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Denmark 101 with Alex Berger

Tips, tricks, and cultural observations about the Danes and life in Denmark. From Copenhagen on the island of Sjaelland to Aarhus, Alborg and the far reaches of Jutland. I aspire to explore Denmark and to report back on Denmark's wonderful people, rich traditions and subtle quirks.
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Denmark 101 with Alex Berger
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Now displaying: 2018
Dec 12, 2018

The meal was amazing. The portions were bottomless. You're ready to go home but feel guilty about wasting food. You're also feeling a bit lazy - why cook tomorrow morning? So, you ask for a doggy bag. What's a doggy bag? It's a to-go bag for your leftovers and while it may eventually find its way to a canine friend, the food you save and take home is usually reserved for human consumption as delicious leftovers. At least, that's how we do it in the US. But, what about Denmark?

If you're Danish hopefully you'll find this series interesting, a bit informative, and not too outlandishly offensive.

If you're a foreigner coming to Denmark, I hope this helps you build upon observations and insights the rest of us had to find out the hard way.

Topics that will be covered include the Danish approach to nudity, how to make Danish friends, how to meet Danes, Danish manners, and even a look at Janteloven.

Stay tuned for future updates - this is just the beginning!

Explore the stories behind this podcast at http://virtualwayfarer.com.

Where you can find me:

BLOG - http://www.virtualwayfarer.com
FACEBOOK- http://www.facebook.com/virtualwayfarer
INSTAGRAM - http://instagram.com/virtualwayfarer
TWITTER - http://twitter.com/AlexBerger

Nov 17, 2018

Yikes! It's a hard topic. What's up with all the Danes wearing fur and working it into Danish fashion? Why is it still so popular in Nordic and Scandinavian fashion when most other regions have abandoned it? I encourage everyone tow atch the full video for commenting, particularly as I know it's an emotional and sensitive topic for most. Right or wrong is up to you, but, as with everything in this series - I aim to better understand and explain the what and the why. The rest, I leave up to you. Just keep it civil!

If you're Danish hopefully you'll find this series interesting, a bit informative, and not too outlandishly offensive.

If you're a foreigner coming to Denmark, I hope this helps you build upon observations and insights the rest of us had to find out the hard way.

Topics that will be covered include the Danish approach to nudity, how to make Danish friends, how to meet Danes, Danish manners, and even a look at Janteloven.

Stay tuned for future updates - this is just the beginning!

Explore the stories behind this podcast at http://virtualwayfarer.com.

Where you can find me:

BLOG - http://www.virtualwayfarer.com
FACEBOOK- http://www.facebook.com/virtualwayfarer
INSTAGRAM - http://instagram.com/virtualwayfarer
TWITTER - http://twitter.com/AlexBerger

Nov 6, 2018

They may be delicious and a simple candy, but that does not mean they're not noteworthy and are without controversy. Tune into this episode of Denmark 101 for a look at one of Denmark's most iconic candied treats!

**I opted for the American black licorice spelling, but yes, I'm aware you probably prefer "Liquorice"**

If you're Danish hopefully you'll find this series interesting, a bit informative, and not too outlandishly offensive.

If you're a foreigner coming to Denmark, I hope this helps you build upon observations and insights the rest of us had to find out the hard way.

Topics that will be covered include the Danish approach to nudity, how to make Danish friends, how to meet Danes, Danish manners, and even a look at Janteloven.

Stay tuned for future updates - this is just the beginning!

Explore the stories behind this podcast at http://virtualwayfarer.com.

Where you can find me:

BLOG - http://www.virtualwayfarer.com
FACEBOOK- http://www.facebook.com/virtualwayfarer
INSTAGRAM - http://instagram.com/virtualwayfarer
TWITTER - http://twitter.com/AlexBerger

Sep 2, 2018

Starting in late November, the Christmas Lunch / Danish Julefrokost season starts and it is a wild and crazy time. With charming dinners, fancy clothing, wonderful food (and not so wonderful food) as well as inappropriate flirtations and more than one or two frisky encounters - it's quite the cultural experience. Here's a quick down and dirty look at what it is and some casual observations.

