Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Liquid Courage

The Danes can do three things really well; be modest, ride bikes, and drink. The Danes ability to drink is pretty phenomenal. From what I've experienced, the Danes try to get as drunk as they can as quickly as they can and stay that way for however long they can. The the Dane no party is complete without alcohol. I probably make the Danes out to be alcoholics, but what amazes me is their ability to balance their drinking habits and their daily life.

"What oil is to Texas, beer is to Danmark." according Xenophobe's Guide to the Danes. So true... Two major brewing companies dominate the beer scene in Danmark - Tuborg and Carlsberg - though micro-brewers are quite plentiful around the country. Holidays are often marked by the release of the special brews instead of decorations and other merchandise like in America. For example, jule øl (Christmas beer) is not only a sign of Christmas, but an essential drink during parties and dinners.

Interesting Fact: a bottle opener is an essential fixation in every Danish
household. Many people will have one on their key rings or can quite
artfully manage to remove the cap with a lighter (popular during parties amongst
younger people).

In the newspapers you see many articles are youth drinking and its affects, but in truth the Danes think they drink quite modestly. They believe in being able to hold their alcohol. I've been told that if you see a really drunk person in Copenhagen walking around that they are in fact not Danish, but Swedish (beer is cheaper in Danmark b/c of taxes).

Interesting Fact: there isn't technically a drinking age in Danmark.
You may buy alcohol from stores at the age of 16 and may buy publicly (bar,
club, restaurant, etc.) at the age of 18. This, mind you, is very loosely
enforced. As long as you don't look like a little kid your good to go.

Entering back into the American drinking scene will be interesting as at my age it is supposedly non-existent. In my opinion, we focus on not drinking so much that we actually encourage it through reverse psychology (tell them not to do it and they do for spite). In Danmark, however, I believe they it is such a part of their culture that in the end they end up teaching responsible drinking.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Jen, din dranker! (:

- Hanne.