Danish Cultural Taboos

danish cultural taboos

Danish Cultural Taboos, when visiting another country, travelers will find out that locals will always appreciate efforts towards doing things as they are traditionally done in the place. It is not different in Denmark. For one to be able to do as the Danes do, it would be wise to be aware of some Danish cultural taboos.

Danes prefer not to be touched especially by people who they do not consider close to them. Thus, a firm handshake with solid eye contact is sufficient for introductions. Giving compliments is considered inappropriate. Being overfriendly or overly familiar with casual acquaintances is considered rude and impolite. Asking personal questions about family, religion, and finances is considered intrusive. Talks about personal details are not encouraged unless the local initiates sharing of family details for example.

Since Danes are generally tolerant, it would be wise for visitors to avoid introducing talks that dwell on criticising others. They are especially proud of their country and are more than willing to provide information about it. They are also very frank or blunt but this is just their way and is not necessarily intended to hurt. They usually do so to drive home a point that can help so it would be best to be open and receptive to their suggestions and comments.

Punctuality is a way of life so be sure to provide ample notice when arriving late cannot be avoided. In spite of the Danes’ seeming reservation, they are actually very warm people who enjoy long conversations and social activities. Danes are especially known for honoring their word thus the reasonable expectation for others to do the same.

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1 Comment

  1. I’ve lived in Denmark for 26 years. Punctuality a way of life? Not so much. Define “being over friendly”. I am constantly told how nice I am because I am constantly told how much they enjoyed their visit(s) to the USA because Americans are so open and friendly. They tell me it makes them realize how cold and unfriendly their culture is towards strangers. Openly criticising any one in any way to a stranger is rude no matter where you are.
    I would never discuss my personal finances with someone who was not a personal long time trusting friend. That subject is not
    uniquely a Danish taboo. Asked simply Danes like talking about their families.
    Want to get an easy smile? Remember to put the plastic divider on the belt after you have laid out all your check out items.

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