If you're Danish hopefully you'll find this series interesting, a bit informative, and not too outlandishly offensive.

If you're a foreigner coming to Denmark, I hope this helps you build upon observations and insights the rest of us had to find out the hard way.

Topics that will be covered include the Danish approach to nudity, how to make Danish friends, how to meet Danes, Danish manners, and even a look at Janteloven.

Stay tuned for future updates - this is just the beginning!

Explore the stories behind this podcast at http://virtualwayfarer.com.

Where you can find me:

BLOG - http://www.virtualwayfarer.com
FACEBOOK- http://www.facebook.com/virtualwayfarer
INSTAGRAM - http://instagram.com/virtualwayfarer
TWITTER - http://twitter.com/AlexBerger

Aug 4, 2018

WTH is Snaps? Is it the same as Akvavit? Do you spell it snapps, schnaps, akvavit, or aquavit? In this episode of Denmark 101 I take a shot at explaining how Danish snaps is made and its cultural significance in preparation for next week's julefrokost video.

If you're Danish hopefully you'll find this series interesting, a bit informative, and not too outlandishly offensive.

If you're a foreigner coming to Denmark, I hope this helps you build upon observations and insights the rest of us had to find out the hard way.

Topics that will be covered include the Danish approach to nudity, how to make Danish friends, how to meet Danes, Danish manners, and even a look at Janteloven.

Stay tuned for future updates - this is just the beginning!

Explore the stories behind this podcast at http://virtualwayfarer.com.

Where you can find me:

BLOG - http://www.virtualwayfarer.com
FACEBOOK- http://www.facebook.com/virtualwayfarer
INSTAGRAM - http://instagram.com/virtualwayfarer
TWITTER - http://twitter.com/AlexBerger

Jul 22, 2018

At the heart of understanding Denmark, Danish history, and Danish culture is the Danish economy. To do that, I've put together this video summarizing and discussing a number of statistics that serve as a great insight into where Denmark's job market is centered, where the country's economy is going, potential pitfalls in the future, and exciting opportunities.

Figures for this video are pulled from: http://atlas.cid.harvard.edu/explore/?country=64&partner=undefined&product=undefined&productClass=HS&startYear=undefined&target=Product&year=2013

If you're Danish hopefully you'll find this series interesting, a bit informative, and not too outlandishly offensive.

If you're a foreigner coming to Denmark, I hope this helps you build upon observations and insights the rest of us had to find out the hard way.

Topics that will be covered include the Danish approach to nudity, how to make Danish friends, how to meet Danes, Danish manners, and even a look at Janteloven.

Stay tuned for future updates - this is just the beginning!

Explore the stories behind this podcast at http://virtualwayfarer.com.

Where you can find me:

BLOG - http://www.virtualwayfarer.com
FACEBOOK- http://www.facebook.com/virtualwayfarer
INSTAGRAM - http://instagram.com/virtualwayfarer
TWITTER - http://twitter.com/AlexBerger

Jul 15, 2018

For my 50th Denmark 101 episode it's time to circle back around to the topic of Danes and Nudity, this time, let's focus in on beaches, breasts, and general nudity. Is it legal? Is it true that Europeans run around beaches naked? Are the men naked? Do people still go topless? Tune in and find out in this episode of Denmark 101 - and just a reminder for those watching, idiotic or disrespectful comments will be treated with disrespect or re-located to where they belong; the trash.

If you're Danish hopefully you'll find this series interesting, a bit informative, and not too outlandishly offensive.

If you're a foreigner coming to Denmark, I hope this helps you build upon observations and insights the rest of us had to find out the hard way.

Topics that will be covered include the Danish approach to nudity, how to make Danish friends, how to meet Danes, Danish manners, and even a look at Janteloven.

Stay tuned for future updates - this is just the beginning!

Explore the stories behind this podcast at http://virtualwayfarer.com.

