Welcome to Denmark, a cold but friendly country in beautiful northern Europe.
Danish people are known for their very open attitudes, AND they invented the Lego™! Rain and grey skies are common in Denmark, and winter temperatures hover around the freezing point. During the summer, Danes experience 18-hour days.
The Kingdom of Denmark, as it is known, has a population of 5.6 million people. Denmark has a parliament and a monarchy, which share joint legislative powers.
The official language is Danish, although most Danes begin learning English at an early age.
The average Danish family has 1-2 children, and it is very common for both parents to work. A large part of Danish identity and daily life is wrapped up in the Welfare State system. Taxes are high, but extensive services to all citizens are provided, creating a system of interconnected people with a strong sense of sharing.
Daily life often seems quiet and lacking stress to folks from other countries, with a laid-back sense of comfort. Danes are fun-loving and humorous and enjoy participating in sports and other community activities.
The cuisine in Denmark is traditionally simple, featuring many potato and meat dishes. Meatballs, pickled herring, rye bread and open-faced sandwiches make up typical daily Danish fare.
The Danish educational system is large and efficient. Schooling is compulsory for nine years. After these nine years, a student decides whether he wants to continue on for 3 more years to prepare for college.
A typical class size is 25-30 pupils. Students are expected to respect the teacher, but the relationship is very equal and teachers are usually called by their first name.
Of all high school graduates, about one-third go on to university, while others choose job training or apprentice for a career. Universities are free, but admission is extremely competitive.
It is common for Danish teens to gather with their friends after school. Popular activities are sports, music, and non-religious youth groups. It is also common for teens to have part-time jobs.
Styles of dress are much the same as they are for teens in the U.S., with jeans and t-shirts being very popular.
Danish parents tend to give their children a lot of freedom and responsibility to help them become well-educated, independent teenagers. Teens often begin dating at 14 or 15.