Danish divagations I

There is a long time I don’t write in this blog. This time, however, I ask your permission to write in English. Not because I’m a fluent writer in this idiom, but just the opposite: I’d like to practice my abilities. Yes, I can write something in an academic language, but, my dear, write here, in a casual way, is an entirely different thing.

So, if you allow me, I’d like to try. Of course that, in making this attempt, I’ll make a lot of mistakes. Even so, I can reach my point: practice the written English.

Well, as most of you probably know, I’m in Denmark. A new post-doc, this time with a very impressive research group in cultural psychology. I’m living in a small town in the North of the country, very close to the North sea.

At this point of my experience here (I arrived four months ago), I have some personal impressions to write down and share (but sorry if in a “touristic style” – I promise you this will happen just this time).

What is Denmark? Have you heard about this country before? Well, maybe you have the same opinion I had before falling in this land: a “Nordic” country. What does it mean? Rich country, high level of quality of life – and, especially, high level of egalitarianism.

In more “mundane” terms, I’d say that this is a country where you easily find beautiful people (this is the esthetic side); people that seems to me, at least, don’t worry about work (they surely don’t live to work); public environments highly clean and well kept; and – to me the most intriguing characteristic, the material possibility that supports free discussions and the possibility of enjoying an uncompromised play of ideas – in a park or (my case) in the academic context.

Maybe Maslow was correct in this regard: only when you have your basic needs met, you can enjoy higher level activities – such as simply discuss ideas freely (sometimes accompanied by wine!).

An Italian colleague told me these days that here the Danish have a double life: at sunlight, they are very strict and straight. But, when the night falls, they [maybe the youngs] go deep in a “B-type” life, an underground life. I have no idea.

What I know is that they love (and please don’t ask me “who” exactly are these “they”) to drink (you easily see people handling beer bottles on the street), and even to a Brazilian, “to drink” in such a way that the process is somehow part of the daily routine. I could say that alchool is well integrated in this society. It has some cultural value. Could be one way out of the “smooth” and well-designed life they have, with “no danger”, low social risks (as we have in our country)? But this is certanly a superficial analysis made by a foreing person. Besides, I have no evidence to make my case on this.

This post was just a starter. I know you will blame me because this is not my usual style. I’m starting with a concrete or quasi-stereotyped way of writing. OK. Be patient, my dear. I hope I can improve the complexity of my analysis here. Especially because I have a lot of raw material to discuss with you. And because I know I have been absent … Oh, my God.

But I noticed that people in many ‘bloggers’ often say this sort of thing: “Oh, I’m sorry…I should be writing more regularly…but I’m so busy”, and so on. I think, unfortunately, that the same applies to me.

For the moment, this is what I had to say. To finish up this post, look this photo. Do you think this is a photo borrowed from the internet? Oh, no, my dear. It was taken from a park nearby – where I frequently go to walk and to jog (even if the weather doesn’t help…). This is only a clue of what I’ve just said to you regarding the carefulness of the public space you find here in Denmark.

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