Where you can find me:

BLOG - http://www.virtualwayfarer.com
FACEBOOK- http://www.facebook.com/virtualwayfarer
INSTAGRAM - http://instagram.com/virtualwayfarer
TWITTER - http://twitter.com/AlexBerger

Jul 10, 2018

Do you know the difference between København V, Vesterbro, Nørrebro, Østerbro, Christianshavn, Christiania, Amager and Frederiksberg? Each is widely different with very distinct with their own unique personalities. I do my best in this episode of Denmark 101 to give you a quick crash course run-through. Hint: If you're not familiar with Copenhagen, you may want to also pull up a map for this one!

If you're Danish hopefully you'll find this series interesting, a bit informative, and not too outlandishly offensive.

If you're a foreigner coming to Denmark, I hope this helps you build upon observations and insights the rest of us had to find out the hard way.

Topics that will be covered include the Danish approach to nudity, how to make Danish friends, how to meet Danes, Danish manners, and even a look at Janteloven.

Stay tuned for future updates - this is just the beginning!

Explore the stories behind this podcast at http://virtualwayfarer.com.

Where you can find me:

BLOG - http://www.virtualwayfarer.com
FACEBOOK- http://www.facebook.com/virtualwayfarer
INSTAGRAM - http://instagram.com/virtualwayfarer
TWITTER - http://twitter.com/AlexBerger

Jun 23, 2018

There are few things more Danish than the Bodega. Far from a local corner shop which might share the same name in other countries, a Bodega is the name for the traditional Danish corner bar. They're small, they're gritty, they're a bit rough, and they're overflowing with charm.

In Today's Denmark 101 episode I dive into what a Bodega is, why they're an important part of Danish culture and some of the more subtle observations I've come to learn from my time in Denmark.

If you're Danish hopefully you'll find this series interesting, a bit informative, and not too outlandishly offensive.

If you're a foreigner coming to Denmark, I hope this helps you build upon observations and insights the rest of us had to find out the hard way.

Topics that will be covered include the Danish approach to nudity, how to make Danish friends, how to meet Danes, Danish manners, and even a look at Janteloven.

Stay tuned for future updates - this is just the beginning!

Explore the stories behind this podcast at http://virtualwayfarer.com.

Where you can find me:

BLOG - http://www.virtualwayfarer.com
FACEBOOK- http://www.facebook.com/virtualwayfarer
INSTAGRAM - http://instagram.com/virtualwayfarer
TWITTER - http://twitter.com/AlexBerger

May 14, 2018

Hygge? You bet, but don't forget your candles! In today's episode I dive into the differences between how Americans deal with and view candles (especially southwesterners like myself from warmer regions) and how Danes view and use candles. Five years in, I've got to admit the Danes have won me over completely and I'm now decidedly on #teamcandle and loving the warmth and charm they offer. Though, we're still going to have to agree to disagree on how to use aromatic candles.

If you're Danish hopefully you'll find this series interesting, a bit informative, and not too outlandishly offensive.

If you're a foreigner coming to Denmark, I hope this helps you build upon observations and insights the rest of us had to find out the hard way.

Topics that will be covered include the Danish approach to nudity, how to make Danish friends, how to meet Danes, Danish manners, and even a look at Janteloven.

Stay tuned for future updates - this is just the beginning!

Explore the stories behind this podcast at http://virtualwayfarer.com.

Where you can find me:

BLOG - http://www.virtualwayfarer.com
FACEBOOK- http://www.facebook.com/virtualwayfarer
INSTAGRAM - http://instagram.com/virtualwayfarer
TWITTER - http://twitter.com/AlexBerger

May 13, 2018

Root Beer. As an American it's a classic cornerstone of American culture. Even though it's not as popular these days, it's still the definition of iconic for many Americans right there next to a Hamburger shop or Drive in Movie. For Danes though? Whew. Not so much.

So, which side of the Root Beer divide do you fall on? Team Root Beer or Team Toothpaste?

If you're Danish hopefully you'll find this series interesting, a bit informative, and not too outlandishly offensive.

If you're a foreigner coming to Denmark, I hope this helps you build upon observations and insights the rest of us had to find out the hard way.

Topics that will be covered include the Danish approach to nudity, how to make Danish friends, how to meet Danes, Danish manners, and even a look at Janteloven.

