Did you know that Denmark is considered one of the happiest countries in the world? Next only to Finland and Norway, most of the world agree that you have a better chance to live a happy and fulfilled life in Denmark more than in other countries. That is if you get to socialize and make friends here yourself. And, of course, if you avoid offending people and making enemies here. To do that, you have to adhere to Denmar's social customs. Know what's considered good and bad manners in this country and act on your good judgment.
The Danish Are Sticklers for Rules
The first thing you have to know is that the Danish always follow rules. No matter how small and simple, they will abide by the rules set forth. In fact, they'll even go so far as to look down on those who disobey, regardless of the reasons. More often than not, they'll even reprimand the rule-breakers out in the open too. So if you want to socialize and make friends with the Danish always follow the rules. When it says you can't smoke, don't smoke. If they don't allow you to drink, don't drink. To them, following rules is always the way to go!
Talk in a Moderate Volume
Although many Danish isn't afraid to speak up when they see others breaking the rules, they're generally very modest and reserved. Quite like the Swiss
, they tend to be introverted and quiet. When they're talking out in the open, they tend to speak in moderate volumes, enough so that the people they're conversing with can hear but not so loud that others outside of the conversation can eavesdrop. And yes, they expect others to speak in the same volume. For them, it's proper manners to not draw too much attention to yourself, as well as to not disturb others with their talking.
Always Arrive On Time
Just like their neighbors, the Germans
, the Danish hate it when people are late. It's not only taboo in corporate settings, they also don't like it when their guests are late for social gatherings. Even more so if the hosts themselves arrive more than ten minutes of the intended time of the meet-up. If you can't help but be late, it's better to let others know beforehand. Either way, while many might still regard it as rude, they'll understand your situation more clearly nonetheless. And if you can't even do that, it's only right that you apologize for arriving tardy anyway.
Give Your First Name During Introductions
In a lot of countries, such as Estonia
, and more, first names hold a lot of weight. At times, they might not even say what their first names are until they've grown substantially closer to you. But in Denmark, it's a bit different. You'll find that most Danish people introduce themselves with their first names. And in the same token, they expect that you give your first name during introductions as well. However, when it comes to calling people by their first names, you can only do that when they've allowed you to do so.
You Don't Have To Tip Here
Although in most European countries, tipping is a must, in Denmark, it's not that important. It's thanks to the country's stable job market
and economy that many, even those in the service sector, can earn a good living without relying on tips all too much. Also, most establishments impose service fees instead, making it easier for you to know how much of what you paid will go to your server. Nevertheless, you can still leave a tip on top of that, especially if it comes from a good place. But if you're not careful, your servers might misunderstand your tip as a form of insult.
Bring Gifts When You're Invited To Someone's Home
In Denmark, if someone invites you to their home, it's proper manners to bring along a gift as a sign of goodwill. Either a bouquet of flowers, a box of chocolates, or a bottle of wine will do. For the bouquet of flowers, including some wildflowers in it might leave a great impression on the host/ess. Do note, however, that the price of your gift makes all the difference. Giving luxury items as gifts will make for awkward situations so avoid doing that. Something that they'll enjoy and can brighten up their homes will always be your best bet!
Request To Tour People's Homes
Another social custom when it comes to going to people's homes is to ask them for a tour. In most cases, it'd be considered rude to impose such a request on the host/ess especially if they're busy. But the Danish, however, commonly decorate their own place. As a result, they happily welcome others in their homes and will gladly tour them when asked. Not that this is a required custom or anything but it will strengthen your bond with the host/ess if you do it. Moreover, try to request a tour when you're with other guests to make it easier for the host/ess.
Do Not Discuss Business During Social Gatherings
It's not exactly polite to talk business during social gatherings in Denmark. Unless you're enjoying a business meal, you ought not to bring up work outside of the office. If you work in Denmark
yourself, you'll know that their work culture has a strict work-life balance. In fact, compared to those in other countries, the Danish only work around 37 hours a week, as opposed to the more standard 40 hours a week. And that's all because they prefer to spend as much time in their personal lives as they do at work.
There are a lot of reasons why Denmark is considered among the happiest countries in the world. One of them is probably because they're easy to get along with. So as long as you adhere to their social customs while you're here, you'll understand this for yourself!