The Danes wear a lot of black. Welcome to my wardrobe.
The Danes mostly wear what we call tennis shoes or sneakers. I don’t believe in wearing uncomfortable shoes and pretty much wear my (Saucony or Adidas) tennis shoes all the time.
The Danes respect privacy and I tend to be a rather private person (not counting my professional life!). I’ve been told it can be difficult to make friends with the Danish and their established social circles, but (being shy and a bit of a homebody) I have always found it hard to make friends.
The Danish cultural staple of hygge is pretty much what I strive for in my life (of course I have much more to learn about hygge!).
The Danish believe in work/life balance and taking care of people. I have often let my work/life balance suffer because of my tendency to take care of people (and myself), but this is one of the things I have been working on over the last few years and have gotten closer to achieving through my recent sabbatical and current Fulbright.
The Danes like to eat and drink. Clearly I do not enjoy these activities (sarcasm!). Bread and cheese (after pork and fish) are staples of the Danish diet and I have fallen in love with at least four varieties of bread that I have had. (Stay tuned for more on brød!)
There are other similarities as well, but not everything can be the same. I am not much of a bike-rider and prefer to walk; however, I have certainly experienced the pleasure and freedom that a bike can bring and may end up becoming a bike lover or at least biking out of necessity.
And, while I have read that the Danes are literal-minded and don’t understand sarcasm, I have been assured by at least several Danes that this is totally true (but their answer was delivered sarcastically!). Since most of my daily conversation and teaching is rather sarcastic, I was really worried that my students would not understand my sarcasm or sense of humor at all. So, now I don’t have to worry quite as much!
Finally, the Danes value their participatory democracy, support their welfare state, and believe in equality (achieved through an interventionist state and the redistribution of wealth) and strive for flat hierarchies and egalitarian ethos. My “socialist” tendencies mesh much better with the Danes, but I still have much to unpack regarding these similarities, particularly the Danish tendency toward social cohesion that may lead toward resentment toward immigrants in some cases.