Stay tuned for future updates - this is just the beginning!

Explore the stories behind this podcast at http://virtualwayfarer.com.

Where you can find me:

BLOG - http://www.virtualwayfarer.com
FACEBOOK- http://www.facebook.com/virtualwayfarer
INSTAGRAM - http://instagram.com/virtualwayfarer
TWITTER - http://twitter.com/AlexBerger

May 12, 2018

Experiencing Danish culture means experiencing Danish alcohols. From Gammel Dansk to Aalborg Gold and Fisherman's Friend in-between, this episode is dedicated to exploring many of the most common Danish hard alcohols. Just writing this description and thinking about how horrible a lot of it is gives me chills and goosebumps. So, on that note, enjoy and...skal!

If you're Danish hopefully you'll find this series interesting, a bit informative, and not too outlandishly offensive.

If you're a foreigner coming to Denmark, I hope this helps you build upon observations and insights the rest of us had to find out the hard way.

Topics that will be covered include the Danish approach to nudity, how to make Danish friends, how to meet Danes, Danish manners, and even a look at Janteloven.

Stay tuned for future updates - this is just the beginning!

Explore the stories behind this podcast at http://virtualwayfarer.com.

Where you can find me:

BLOG - http://www.virtualwayfarer.com
FACEBOOK- http://www.facebook.com/virtualwayfarer
INSTAGRAM - http://instagram.com/virtualwayfarer
TWITTER - http://twitter.com/AlexBerger

May 11, 2018

Without fail one of the things most non-Nordics find captivating about the Nordic countries are their liberal approach to sex and the stunning beauty of their populations. It doesn't take long looking for information about Denmark before the beauty of Danish men and women comes up.

In the last few years there have even been some very widely viewed TV commercials which tackled the topic, such as Speis' "Do it for Denmark" campaign. But, one thing that doesn't get mentioned much, despite Danes reputation as some of the most shameless and sexually well-rounded folks out there, is condoms and condom use.

Though not a core part of this channel, I'm a huge advocate of safe sex, and of sex education. As part of that, one element of Danish culture that is quite disappointing, especially among my generation, is an overall casual approach to using condoms and practicing safe sex.

Here's a look at some of the stats (source: http://sti.bmj.com/content/early/2015/01/21/sextrans-2014-051814.full )

"Results Response rate was 20.4%. Condoms were used at sexual debut by 69.9% of women and 62.3% of men, while 14.3% of women and 15.1% of men used no contraceptives at sexual debut. Half of the respondents used condom alone at the latest sexual encounter with a steady partner (women 51.8%, men 55.2%), while 10% used no contraceptives. Having a sexual encounter with a casual partner decreased the likelihood of using condoms (women 43.7%, men 49.5%) and increased the likelihood of using no contraceptives (women 14.8%, men 20.9%). Data on sexual behaviour characteristics showed only minor changes when weighted for non-response. Conclusions The findings call for interventions addressing the use of appropriate contraception at sexual debut and at last sexual encounter; this seems particularly important when the sexual partner is a casual partner."

While this episode doesn't focus on the specifics of Condom usage. One thing I found quite interesting when first arriving in Denmark was how and where one goes about locating, shopping for, and purchasing condoms. After all, you see massive variations from country to country in the availability, range of options available, and approach to condom usage and it is, for many, an important consideration. So - to the Danes watching, I suppose my question for you in this episode is, where do YOU buy your condoms?

If you're Danish hopefully you'll find this series interesting, a bit informative, and not too outlandishly offensive.

If you're a foreigner coming to Denmark, I hope this helps you build upon observations and insights the rest of us had to find out the hard way.

Topics that will be covered include the Danish approach to nudity, how to make Danish friends, how to meet Danes, Danish manners, and even a look at Janteloven.

Stay tuned for future updates - this is just the beginning!

Explore the stories behind this podcast at http://virtualwayfarer.com.

Where you can find me:

BLOG - http://www.virtualwayfarer.com
FACEBOOK- http://www.facebook.com/virtualwayfarer
INSTAGRAM - http://instagram.com/virtualwayfarer
TWITTER - http://twitter.com/AlexBerger

May 11, 2018

You requested I share observations about religion, religiosity and related considerations in Denmark, including some comparisons to what I was exposed to growing up in the US.

