Denmark. I began to be interested in Denmark seriously a few years ago, shortly after beginning my blog here. One of my first dozen or so follows was Vikinglifeblog. Since yeeting myself down the Danish rabbithole I’ve learned a lot about the country. Enough that a hypothetical Danosphere is the only sphere besides the Anglosphere I would acknowledge. Admittedly because it quite simply rolls off the tongue. Danosphere, Anglosphere. They fit. Their houses are also tightly, even freakishly intertwined. The former house Saxe-Gotha & Coburg, now Windsor, is more Danish than English – it may be fair to say. Which is all a moot point, given the House’s presumed Norman origin, which is also more Danish than English. And the early Anglo-Saxons were themselves… more Danish than English, owing their origin from the comfortable recesses between the bosoms of Denmark and Germany.
So. It’s a natural interest. The English (U.S., U.K., CA & AU Anglos) used to work tightly with the Danes in the golden era of Teutonic anthropology. Men like Vilhelm Grønbech, to whom an unpayable debt is owed by contemporary Asatru, from Asatro, was a Dane. Anglo-Saxon studies almost always feature a Danish staff member on research teams. Indeed, there was a little known and seldom remembered mostly friendly rivalry between established Danish Romanticists and burgeoning English Gothicists to emancipate the Anglo-Saxon Fuþorc. This struggle allowed our Fuþorc to exist, had the Danish anthropologists won than we would understand our Fuþorc as an extension of the Younger Fuþark (Danish Long Branch) Ættir of Runes.
So, from a Folkish perspective, the Hegelian dialectic between English and Danish anthropology sight unseen formed a backbone of the then unimagined Asatru revival, inasmuch as concerns those seeking Anglo-Saxon origins. The long and short is the two Nations had intertwined destinies in a way that until fairly recently was unspoken, but now is simply forgotten as the work of globalism atomises and destroys boundaries – without which identity is hard to foster.
Denmark is an exceptionally antiquated nation, bearing the oldest kingship and the oldest flag. At least in official capacities, being defined as unbroken lines. In Denmark is the primogeniture of considerable advances in culture. The great Celtic emigration can be traced to prehistoric Denmark, as can the Teutonic immigration. Objects of extreme value to European studies, such as the Gundestrop Cauldron, were unearthed in Denmark.
Considerable portions of my favourite subjects in history, Nordic Bronze Age, Germanic Prehistory, and yes – Vikings – have action taking place in Denmark. A facet which is seldom expostulated upon by contemporary media, which tends to conflate the kingdoms of Scandinavia into a superorganism. The internecine conflicts of the shifting political structures of that region are bypassed. However, even a rudimentary understanding of these carries huge benefits. One can read the Heimskringla, and only by knowing Danish/Norwegian history appreciate the tensions between Odin and Frey. The Danish influence on late Anglo-Saxon England can hardly be overstated, in the same way that Denmark’s influence over post-Saxon England is understated. Consider; Hamlet was a Dane, an English retelling of a Danish folktale which may have circulated in England for sometime before Shakespeare Anglicised it.
But. That’s all cupcake. Studying ancient culture is my jam. A true testament to a culture’s communicability is the ability of modernity to seem attractive. There are few countries whose modernity appeals to me. There are days where even Old England, as seen from news reels, seems tiresome and foreign. However, there is much to say of contemporary Denmark.
They apparently employ a dry and sarcastic humour. Something I appreciate. Their language, much like Maine English, is not verbally representative of their spelling conventions, which makes it hard to learn. They are orderly, and abide by rules. Society is said to be tightly organised, and organised on a lateral scale. This is probably due to the quasi-fictitious “Janteleven” or “The Law of Jante.” Which much like early New England with her cold shoulder, prescribed an egalitarian, and yet curiously tribal identity. Every ethnic Dane was equally Danish. As every New Englander was equally dour. One does not promote themselves at the expense of others, nor pursue overstated vanity. As a Yankee, I can appreciate this. There are few things as disgusting to me as they who prop themselves up on the maltreatment of others, and who dare to boast. Understatement can be a value.
To that end, it is said Denmark has a cool and casual attitude towards many things. Some say lacking frills. Supermarkets queue, and are orderly. Roads operate efficiently. Even dating, evidently, is business casual – lacking many of the obtuse hoops glorified in America. I can sympathise with that too, as I felt quite out of my element in dating and was more than happy to get married and be done with all the hubbub and ruckus. Evidently this is something the Danes feel, so much so that they have largely dispensed with marriage in general and boast a large population of cohabitants as opposed to spouses.
