Good Luck, America.

I have already ranted about Trump’s tweet shown in the image below on Facebook. I don’t think that there is more to add to it. Also: I just love Jeremy Noel-Tod’s comeback to it.

Posted in Politics

The Canonized Denmark

Having a day off (or rather: taking the day off; we have time off from school to prepare for exams, so on paper I have other, “better” things to do), I have had the time to do some kitchen stuff while listening to the radio. Listening to the news at noon, I heard the news that a new canon on being Danish is being created, and this time, the public is being invited to join in. This is done through the website www.danmarkskanon.dk.

I’m often in doubt about how to feel about that, about a canonized version of how or what it is to be a Dane, Danish, of and from Denmark. As far as I’m concerned, it’s more than just having the beetroot-colored passport (det rødbedefarvede pas, as we lovingly call it in Danish). Trying to canonize what more it is, then, is of course an attempt to put it into words and to create tools to teach new fellow citizens what it is to be a Dane.

On the other hand, though, it seems to be setting a very specific pattern of what that is. Knowing the government and the way it (or any government, really) want to streamline things, making mobility or flexibility somewhere near impossible, it makes me nervous that we have to have a description, a canon, of what that is. If what makes us feel Danish isn’t included in the canon, then what? Are we wrong? Less Danish? Not Danish at all? Not necessarily, no, but feeling wrong or an outsider because you – or part of you or who you are – isn’t on a specific list, be it because of ignorance or otherwise, is awful.

But I do see the point of having that tool to teach new citizens of what “we” are, and I really do appreciate that the public is being adviced. I do see people either not taking it seriously or using the opportunity to point out what’s wrong with society today, but still. I do hope for the best and that those in charge use this opportunity to make the best of it, painting an accurate picture, however it may look.

A suggestion that was featured in the news item was the Danish language. It was said that without the Danish language, there is no Danish culture; it’s our predominant way of communicating. Somehow that really spoke to me, but perhaps I see it the other way around – because learning about a culture is a big part of learning a language to me. There is the tone of voice, the values of a culture that can decide whether the poeple of a culture take something they say seriously and whether or not you should take what speakers of the language say seriously, there are elements of or behind imagery helping you to understand what the imagery means, and there are elements like humor, sarcasm, and irony; is it widely used and to what extend – is it obvious or too subtle to understand to an outsider? And so on.

I’ve had a few thoughts running through my head of what I think is part of being Danish, and the last lingering thought leads me to the conclusion that I would want one thing to be a part of being Danish: adaptability. Not because we have to change for the sake of change – not at all! – but because it sometimes officially seems as if Danes just don’t want change and want everybody else to assimilate to one uniform culture when the reality is that we could actually gain something positive or constructive from those who aren’t like us. Many of the things we consider to be Danish today came from other cultures and other places in the world; potatoes are from South America, carrots from Pakistan, our predominant religion is from the Middle East, our Christmas tree comes from a German tradition, and so on – even the dish that has been chosen as our national dish isn’t all that special or specific to Denmark! It’s frikadeller – flippin’ meatballs! Even if the Danish culture is defined as a monoculture, we’ve adapted and included elements of other cultures, countries, continents, etc. before. At the same time, I do think that it’s perfectly natural that one should adapt (not assimilate, but more like integrate – there’s a difference!) to the culture of the place that one moves to. So there: adaptability!

So, over to you… If you’re a Dane: what are your thoughts on the canon? Is there anything you find is especially Danish, and would you want to find it in the canon? If you’re not a Dane: is there anything you find is specific to, characteristic, or descriptive of your country or culture?

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Posted in Culture, Denmark, On language(s)

Update (May 31st, 2016)

Now I’ve been revisiting the blog a few times since the last blog entry. I start feeling the itch again; I miss blogging! But this seems to be a theme every time I check in, and every time it seems like I try to promise myself and my (albeit small, but I assume still existing) audience that I will get better, that I will try to do better, but then forget about it again. Perhaps because I often use Facebook updates as an outlet as well; I don’t think that it was as common when I started my initial blog as it is now. However, these sometimes seem far more instant, immediate, and intimately personal than any blogpost would be.

It seems like I’ve had quite a few things on my plate. Activities have come to my attention, catching my interst, and I have been invited or permitted in to participate. Two of those activities have been in UngK, the youth church in Aarhus, especially as the old pastor left (his leave from his regular position ended) and a new pastor has come to. Another chance has been becoming a lay preacher in the Methodist Church. With the rest of my activities (which has included classes every day Monday through Friday), life started to be filled to a breaking point, and prioritizing was necessary. Recognizing my limits and prioritizing thereafter seems to have given some air, which I hope will continue to be. This might also mean space to pay more attention to this (of course without promising too much – lesson learned!).

I’m updating my blog/site once again; I’ve found a theme (design) that seems interesting to work with. Now let’s see if I can figure it out! There seem to be different possibilities with pages and such, making a “proper” front page, making it look more like a website with a blog rather than a blog serving as a website.

