How to be Danish by Patrick Kingsley

Juliet Sulejmani | April 11, 2016

How to be Danish – A journey to the cutlrual heart of Denmark, by Patrick Kingsley
183 Pages
Originally published in 2012
Non fiction
Patrick Kingsley, The Guardian’s migration correspondent, journalist, author
November 28 1881 – February 22, 1942.

I was in Avenue Bookstore in Albert Park about two weeks ago and this book caught my eye. I have been unconsciously looking for a book of it’s kind ever since I got to experience Danish culture through the wonderful women behind the blogs “UNGT BLOD” and “IDA LAERKE“.

This book gives you a great over view of Danish culture.

Kingsley has divided the book into 8 parts covering; education, food, design DNA, welfare, immigrants, Copenhagen, The Killing and Jutland.

I recommend the book to anyone who is curious about Denmark and I wish that there were a book like this for all the cities in the world.

The gist of the book for me was that Denmark is about being a collective nation. Everything that anyone does is for the benefit of everyone else and for the benefit of the country and also the world. Think low unemployment rate, think small gap between lower class and upper class, think world’s largest producers of windmills, think design innovation etc.

Some things I’m inspired to do after reading the book are; travel to Denmark, start riding a bike, think about ways that I can make a positive difference in the world, watch The Killing, go to NOMA and read more books on How to be Danish.

Notes and Quotes:

  • “It’s no coincidence that the name of the Danes’ most famous export -Lego toys- is derived from the Danish words “leg godt”. Play well.” Page 19
  • “The last two (debating and philosophy) are particulary important because the ability to articulate an argument is a key part of being an active citizen.” Page 22
  • Lurpak Danish Butter, Page 27
  • Rene Redzepi, Noma, Page 32
  • Watch Borgen and The Killing
  • Read, Being Danish by Richard Jenkins and Life Between Buildings by Gehl
  • Copenhagen Cycle Chic Blog, Page 122
  • “No. We dress for our destination, not our journey.” Page 122

Book 15 for 2016

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