Culture

Here you will find all the content related to the category 'culture'.

Interest in the Nordic countries blossomed in Japan in early 1900s, re-occuring after the Second World War. Some academics and commentators argue that this early interest remains pervasive today. Photo: Cory Schadt, Unsplash.

2019.08.06 | Article, Kenn Nakata Steffensen, Culture, The arts, Reputation

The Nordics in the modern Japanese political imagination

In the early 1900s, Japanese progressive intellectuals, writers, and feminist activists questioned their country’s quest for power and looked to Scandinavia for an alternative modernity. The Scandinavian modern breakthrough peaked in Japan in the 1910s and 1920s on the back of a burgeoning interest in Nordic literature, philosophy and political…

National symbols vary widely and are often contested. Some of them - such as the social concept of Danish 'hygge' often symbolised by a candle - have been marketed successfully abroad in recent years.

2019.07.09 | The Quick Read, Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Culture

National symbols in the Nordic countries

National symbols share an ability to fuse diverse people in a shared feeling of identity. They are as diverse as flags to food, scenery to famous people, and they vary depending on whether they are viewed from inside or outside the Nordics or a specific country. A pressing question today is which national symbols are appropriate for globalised,…

Niels Simonsen's 'Tilbagetoget fra Dannevirke' [The Retreat from Dannevirke], 1864.

2019.05.01 | The Quick Read, Rasmus Glenthøj, Culture, The arts, Nation building

The meaning of the Second Schleswig War in Denmark

Denmark lost a third of its territory and 40% of its population in the Second Schleswig War in 1864 to Prussia and Austria. Seen as both a national trauma and the creation of modern-day Denmark, narratives regarding the war that were created at the time - and since - continue to resonate, exemplified by recent debates over its portrayal in TV…

For decades, Abus Salam Madsen's 1967-translation of The Quran was the only Danish version of the book. Pictured above is the front cover to Ellen Wulff's translation which was originally published in 2006. Picture: Vandkunsten.

2019.04.29 | Article, Jørgen Bæk Simonsen, Multiculturalism, Culture, Belief systems

Islam in Denmark – an historical overview

Despite the public debate since 1980s presenting Islam in Denmark as a new phenomenon, it has for centuries played a central role as ‘the other’ when Danes have sought to explain their collective identity. It is true that many Danish Muslims arrived as a ‘guest workers’ in the boom years of the 1960s and stayed on. They were followed by their…

Logo of the Danish Cultural Institute.

2019.04.25 | The Quick Read, Inken Dose, Culture, The arts

Danish Cultural Institute

Founded in 1940, the Danish Cultural Institute aims to foster intercultural understanding both at home and abroad, and has branches in seven countries with activities and networks in many more. Financed by the Danish Ministry of Culture, private funds and its own revenue, it focuses on diverse themes.

While spectacular sites in Iceland and elsewhere draw visitors from around the world (like the remote canyon on the South Coast of Iceland pictured here), being outdoors in an everyday way from kindergarten and outdoor pursuits are generally considered characteristic of Nordic life. Photo: Jonathan Auh, Unsplash.

2019.04.01 | The Quick Read, Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Culture

Outdoors in the Nordics

A comprehensive infrastructure caters to both domestic and foreign demand for outdoor activities in the Nordic countries, a demand resulting from swathes of both developed and undeveloped nature, and a widespread perception that being outdoors is character-building and healthy. In recent times, the younger and immigrant populations have shown that…

The incorruptibility and purity of Norwegian nature was one of the most important elements of nineteenth century Norwegian national romanticism. Here illustrated in Brudeferd i Hardanger / Bridal procession on the Hardangerfjord (1848) by Adolph Tidemand and Hans Gude. Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain.

2019.04.01 | The Quick Read, Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Culture

The role of nature in the Nordic countries

With a low population density in all Nordic countries barring Denmark, nature has taken on a central feature of everyday life for many in the region. It has also played a role in the formation of national identity reflected in art and the ideal of being outdoors.

Hunt for pilot whales at Torshavn, Faroe Islands. Photo: Flickr, Bjarne Stoklund (1961), The National Museum of Denmark (CC BY-SA 2.0)

2019.03.27 | The Quick Read, Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Culture

Whaling by Nordic countries

Iceland, Norway and the Faroe Islands are among the few countries in the world that still permit limited whaling.

Two Norwegian 'hytter' during the summer months. Photo: Colourbox.com/Evannovostro

2019.03.26 | The Quick Read, Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Culture

Second homes in the Nordics

Second homes are used as holiday and weekend getaways in the Nordic countries by many people, not just the elite, probably due to widespread prosperity and an abundance of space.

'Smoking forbidden' sign in Swedish. Public areas where people can smoke freely have been on the retreat since the 1980s. Photo: Colourbox.com/Giovanni

2019.03.25 | The Quick Read, Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Culture

Smoking in the Nordic countries

Even before Norway banned smoking in public arenas in 2004 and the other Nordic countries followed suit, the percentage of the population who smoke has been diminishing and continues to do so, although Swedish snuff (snus) can be chosen as an alternative.

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