Denmark, a member of the Scandinavian family, was an international powerhouse from the 13th to 17th centuries. The past 400 years of lost battles and forced concessions have reduced the size of it's once large empire and it's global influence. The nation's origins date back to the Viking Age, and the first hunters arrived to colonize the territory back in 12500 BC. Denmark stayed neutral during the First World War, was occupied by the Nazis during the Second World War, and is currently a member of the European Union.
Some of the more interesting factoids:
- The highest point in Denmark is only 170m above sea level.
- The nation is compose of the mainland in 406 islands.
- 64% of Denmark is farmland.
- Denmark was the first European country to abolish slavery.
Efterklang (Danish for "remembrance" or "reverberation") is an Danish indie rock band formed from 3 childhood friends. One of the more unique artistic endeavors of the band took place in 2011. The band packed a recording system and boarded a boat to Piramida, a former Russian coal-mining settlement, and went on what one website called an "audio treasure hunt," recording sounds in empty building around an abandoned town. NPR has an article that describes the article in depth, including and interview with the band and a video of one of the tracks that resulted from the project.
Both my flatmate and I have a fond affection for rhubarb, so when we found a Danish recipe for rhubarb with meringue...we were sold instantly. This was our most successful cooking endeavor yet, but mostly because we adore rhubarb...so I suppose it was to be an instant win with or without the meringue. If you have never tried rhubarb, now is your chance, and don't you be missing it.
1. Slice up 2 stalks of rhubarb.
The European-history nerd in me was bound to love this film regardless of the quality of it's cinematic character...it is based on the Danish resistance movement against the Nazis during the German occupation of Denmark during the Second World War. History aside, it is beautifully filmed, with a very film-noir vibe: muted colors, trench coats, and shadows. And an important aside: I covet Citron's glasses intensely.
Any of Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales give you a good literary journey into Danish culture. One you might recognize, or falsely think you know is, The Little Mermaid. The original tale, by Andersen is quite a bit different than the Disney version most of us are familiar with...I'll avoid plot spoilers, but you should give it a read...prepare for disillusionment.
A mermaid has not an immortal soul, nor can she obtain one unless she wins the love of a human being. On the power of another hangs her eternal destiny.