Things Not To Do In Denmark

When you are going to Denmark for the first time, here is what you should do - do not think ‘Law of Jante’ is a myth. Yes, the ‘official’ list of rules which also includes ‘You're not to think anyone cares about you’. Danes are fond of people, but they are fonder of many, many unwritten rules. So, here are the things you should not do in Denmark. You do not want to piss off Danes now, do you?

1. Do not break any traffic rules 

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People in Denmark are very particular about traffic rules. No jaywalking, no drink-and-driving, no over speeding, and of course no driving on the left side. If you think this is strict, then you have not heard all the guidelines when it comes to cycling around. Hand signaling is sacred to those who use cycle here. 

2. Do not buy weed

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This one is a bummer, I know! But, even if you have assumed that marijuana is legal in Denmark, it is not. The infamous Christiania neighborhood has gained the nickname of the ‘Green Light District’ as it manages to sell weed illegally. But, police raids are common and you will be in trouble if you are found with weed. 

3. Do not run across Freetown Christiania

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Visiting Freetown Christiania means following a set of bizarre (yet explainable) rules. You cannot run as it may cause panic. You cannot take photos as buying and selling weed is not allowed. Do not ask questions about hash just because of curiosity. What else were you expecting? This is Copenhagen’s hippie town, it is bound to have a set of its rules. 

4. Do not give Viking references 

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You may think it’s ‘cool’ or funny or even sincere, but Denmark begs to differ. They cannot take more Viking references from tourists who do not know anything about their history. This fierce country is tired of all the stereotyping and cultural clichés. Give them a break! 

5. Do not overstep boundaries 

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The right to privacy is practiced very, very seriously in Denmark. For them, it is not just a law; it is a way of life. Do not peek through the next-door window or do not steal a glance at a phone screen. Do not start asking everyone ‘how are you’ because the only thing you will get in return is long, hard stares. 

6. Do not share your opinion about religion and politics

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You are a tourist. You have not stayed in Denmark that long to understand its politics and you do not practice their religion to know what it's all about. You may have formed an opinion after seeing a couple of things, but no need to share that with others. Denmark knows what she is doing, and you can stop worrying about these matters. 

7. Do not initiate a conversation with strangers

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It is understandable that you want to soak in the local flavor on your tour. But, no one in Denmark will appreciate you starting a conversation. In fact, it is one of the top things to avoid in Denmark. Many people prefer not to talk while they are in public spaces. Respect that. But, that does not mean this country is not fond of tourists. You can always plan a trip to Denmark for a lovely holiday. 

8. Do not pet dogs 

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Dogs in Denmark have learned a thing or two from their owners over the years. You cannot go to a random dog and start petting it. Neither a dog nor its owner will appreciate that. And imagine, if people are so concerned about their dog’s privacy, how will they feel if you start caressing their children. 

If you have already visited Denmark, you must have already seen how these rules are followed strictly. How was your experience? Share with us! 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dhruvalakshmi, who believes that her Patronus would be a cat, loves day-dreaming and writing. But, she gets very uncomfortable when it comes to writing third person introductions like this one ...

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