In this episode, I attempt to dive into a very complex topic while still trying to keep things fairly brief. As usual, this likely is somewhat biased towards Copenhagen (and the other major cities) and may not be as completely applicable to more rural areas which tend to be more religious and practice religion differently (true in all countries), so do take that into consideration. For some additional context here's the Wikipedia page about Religion in Denmark: 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Denmark

If you're Danish hopefully you'll find this series interesting, a bit informative, and not too outlandishly offensive.

If you're a foreigner coming to Denmark, I hope this helps you build upon observations and insights the rest of us had to find out the hard way.

Topics that will be covered include the Danish approach to nudity, how to make Danish friends, how to meet Danes, Danish manners, and even a look at Janteloven.

Stay tuned for future updates - this is just the beginning!

Explore the stories behind this podcast at http://virtualwayfarer.com.

Where you can find me:

BLOG - http://www.virtualwayfarer.com
FACEBOOK- http://www.facebook.com/virtualwayfarer
INSTAGRAM - http://instagram.com/virtualwayfarer
TWITTER - http://twitter.com/AlexBerger

Feb 27, 2018

When I graduated from Arizona State with my Bachelors there were three separate ceremonies all of which required I purchase and wear a maroon robe. I was initially skeptical of it all, choosing to only attend one, and thinking it was overhyped, a bit tacky, and ridiculous. But, later, I came to realize it offered a sense of closure and bookmarked the end of one chapter and the start of another.

So, when it arrived in Copenhagen ready to attend the University of Copenhagen for my Master's nearly 4 years later, I expected that when I graduated from the 2 year program I'd have a similar ritual and experience - after all the University dates back to 1479 - only with more "old world" pomp and ceremony than we'd had back in Arizona.

That's not quite what I got....

If you're Danish hopefully you'll find this series interesting, a bit informative, and not too outlandishly offensive.

If you're a foreigner coming to Denmark, I hope this helps you build upon observations and insights the rest of us had to find out the hard way.

Topics that will be covered include the Danish approach to nudity, how to make Danish friends, how to meet Danes, Danish manners, and even a look at Janteloven.

Stay tuned for future updates - this is just the beginning!

Explore the stories behind this podcast at http://virtualwayfarer.com.

Where you can find me:

BLOG - http://www.virtualwayfarer.com
FACEBOOK- http://www.facebook.com/virtualwayfarer
INSTAGRAM - http://instagram.com/virtualwayfarer
TWITTER - http://twitter.com/AlexBerger

Feb 24, 2018

Remember the incredible experience that came with graduating from High School or Gymnasium? The Danes know how to kick things up a notch with their Studenterhue and "wagon" ride around town. It's a crazy fun tradition that involves white sailor's hats denoting a recent graduate combined with a day spent touring the city, raising hell, drinking, dancing, smiling, and celebrating with friends and family from the back of an old converted military transport with lots of fake flowers, horns, and large speakers.

I dive into the tradition in this episode of Denmark 101 BUT because it's a very rich and extensive tradition which I'm only scraping the tip of the topic, here's the Danish Wikipedia about student caps (use Google translate on it) https://da.wikipedia.org/wiki/Studenterhue_(Danmark).

If you're Danish hopefully you'll find this series interesting, a bit informative, and not too outlandishly offensive.

If you're a foreigner coming to Denmark, I hope this helps you build upon observations and insights the rest of us had to find out the hard way.

Topics that will be covered include the Danish approach to nudity, how to make Danish friends, how to meet Danes, Danish manners, and even a look at Janteloven.

Stay tuned for future updates - this is just the beginning!

Explore the stories behind this podcast at http://virtualwayfarer.com.

Where you can find me:

BLOG - http://www.virtualwayfarer.com
FACEBOOK- http://www.facebook.com/virtualwayfarer
INSTAGRAM - http://instagram.com/virtualwayfarer
TWITTER - http://twitter.com/AlexBerger

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