While maintaining many socially liberal stances, such as open attitudes towards sexuality and such, they appear to have retained broadly traditional gender roles, and have managed to secure their borders while the rest of the West has… not. This is not to say Denmark is a paradise, for I know statistically that alcoholism has become something of a problem. And perhaps not a new one. Many years ago, my grandfather operated a profitable mill which employed several Danish expats who had apparently vacated Denmark following WWII seeking economic prosperity. They were also among the last unassimilated Danes in Maine from an earlier wave of immigration which excelled so heavily at immigration that they are now more than likely more convincing Yankees than half my neighbours. Wherever they are. Their influence is now consigned to a little red roof in Scarborough, and I count 5 Jensen Roads throughout the Greater Portland Area. Anyway, point is, all my grandfather’s Danes struggled with the bottle – but were otherwise highly efficient workers, if morose.
One of Denmark’s biggest exports seems to be “hyggeligt.” They tell me hygge cannot be translated, but is often rendered “coziness.” Danes place a comparatively high estimation on aesthetics and comfort. They value their home lives, and are less desperate than other nations to get away. Candles are often employed at dinners. Homes are organised efficiently for comfort, with furs and stuff. I’m told. It sounds nice. And why not? It is said that Danes have an extremely favourable work-life balance, and are frequently aghast to learn many Americans have to work more than 60h & 6d/w to get by. And they’re not wrong. That Denmark maintains a prosperous economy without draining her citizens like chumps shows how much of a lie the Anglosphere is being fed by Z.O.G., if you’ll forgive the politicisation.
As for me, my experience with authentic Danica is slim. One of my good friends is an ethnic Dane, but an assimilated one. They changed his name at Ellis Island a hundred or so years ago. His family left Denmark following some political upheaval or other. I mentioned in passing the remains of the Danish Village – but that’s gone, but for the roof. There is a town roundabouts an old job of mine, Denmark Maine, which was not named for any great volume of residents – but due to Republican hospitality to Denmark which had happened to be at war with then Great Britain during the American Revolution. Copenhagen had been badly burned, incidently, around the time Portland was burned by Kingsmen. The idea was to court Danish friendship, and potentially attract what we called “forest people.” (The best loggers were Norwegians and Danes, up in the North of Maine.) Ironically, it worked, eventually, except to my knowledge few Danes settled in Denmark, but clustered in the Portland area to be absorbed later. In nearby New Hampshire is the town of Danbury, which was named in honour of an Old English town whose name meant “fortress of the Danes.” You can read about that town in my New England History Blog, here. There are a goodly number of assimilated Danes living there, fittingly enough. They’re all of them freakishly tall.
Anyway. I hope you’ll join me in celebrating an underrated, but highly important and duly fascinating country. If you have insight or thoughts, please leave them below! In any event, I’ll leave you with some links of potential interest I have collected of Danish things which peaked my fancy.
til mine danske læsere: min dansk er ikke så godt; men det er noget, jeg arbejder på. jeg ved stadig nok til at takke dit land for dit lands kulturelle eksport. At skriver for mig, er meget bedre end at tale. Ach. Linker!
The Unbearable Weight of Links, Love and Light…:
Feel free to contribute in the comments…
Bodgastz (they can also be found on Podbean & Spotify, for offline listeners.)
History of Denmark: Søren Krårup; show & notes.
How To Live in Denmark: Alexander Kaye Lastname; show & site.
What The Denmark: A British Guy; show & site.
Feel free to add below…
Viking Life Blog, Viking Life Guy
From One Heart To Another, Maria Holm
Bongorama, a Danish Dude (?)
Mjodvitnir, Asatro folk
Feel Free to Feed my List Below…
Runic Find, The Guardian
Danish Art, Josie Holford
Feed list below if you can spare a penny…
3 thoughts on “MTHT Ep. 2: Denmark”
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My paternal Grandmother used to cook a lot of Northern German recipes. This sounds delicious.
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No potato salad can beat German tato salad.
Therefore by way of memelaw and “what about the food bro(?)” I submit we call for increased German immigration. Just like Maine once called for more “forest people” (1800s Maineglish for “Scando.”)
Or, you know, stop before it’s too late and globalisation destroys all diversity.