Cover art for podcast How to Live in Denmark

How to Live in Denmark

118 EpisodesProduced by Kay Xander MellishWebsite

Life as an international in Denmark, one of the world's most homogenous countries, isn't always easy. In Denmark’s longest-running English-language podcast, Kay Xander Mellish, an American who has lived in Denmark for more than a decade, offers tips for enjoying your time in “the world’s happiest co… read more


Danes and Fear: What is there to be afraid of in Denmark?

In general, Denmark is not a fearful country.  You could argue, what is there to be afraid of in Denmark?  It seems like a safe little corner of the world.  Tax-funded social programs make it unlikely you’ll go hungry or homeless, as long as you have that little yellow social service card that shows you're here legally. Your medical care and education is paid for by taxes – yours or somebody else’s.  Even if you lose your job – and it’s very easy in Denmark for companies to get rid of workers they don’t want – there is the social safety net to catch you.

I’ve often thought that the social safety net is one of the reasons has so little interest in religion.  When there’s so little to worry about, there’s not much to pray for. 

Denmark also has is little of the open competition that can make life so stressful in competitive nations like China or India or the United States. Danish culture prizes consensus, not competition, and Danish children don’t get any formal grades in school until they’re in their teens.  Any type of non-sports competition is discouraged. 

So that fear that kids live with in many parts of the world – of not being the best in class, not being able to get into a good secondary school or college – of being crossed off the list at a very young age, is largely absent in Denmark. 

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