Us Europeans

Archives for European Union Member States

Denmark shows the way

People from everywhere outside Scandinavia, please sit down and read. Denmark has a message: environmental friendliness actually makes sense. Just like learning foreign languages, it`s just a matter of mentality: not one of money, not one of time. Everybody can do something to make his or her country a cleaner and more pleasant place to live and it`s not all dependent on supporting systems by the state.

Posted by Bruno

Fairytale city

Denmark has quite a couple of internationally known heroes, but few of them are as well-known as fairytale writer Hans Christian Andersen. His name itself may not be known everywhere, but his stories of the `Ugly Duckling` and `The little Mermaid` are commonly read all across the Western hemisphere and possibly even beyond. What is there to know about this man, and how do the inhabitants of his birth place Odense feel about the heritage of such a famous writer?

Posted by Bruno

Denmark has quite a couple of internationally known heroes, but few of them are as well-known as fairytale writer Hans Christian Andersen. His name itself may not be known everywhere, but his stories of the `Ugly Duckling` and `The little Mermaid` are commonly read all across the Western hemisphere and possibly even beyond. What is there to know about this man, and how do the inhabitants of his birth place Odense feel about the heritage of such a famous writer?

Posted by Bruno

Gender issues

Only sixteen more days of Us Europeans left. I slowly getting used to the horizon coming closer. As much as the first of August of last year was a horizon-beyond-which-the unknown, this first of August will be similar in many ways. The end of a rhythm, a habit, a version of myself. No wining about that though, there`s still 1000 km left to cover. Today`s subject: gender equality in Denmark. Pretty much the opposite of stories I wrote earlier in Southern Italy, Greece and, more recently, Poland.

Posted by Bruno

So Denmark is supposed to be the happiest country in Europe? Inhabitants of Christiania, a community living on a deserted army terrain south of Copenhagen`s city centre, have less flattering opinions about the Danish society. They hold their fellow Danes for selfish, uncaring and indifferent. Christiania is a self-declared autonomous part of Copenhagen, inhabited by roughly 1000 people and visited by many more than that every day. Danish law has been suspended, which means that Christiania is the only place in Denmark where marihuana and hash are freely available. Here`s a quick glance behind the scenes of Christiania:

Posted by Bruno

Cem from Malmö

According to tourist brochures, Malmö is a very international city with more than 170 nationalities represented within its borders. Reality is barely different from that. A big share of the people walking around in the centre today does not have a particular Swedish look. I feel invited to do the opposite from what I usually do: instead of looking for a typically local person to interview, I try my luck aiming for a non-local. I partly succeed, but the story is nonetheless an interesting one:

Posted by Bruno

Hello from the South of Sweden! I am back in country number 6 of my trip, just making a quick excursion from Copenhagen. My previous stay in Sweden only included the part North of Stockholm, while about half the Swedish population lives South of the country`s capital. I am happy to use that as an excuse to pay a second visit to my favourite country in Europe. Question of the day: how are Northern and Southern Sweden different from each other. Answer: quite.

Posted by Bruno

Happiness explained

Time after time, international polls show that the Danish are the happiest people Europe, usually slightly ahead of fellow Scandinavian countries. Danes are in the enviable position of not having much to worry about. After having seen the other 26 EU countries, I do have some ideas about how Danes can be happier than the others. But what do they themselves think about it?

Posted by Bruno

Time after time, international polls show that the Danish are the happiest people Europe, usually slightly ahead of fellow Scandinavian countries. Danes are in the enviable position of not having much to worry about. After having seen the other 26 EU countries, I do have some ideas about how Danes can be happier than the others. But what do they themselves think about it?

Posted by Bruno

While on this trip, it took me some time before I felt comfortable interviewing people about their own lives rather than about abstract subjects. I must say I enjoy I have come to enjoy doing these interviews, not in the least because it takes less effort to understand one person than to understand an entire society. Today`s one-(wo)man interview is about the life of Danish Camilla who is 30 years old and works in an afterschool institution that takes care of children with brain damage. This is a short synopsis of her life so far:

Posted by Bruno