Among external media, I’ve come across yet another podcast. Having audio running in my offtime or my downtime often seems to help anchoring my mind, often in the shape of music, chat shows, and every now and then an audio book. Sometimes it comes through the radio, sometimes as podcasts, sometimes as something else. The latest podcast I’ve come across is Not Too Deep with Grace Helbig. It’s a talk show, obviously with Grace Helbig, a YouTuber, hosting it, talking to other YouTubers. As the title insinuates, the talks don’t (or shouldn’t) go too deep. Sometimes that’s just what you need; something not going to deep, but still is in an overall friendly tone. Of course, this one has been added to the Podroll to the left.

Otherwise I have finally seen the light when it comes to Netflix. I’ve come across a couple of series that I wanted to follow, but haven’t had the chance to catch up on, as well as stand-up shows and a bunch of movies, favorites as well as some that I wanted to see. It seems that I’ve developed quite a taste for historical dramas! What I miss now is more than two episodes of Ripper Street as well as getting Lost back in there. Whether or not they are there in other regions, they aren’t present in the Danish Netflix!

Other than that, I am presently looking for an internship/apprenticeship, specializing in general administration, as a legal secretary, in travel, or as an event manager. More on that later! Soon later!

Until then – have a good day/week/… !

Posted in Checking in, Personal

Gospelgudstjeneste i UngK, dd.: Prædiken/reflektion

Tekst: Barnekår i stedet for trællekår

Så længe en arving ikke er myndig, er han som en slave. Hans ejerskab er underlagt formyndere, så selvom han i virkeligheden ejer det hele, har han ikke større ret over dette end en slave. Først når han når den myndighedsalder, hans far har fastsat i sit testamente, bliver retten til at forvalte arven hans. På samme måde med os: før vi blev myndige, var vi slaver for verdens magter. Men da tiden var inde, sendte Gud sin søn. Han blev født af en kvinde og var derfor under loven, ligesom vi er det. Men han var under loven for, at han kunne købe os fri af loven så, at vi skulle få barnekår. Gud sender sin søns ånd ind i vores hjerter, fordi vi er børn, og med den råber vi: abba, far! til Gud. Derfor er vi ikke længere slaver men børn og som børn Guds arvinger.

Gal 4,1-7

Hvad er frelse for mig? Hvad betyder det for mig?

Da jeg begyndte at reflektere over temaet til gudstjenesten i dag – slave og fri – kunne jeg ikke lade være med at studse over, at vi er afhængige af ydre omstændigheder for at vi selv kan være fri. Vi er afhængige – for at være frie. Frie fra slaveri.

Tager man blot fat i ordet: frelst. Sprogligt kommer det fra fri hals. Det kommer fra engang i vikingetiden, hvor slaverne havde en jernring om deres hals, og når denne ring blev taget af deres hals betød det, at de var frigivet fra slaveriet; deres hals var bogstaveligt talt fri – de var frelst! Men for at blive frigivet var der nogen, der skulle frigive dem; altså var deres helt bogstavelige frelse afhængige af, at der var nogen, der tog jernringen af deres hals.

I teksten, der lige er blevet læst op, kan man også forstå, at Jesus også var underlagt den lokale lovgivning og de menneskelige vilkår (eks. de fysiske love og begrænsninger, som vi har som mennesker). Gud sendte Jesus, så vi kunne blive frie, så vi kunne få barnekår fremfor trællekår – så vi kunne blive Guds børn fremfor slaver. Men for at det kunne ske, måtte Han gøre noget: Han sendte os Jesus.

Det ligger i god forlængelse af, hvad frelse er for mig. Det er forståelsen og erkendelsen af, at jeg ikke er perfekt, at jeg ikke kan se mig fri for at være ulydig eller for at synde imod Gud og hans værk. At jeg ender i situationer, hvor jeg har brug for tilgivelse fra en anden. På trods af, at jeg er blevet velsignet med en fri vilje, er det ikke mig, der lægger de overordnede planer eller laver de guddommelige love og regler. For at blive befriet for det, som jeg ikke selv kan gøre mig fri af, er der andre, der må træde til og hjælpe mig.

Afhængighed behøver ikke nødvendigvis at være noget negativt. Man kan selvfølgelig være underlagt en negativ eller ukonstruktiv afhængighed, et misbrug, af forskellige ting, og alt afhængigt af, hvor skidt det står til, kan man gå hen og blive slavebundet af misbruget. Man kan komme til at handle uhensigtsmæssigt overfor sine omgivelser, om det så er på grund af abstinenser eller om det er på vejen til det næste fix.

Dog kan der også være en mere konstruktiv afhængighed; afhængigheden af mennesker eller omstændigheder, der er udenfor ens kontrol, men alligevel hjælper til, at man kommer ud af svære situationer – lige meget hvad den situation er. Det kan være at komme ud af et misbrug. Det kan være sygdom, hvor man har brug for et klogt hoved – en læge eller en psykiater – til at diagnosticere sygdommen og vide, hvordan sygdommen skal behandles. Måske skal der medicin til, måske ikke. Måske er det en brækket knogle, der skal sættes på plads og holdes på plads af gips. Måske skal der ekstra støtte til i form af krykker, en slynge, eller andet. Når der er nogen, der har hjulpet til at få det til at gå i orden, kan man fortsætte ud i verden og leve et liv, der er mere konstruktivt end hvis sygdommen eller de invaliderende fysiske skavanker ikke var kommet i orden.

