How to Be Danish: A Journey to the Cultural Heart of Denmark- Patrick Kingsley



It’s been a while since my last post. Which is unfortunate and against past promises and yearly reading goals. I’ve been utterly consumed with a renewed passion for true crime so I’ve been binging lots of podcasts and documentaries and haven’t been reading or writing as much as I wanted to. Does anyone have any recommendations? 😉

I read this book a while ago and am just getting around to writing about it. For this post, we are heading to the Scandinavian country of Denmark. (Insert Leslie Knope and her Model UN role as Denmark!) In this book, Patrick Kingsley tries to get to the cultural center of Denmark. To do this, he examines aspects of culture like education, food, design, media, and the size of the state.

And it is fascinating.

By all aspects, Denmark seems like a great country to live in. At least by my standards. Because the size of state is large, many services are offered for free such as health care and education. (Things the US is failing in.) I also love how they take what they have and make the most use of it. For example, they talk about a chef who uses celery in like 12 different ways or how design is based of what the home needs.

This isn’t to say they don’t have their own set of problems, which they of course do. Their taxes are super high and they have some crazy social issues. But I guess you have to look at what you want offered by your government to decide what’s best. Plus, the grass is always greener on the other side.

I’m sorry this one was so short and bland. It’s hard not to read this book and get political, and that’s something I’m trying to steer away from here. Mostly because you can find political ramblings of every size and shape on the internet and I’m not about to be another one.

Let me just end on this very short note. I studied US politics both during my time as an undergraduate and graduate student. I focused on civic engagement, specifically youth, whenever I could. The way Denmark has set up their democracy, which is focused on the community and not the individual, has created an intense level of citizen engagement.

And, I love that.

If you want an introductory taste to Denmark, I recommend this book. Denmark is definitely on my list of places to visit.

P.S. I got this book (for free!) at The Book Thing in Baltimore!

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