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3.2.4 Denmark Population & Culture




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This article is from the Nordic countries FAQ, by Antti Lahelma and Johan Olofsson, with numerous contributions by others.

3.2.4 Denmark Population & Culture

Denmark was settled already 10,000 years ago, when the ice retreated
from Scandinavia. Danes descend from various Germanic tribes,
including the Jutes and Angles who settled England in the 5th century.
There is a small German minority living in southern Jutland and a
Danish minority living in North Germany. Danish is a Germanic language
of the Nordic branch, mutually intelligible (with some practice) with
Norwegian and Swedish.

The kingdom of Denmark includes also the autonomous areas of Greenland
(area: 2.2 mill. km², pop. 53,000) and Faroe Islands (area: 1,400 km²,
pop. 48,000). The inhabitants speak a language (Faroese) resembling
Icelandic and some Western Norwegian dialects. Eskimos speaking
Greenlandic (a language based on a mid-19th century creation of a
single literary language out of many Inuit dialects) form the largest
group of Greenlanders; the inhabitants of Faroe Islands descend from
the Viking settlers who arrived in the 9th century and the Irish monks
and slaves who also made it to the Island.

As can be expected Danish culture could be called more Central
European in character than that of other Nordic countries.
Particularly it could be noted that mentality and food are rather
similar from Holland to Scania.

Important figures include e. g. the philosopher Søren Kierkegaard
(1813-55), the composer Carl Nielsen (1865-1931), the astronomer Tycho
Brahe (1546-1601), the authors Hans Christian Andersen (1805-75) and
Karen Blixen (1885-1962), the architect Jørn Utzon (1918-), the
painter P. S. Krøyer (1851-1909), the sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen
(1768-1844), and the physicist and Nobel Prize winner Niels Bohr
(1885-1962).

 

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