From sailors to kings: The birth of tattooing in Denmark
As tourists stroll up and down Nyhavn snapping photos of the ships and the architecture, most walk past the distinct yellow storefront of Nyhavn 17 unaware that the building’s lower level houses the origins of a story full of drunken sailors, colourful characters, rough living, and even a tattooed monarch. To descend those steps is to visit the birthplace of tattooing in Denmark.
“This is where it all started,” photographer and author Jon Nordstrøm told me when I met him outside of Nyhavn 17, home to Tattoo-Ole, the oldest functioning tattoo shop in the world. READ MORE
American expats adapt to Thanksgiving in Denmark
Living abroad means dealing with regular bouts of homesickness. For me, that yearning for home was never felt more strongly than at Thanksgiving.
I reached out to a number of other Americans living in Denmark to hear whether they even bothered to keep the tradition alive and if so how they adapted it to their Danish surroundings. READ MORE
Every journalist knows that there is more to covering news than simply chasing the latest headlines. During the six-plus years that I led the news coverage for The Copenhagen Post and single-handedly ran The Local Denmark, I churned out countless news articles but the stories I really enjoyed writing were those that went beyond the headlines. In this section, you will find a small selection of feature articles that dug beneath the surface of current events, explored Denmark's rich history, attempted to tell stories that weren't being told elsewhere or brought some levity in the form of fun lists.
The ten things I'll miss most about living in Denmark
In early 2017, I said goodbye not only to the country I had called home for seven years but also to the news site that I had established three years earlier.
For my very last piece for The Local Denmark, I reflected on all of the things I knew I would miss when I left Copenhagen to begin a new chapter in upstate New York. READ MORE
Christiania moves forward on historic purchase
More than four decades after the freetown of Christiania was established by squatters, residents reluncantly agreed to purchase their property from the state. The deal was reached after the Supreme Court ruled in 2011 that residents did not have a legal right to the property, which was originally used by the military.
Ahead of their first down payment, Christianites started selling 'shares' in Copenhagen's infamous enclave. But would they be able to raise enough money, and if so, how would Christiania move in to its new era? READ MORE
Staying 'happy' during the dark, depressing winter
Danes have been called some variation of the moniker 'the happiest people in the world' so many times that it has become cliche, a bit of a long running joke. Just last month, in an OECD publication entitled 'How's Life?', Denmark finished top out of 40 countries in terms of life satisfaction.
But while a visit to Kongens Have on a warm and sunny July day might make it is easy to understand how Danes can be such a happy lot, outsiders may be hard-pressed to explain this distinction during the dark, cold days of winter. How can people be so happy and satisfied when they go months barely seeing the sun? READ MORE
Totally nice! Why Danes love to speak English
That Danes blend so many English words into their day-to-day conversations not only catches the ear of non-Danes desperate to understand what’s being said around them, it also catches the ire of Danish language purists like Jørn Lund.
As the author of several books on the language, Lund has seen Danish change considerably over the course of his thirty-plus year career as a professor and researcher of the language.
“Danes’ articulation of the language has changed dramatically,” Lund told me. READ MORE
Ten Danish words the world should start using now
Danish is a tough language, but it has some real gems. In this popular article for The Local Denmark, I guided readers through ten Danish words that are just so good that we should all start using them.
So, gather up your overskud and go through my list. Don't wait until overmorgen! And when you're done, remember to share it with your mormor so we all can start using these fun Danish words. READ MORE
Søren Pind on assimilation, exemptions and hobbits
When Søren Pind was named the new immigration minister in March, he made instant headlines – and ruffled feathers – by stating that he preferred ‘assimilation’ to ‘immigration’ and that people who move to Denmark do so because they want to “become Danish”.
I sat down with Pind, who also serves as the development minister, for an exclusive interview in which he attempted to clarify his statement, laid out his vision for immigration policy and told me why he thinks Danes are "the true hobbits of this world". READ MORE
Seeing for two
It was my great pleasure to take part in the 2015 Impact Journalism Day by highlighting a Danish app that allows sighted volunteers to help blind people all over the world just by using their smartphones.
I spoke with the cofounder of the Be My Eyes app and met with one of the app's many blind users to see how she benefits from it in her everyday life. READ MORE
#OccupyWallStreet comes to Denmark
In the autumn of 2011, protests in New York's Zucotti Park spread across the world.
Denmark was no exception, but can a populist movement find success in a country where the gap between the rich and poor doesn’t match that of the US, where some of the American protesters’ recurrent complaints – the prohibitive, and sometimes crippling, costs of healthcare and higher education – are negated by a welfare state, and where a progressive tax rate ensures that the wealthiest members of society contribute significantly to the country’s coffers? READ MORE
Digging up the truth on Tycho Brahe
"The astronomer clearly did not die as a Dane and does not belong to Denmark anymore. My fellow citizens killed him and they do not deserve him.”
Ahead of a 2011 exhumation of Tycho Brahe, a Danish professor suggests that none other than beloved King Christian IV was behind the famed astronomer's 1601 death in Prague. READ MORE
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