How to be more Danish


Hej – and welcome to your weekly ScandiKitchen lesson.

So, you want to be more Danish? You don’t need to go to Denmark to be ‘dansker’ – just follow this quick do-it-at-home guide and you’ll be saying nå-nå to everything before you know it.

Every week, we give a little lesson on how to be a bit more Scandinavian in your everyday life. If you’d like the full-length version of these lessons direct into your inbox every Friday morning, simply click here to sign up.


All the flags

Most Danes have a flagpole in the garden. At any opportunity (birthday, Sundays, going to the shops), fly your flag in your garden. Low on flags? Get yourself one of the fancy national clapping hats.

open sandwich

Topless sandwiches

Eat open sandwiches. Learn the complicated rules for what toppings go on what bread -and in what order it’s eaten. No, the rules are not written down. You just know.



Learn how to pronounce rødgrød med fløde. When you can do this, you’ll be a Dane. Until then, all the people who can pronounce this will make fun of you. It’s a national pastime.


Hygge (actually)

You really understand the internal state of Hygge; to appreciate the moment when you’re in it. Mention hygge several times a day. Pronounce it properly (who-guh). Roll eyes if anyone rhymes hygge with jiggy.


Remoulade on everything

It’s a yellow curried piccalilli condiment. Eat it with chips, roast beef, fried fish, salami, meatballs, burgers, on hotdogs. But if you put it on smoked salmon, we’ll ship you to Finland: There are RULES.

dk house

Danish your house

Paint everything (floor, ceiling, walls) white and remove all curtains. Add one Danish statement chair, a sheepskin from a remote Swedish farm, one Lyngby vase + a Kubus candle stick. Limit Ikea to things nobody can identify as Ikea. (1) copy 3

Dansk is always better

Every time someone says anything about anything, just say: “in Denmark, we have that. Except ours is better”.

Friend: “I love these wonderful chairs I just bought”

You: “We have the best chair designers in the world in Denmark. Ours are better”.

Friend: Try these pastries, they are delicious.

You: We have pastries in Denmark: they’re better. copy

Nå: Your new favourite word.

Nå. Depending on how you pronounce it, it can mean:

  • How lovely!
  • I understand
  • Total surprise
  • How are you?
  • Threaten someone
  • Agreeing with someone
  • Being impatient.


Joke about Swedes

Every Dane knows to make fun of Swedes. It’s just hilarious. Jokes like: “Why wasn’t Jesus born in Sweden? They couldn’t find three wise men” HARHARHAR.


Law of Jante

Underlying Danish psyche is the Law of Jante: Don’t think you are any better than us, don’t think you can teach us anything. Don’t think you’re special. Officially, you shun Janteloven but when the neighbour buys a new car, it’ll creep up on you. Read more here.

Pic: From our Bronte’s book NORTH.


Bikes everywhere

Have one trouser leg stuffed inside sock at all times to protect it from bike chain. Kids? Get a Christiania bike and ferry the little ones around. Develop cykel-righteousness: You’re now superior to cars/pedestrians/insects.



Danes get to the point. No more fluffy middle layer, no e-mail how was the weekend. It’s not rude, it’s just… Assertive. Also, we do not understand when you say something you don’t mean (like ‘how are you?’)



Danes love strong, filter coffee (3-4 cups a day is a good base). Nowadays, Danes also love Lattes, but you must pronounce it Ladde. Also, Coffee is kaffe, but if you’re from the sticks, you say Kaff (way cooler).


The final frontier

After all that, if you’ve still got energy, you could always attempt to count things. Like, 54 is four-and-half-twenty-times-four-and-a-half. Learn more here – and good luck.


The post How to be more Danish appeared first on ScandiKitchen.

Leave a Comment