A Weekend in Denmark!
(Here’s a picture of me with some flødebolle)
Last weekend, I went to Denmark for a wedding! It was only an hour flight from Holland. The ceremony included several songs and the venue was a church.
Danish is a very aggressive-sounding language that some say sounds like they have potatoes stuck in their throats. They have a really intense throat-clearing “r”, and a lot of really odd elongated noises. The sounds are really hard to make if you’re new to the language. That being said, it is actually quite beautiful and harmonic when it is sung. I was a bit surprised at the nice rhythm of the hymns. I wonder if the Vikings sounded so melodic when they sang in ancient Scandinavian languages like that!
Though the Danes usually consider themselves quite secular, they use the church for public goods like ceremonial baptism, marriages, and deaths. Sweden does it that way, too. I think it is interesting that even if the Nordic people prefer to be agnostic, secular, atheist, or whatever, they tend to value the church as an intrinsic and traditional part of the community.
At the wedding, they served flødeboller, which is pronounced as “fleur de ballar” in a British accent. It is flavored spongy whip cream covered in a thin layer of chocolate. It was pretty good. I accidentally had a black licorice one on the first go, which was definitely not my cup of tea. I had a strawberry one on the second try, and it was wonderful!
I also had some Danish bread. Many Europeans think American bread is too sweet, and the Danes pretty much epitomize the polarization of bread sweetness. Theirs is either really hard and nutty and dark brown, or crusty and covered in black seeds called “birkes,” or poppy seeds. It’s usually not sweet or soft, but they do sell the stuff if you look really hard for it!
We also had “cold bowl,” or koldskål which is like cold vanilla Greek yogurt soup with cookies in it. I think it’s an acquired taste, maybe. It was a bit sour and a bit soupy. It’s made from milk and egg whites.
As far as the streets of Copenhagen go, it is quite similar to Amsterdam, but with slightly less canals and less bikes (which may be good in my case). They still have distinct bike lanes, few cars, and bridges over canals as city streets, though. It’s a beautiful and colorful city. It is also flat and much easier to walk in than Seattle! They also have a phenomenal public transportation system that even extends to the suburbs, which this American definitely envies.
In closing, this is a sentence Danes like to get non-Danes to pronounce just for laughs:
Rød grød med fløde!
Pronunciation: “woel cwoel mel floel.” Translation: Red soupy pudding with cream.