A rare look at American immigrants to Denmark that reveals how, for some, the cultural differences between the United States and Denmark can generate creativity.Thomas constructed an 11-point questionnaire designed to find out why American writers, artists, and teachers have chosen to live in Denmark. Of pivotal interest is whether these emigrants from America are happierA rare look at American immigrants to Denmark that reveals how, for some, the cultural differences between the United States and Denmark can generate creativity.Thomas constructed an 11-point questionnaire designed to find out why American writers, artists, and teachers have chosen to live in Denmark. Of pivotal interest is whether these emigrants from America are happier and doing better, more creative work in Denmark than they were doing at home.The immigrants who tell their stories here are the intellectually curious who have swapped one culture for another, who have dared enter a social and cultural limbo in which they can never be Danes, nor ever truly American again. As Niels Ingwersen, Managing Editor of Scandinavian Studies, notes, "The book is about a small group of people, but their reactions, thoughts, and emotions—not least their experience of existential ambiguity—is one that most expatriates know well."These essays, Ingwersen explains, "bring out, often eloquently, often poignantly, why the authors left America and why they probably will not return to their native country even though they are quite critical of Denmark and admit that there is much in America that they will miss." In general, these people are not America bashers; some even object to the term expatriate as connoting a lack of patriotism....
|Title||:||Americans in Denmark: Comparisons of the Two Cultures by Writers, Artists, and Teachers|
|Number of Pages||:||176 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Americans in Denmark: Comparisons of the Two Cultures by Writers, Artists, and Teachers Reviews
Given that the premise of this 'study' is that the author and his wife were debating the pros and cons of moving to Denmark permanently after spending three non-consecutive, Fulbright-aided years there--I can hardly claim that this is an exhaustive, academically rigorous study of Danish life or Expat culture in Dejlige Lille Land ("The Nice Little Country.") However, given that all of my knowledge of the country has thus far been accumulated through tour guides, travel brochures, and novels, any first-hand accounts (especially from a similar cultural perspective) are useful. Most of the authors, artists, and teachers that the author interviews are individuals that came to Denmark in the 60s and 70s, either as a result of 'falling in love with a Dane' (this is a major theme for many of my Danish-language classmates, actually), never leaving after a brief period of study, or for some (although less than you might expect) because of political restiveness with the Good Ole' U S of A. As a rule, they point out the more 'humane' system of health care and overall societal compassion in Denmark, as well as the less media-stimulated, less violent, and generally more 'secure' Danish environment. They also note a lack of 'vitality' and energy, and a sense that all must conform in order to maintain a societal balance. According to these folks, the Danes don't appreciate boat-rockers.Despite the relative homogeneity of the answers, I did particularly enjoy certain tidbits:1) Children help pick out their own curriculum each year.2) Birthday parties, dinner parties, holiday celebrations, and social of events of pretty much any stripe tend to follow the same agenda. The same foods are eaten, the same games are played, and generally, this happens in the same order.3) A 'typical' Dane would rather walk around the block a few times rather than show up to a place too early.4) Foreign university degrees don't mean a whole lot in Denmark, unless you've also been educated in one of their own universities.5) Danish Parliament has twelve different parties represented in it.Anyway, there are more neat little things, but lest I start horribly generalizing (too late! some of you say) I'll leave it at that.
This book is a collection of interviews with and essays by Americans living in Denmark. I believe it was published in the early 90s. Some of their observations about the Danish people and life in Denmark are dead on but much is so off kilter it borders on comedy at times. The big thing is these people are all seemingly self important, overeducated, at the least upper middle class Americans that don't interact with working class Danes so they only view Denmark through the narrow politically correct sheltered worldview of those type people. Not that they get it all wrong but it would be difficult to recomend this book to somebody who hasn't been here who is looking for input as to how day to day life is.