The American in Denmark

The US ambasador to Denmark James P. Cain just published a book called Amerikaneren (The American) about his perspective of Denmark. His�ambassadorship is coming to an end with the change at the White House but during the three years he was in Denmark he went out an met a lot of regular people. Among other things he got on a bike and biking 2500 km meeting people all over Denmark – he even made a stop in Toftlund my tiny home town.

One of the Danish TV shows made an interview with him (the interview is in English) where they talked about how he percieved Denmark. Some of the things he said was:

It is a little hard for a stranger to feel welcome and accepted in Denmark – its a little tough to get comfortable in this society. […] I did come to understand that this society feel a bit insulated and under threat. It wants to keep the outside away. That creates some challenges for the society but also some challenges for newcomers to feel at home.

This reminded me of a blog post and subsequent discussion recently at Bluefishs blog about what its like to live as a foreigner in Denmark.

Denmark is a very homogeneous country and having experienced life elsewhere I would agree with Mr. Cain that the Danes are not always good at embrasing other cultures.