(Kongeriget Danmark, Kingdom of Denmark)
- Location : Northern Europe
- Capital: Copenhagen
- Language: Danish
- Total Area: 43,098 km2
- Currency: Danish Króne
- Annual average liquor consumption per capita: 12.8 liters per year
- Annual Beer Consumption Per Capita: 89.9 liters per year
- The most popular drink: Beer (Carlsberg, Tuborg, etc) & Akvavit containing beverages
Denmark is country that was able to claim the highest number of Nobel Prize winners per capita, 14. Accolades for Denmark continue with the “happiest place in the world”, “least corrupt” and “environmentally friendly”. Its capital city, Copenhagen is one of the oldest capitals in the world and dates back to 11th century. Copenhagen has excellent infrastructure, high employment rate and is often called the “most livable” city in the world. In light of an income tax also being “the world’s highest”, it was an astonishing discovery.
Danes have carried through an expectation for “the most” in so many areas that it is hardly surprising that they have also produced “the most” famous story tellers of all times, Hans Christian Andersen. It is hard to imagine any child’s life without magical stories of “The Little mermaid”, “Ugly Duckling” or “The Emperor’s new Clothes”. His stories have been translated into more languages that any other book outside of the Bible. Danes live a very organized life. No one spontaneously rings a door bell or visits neighbors. Perhaps, it is this very orderly life in a very architectural city that spurred creation of Lego’s.
My favorite Danish joke: “A Dane goes to a doctor and asks: “Should I stop smoking and drinking so much?” and the doctor answers: “No. But maybe you can cut back a little.” This should give you an idea of the relaxed attitude Danes have towards drinking. During weekends, crowds of Danes are drinking in public and the price of a beer at less than a dollar, consumption of alcohol is at staggering 10 units per week. Most agree on the topics to complain about – weather and taxes. Perhaps because of the constant whining, the average age for marrying is 32.
Driving outside of Copenhagen is a pleasant experience with toll-free motorways that are well cared for with exuberant taxes of the citizens. Owning a new car is luxury that many can’t afford with a registration tax of 180% and VAT of 25%. These high taxes are instituted to discourage car ownership but instead they have encouraged Danes to bring used cars from Germany. In Copenhagen, however, driving is a nightmare similar to any city center and majority of population bikes. 37% of the city rides their bikes and covers 1.1 million km daily. Bicyclists have a dedicated traffic lane with its own signal system.
Denmark lacks one essentially happy ingredient in the winter - day light, and precisely because of that, there is a long standing tradition of producing and purchasing beautiful lamps that emphasis light. A great variety from modern to traditional is available to brighten up the days as well as the moods of the residents.
Story By Marina Balzac
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