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Denmark

Geography & topography

Capital: Copenhagen

Population: 5,418,000

Area: 43,098  km² (16,640 square miles)

Language: Danish, Faroese, Greenlandic

Ethnic Groups: Danish (89.6%), Other (10.4%)

Religion: Evangelical Lutheran

Currency: Danish Krone

History

Denmark, officially the Kingdom of Denmark is a sovereign state in Northern Europe, with two additional overseas constituent countries also forming integral parts of the kingdom; the Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic and Greenland in North America.

The Danish islands have been inhabited for several thousands of years. The unity of Denmark was made by Harald ‘’blue tooth” (Harald Blatand) around 980 AD. Until the eleventh century, the Danes took part in the Viking expeditions, colonizing, trading and raiding throughout Europe. Denmark has long held a leading role in Northern Europe. At one time, the kingdom controlled the UK, Sweden, Norway, the Baltic territories and Germany. Finally Denmark became a constitutional monarchy in 1849.

Performing arts

Music

Danish music is generally considered to be related to other Scandinavian music (Norwegian, Swedish and Icelandic) since Denmark has long ruled the majority of the Nordic countries in particular from 1397 to 1814. Denmark’s most famous classical composer is Carl Nielsen, especially remembered for his six symphonies. The Royal Danish Ballet has become recognized worldwide thanks to the work of the Danish choreographer August Bournonville.

Later on, Danes have distinguished themselves as jazz musicians, and the Copenhagen Jazz Festival has acquired an international reputation. Jazz has been one of Denmark’s most important musical developments over the past century especially in the 1940’s. Indeed, the period became known as “The Golden Age of Jazz” as the number of concerts in hotels and restaurants increased and the number of recordings rose.

Music festivals in Denmark:

  • Roskilde Festival, it happens each year and it brings people from all over Europe, today, it’s one of the biggest festival in Europe.
  • Skanderborg Festival : It’s an annual music festival held in August. The first festival was held in 1980 and was a one-day event with 7 bands and about 600 spectators.
  • The Copenhagen jazz festival which is really famous, and has acquired an international reputation.

Dance

In Denmark, two kind of traditional dances can be found:

  • The Ballroom couple dance can be performed to a lot of different songs, there are a few different steps which are repeated again and again, you can start the dance in the middle of the song or at any time, it’s a dance used for relaxation.
  • An interactive group dance in which all the dancers have to do the same dance moves all together.

 

 

 

The most recognisable instruments in traditional Danish music are:

The Lur is a famous Viking wind instrument, the more recent types are made out  of wood whereas the older ones were made of bronze. It’s made of a mouthpiece and other pieces or pipes, it can be very big  and can sometimes reach up to 2 meters in height. A total of 56 lurs have been discovered, most of them were found in Denmark and Norway. This instrument was traditionally used as a war instrument used to marshal the troops and frighten the enemy.

Interesting facts:

  • Denmark was the first European country to abolish slavery.
  • The “Dannebrog” is the oldest national flag in the world.
  • In Copenhagen’s church, there is and organ player which plays classical music every day for the whole city.
  • There are 443 named islands in Denmark, 76 of which are inhabited.

Danish community in Australia:

More information on the Danish community: