countries in the world. You do not get a business contract because you know the third cousin of the previous mayor’s wife; you put your offer on the table – open and straight – the best offer wins. Transparency creates trust; and trust means that you know your politicians and fellow citizens all want the best. You may from time to time think they are clowns – that is another story, but they do their best. You do not expect bad from your fellow citizens.

Denmark is also a small country (5.5 million), and that is easier to manage than a larger country.

Another characteristic of Danes is a “no big guy is going to tell me anything” attitude. If a German visitor in a big Mercedes S turns up and lets the local small shop keeper near the summer house area feel that he needs special attention, this will bring forward a Danish “push back” mode – and the contrarily will happen. The same thing when President Trump tells the Danish government he wants to buy Greenland, as he did some months ago; no way is this going to happen! – see also Finest Hour.

Finest Hour

The finest hour in Danish history was probably September 1943. Denmark was occupied by Germany; it was leaked to the Danish Resistance that the Danish Jews the next days would be rounded up. Normal Danish citizens got hold of their Jewish neighbors, the Jewish shop keeper, etc., hid them in the basements or on the roofs of the churches; later they were sailed to neutral Sweden by Danish fishermen. 93 pct. of the Danish Jews survived.

That does not mean that all Danes were saints. Denmark had its share of SS Wiking fighters and collaborators too, but saving the Jewish neighbor was unique in occupied Europe.

The second finest hour was – without wanting to compare the two achievements – when Denmark beat Germany in the European soccer finals in 1992 – but that is another story!