Denmark is a small country that has a lot to offer within easy reach: beautiful landscapes, informal culture, modern cities, and a large physical presence–its easily recognizable peninsula juts straight into the North Sea, serving as a literal bridge between Scandinavia and continental Europe. Danish children are encouraged to be independent, but are expected to take responsibility for schoolwork and household chores. This is a normal part of a culture that promotes personal responsibility and oplysning, which means “enlightenment toward lifelong learning.”
The Danes tend to be cosmopolitan in their attitudes and lifestyle. Their country is located at a major crossroads of international trade. As a result, they have been subjected to foreign intrusion, influence, and intermarriage. The Danish standard of living is high. Danes are well educated and respected for their accomplishments in science, art, literature, and architecture.
The nuclear family is still the most common lifestyle, but divorce rates are quite high in Denmark and many kids stay with single parents or have stepparents and step-siblings.
Soccer is the most popular sport in Denmark. People also enjoy handball, badminton, swimming, sailing, rowing and jogging. In Greenland and the Faroe Islands, hiking, dog-sledding, and skiing are popular. On weekends, Danish teens, like most teens around the world, like to get together with friends to talk, go to parties or see a movie. Danish schools and local community organizations offer various activities. These include sports, music, crafts, drama and scouting.
Traditional open-faced sandwiches known as smörrebröd are popular. Dinner usually includes meat or fish, potatoes, rice or pasta, and vegetables. Sometimes dessert is served. Staples of the Danish diet include roast pork, fish, beans, brussel sprouts, fresh vegetables, and grains. The evening meal is usually the main meal of the day and is often a time when the whole family is together. Danes tend to eat meals rather than snack from the refrigerator.
Danish is Denmark’s official language. In Greenland, the predominant language is Greenlandic which is closely related to languages spoken by the Inuits of northern Canada, Alaska and Siberia. Most Danes belong to the Evangelical Lutheran Church, but only about 5% of them actively attend services.