Frelse for mig er, at jeg har noget – eller nogen – at hægte mig op på, at støtte mig til, at være afhængig af, særligt i svære situationer. At jeg aldrig er alene. Jeg er kun et menneske og har mine begrænsninger derefter. Derfor er jeg lettet over ikke kun at være afhængig af mig selv og min egen fri vilje. Selvom jeg gerne ville, kan jeg ikke lappe mig selv sammen på højere kirurgisk eller psykiatrisk niveau. Selvom jeg gerne ville have den, har jeg ikke autoritet til at lukke mig selv eller andre ind i Paradis; jeg kan kun gøre mit bedste for at opføre mig ordentligt og tro på det bedste igennem livet – derudover er jeg afhængig af Gud og Hans kærlighed til sine børn.

Der er en historie der illustrerer det godt; I har måske hørt den før:
I en drøm gik en mand en tur med Gud på stranden, efterladende sig hvert sit sæt fodspor. Henover himlen viste der sig forskellige scener og situationer fra mandens liv. På et tidspunkt vender manden sig om og ser, at der kun er ét sæt fodspor hvor de allersværeste situationer har vist sig. Manden troede, at det var hans egne, hvilket bekymrede ham og fik ham til at spørge: ”Gud, jeg troede, at du ville være med mig hele vejen – igennem resten af livet. Men jeg kan kun se ét sæt fodspor på de tidspunkter, hvor jeg havde det allersværest. Jeg kunne ikke fornemme dig, jeg vidste ikke, hvor du var. Hvorfor lod du mig være alene?”
Gud svarede: ”Mit barn! Jeg elsker dig og ville aldrig forlade dig. I de stunder, hvor du kun ser ét sæt fodspor er de stunder, hvor jeg bar dig!”

Amen.

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Posted in Dansk, Sermons etc., UngK

Four years ago.

We have had a situation in Copenhagen since then which was executed by Muslims. There was that one in Paris too. There has been several shootings in the States which weren’t executed by Muslims. I’m sure that there are more to mention.

Seriously – I can’t be the only one who is sick and tired of all of it.

Unna's Blog of Total Randomness

It’s been a week since the tragedy in Norway – and finally, I think I’m able to think somewhere in the area of clear about it, let alone have an overview of it. During the weekend I was quickly filled with the constant breaking news of bombing, shooting, shock, death numbers, the list goes on, and soon I was unable to contain much more. I’m not sure whether or not I would have been able to attend any of the events supporting Norway and those affected by the tragedy, but rest assured that I was there in spirit (and even watched the live transmission of the memorial service from the Cathedral of Copenhagen, Our Lady’s Church, on Wednesday) and that I do include all of this in my prayers.

I have to admit that one of my first thoughts when I heard that someone was doing a massacre was…

View original post 502 more words

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Posted in Reblogged Entries

Summer Anniversary

It’s summer. It’s actually hot outside – the proper Scandinavian summer has arrived, and I have finally bought myself new flip-flops – and it is so hot that the sky has broken out in summer rain. Before it broke out, though, I had been out and about.

I am catsitting for my parents, meaning that I am in the greater Copenhagen area. Today I was in central Copenhagen to get a card to send to someone; I was participating in a tea swap through Swap-Bot, so I was to get a card and an envelope to send a couple of teabags in. It worked out, the card was written and signed, everything was stuffed into the envelope, address and postage were added, and off it went in the mailbox.

My parents had bought bananas and Danish strawberries (YAAASSS! It’s SEASON!) and put them in the fridge for me. Unaware of this, I had brought bananas with me from home because I had them – I eat them for breakfast – and didn’t want to waste them. This means that I have had an abundance of fruit fit for koldskål (literally: cold bowl, a dairy dish perfect for the summertime). If it hadn’t been for one specific brand of koldskål, I’m in a period when I would have been looking up a recipe and learning how to make it myself. But no: my favorite so far is an organic storebought kind. It’s from a high end supermarket, Irma, which is not in Aarhus anymore, so I was happy to make it into an open Irma today to buy a liter of their wonderful koldskål; it’s their own brand. It isn’t exactly the cheapest supermarket around, but this is one of the few things that I won’t have any other way. I sorely needed something to eat without waiting when I got home, so now much of it is gone by now, and the soup that I was planning to eat must be a late supper.

Right now the garden doors are open, letting in fresh air and the sound of the rain. The TV is on, showing me old episodes of “Jamie at home,” recorded on the folks’ harddisk. Let me just tell you that there is no better combination of things right now.

What dotted the i was a notification from WordPress, congratulating me with my seven year anniversary on WordPress.com. Seven years ago today, I joined this part of the blogsphere – but it wasn’t until Christmas of 2009 (about a year and a half later) that I wrote my first blog post on WordPress.com.

Many a time I have been wondering what my blog is or should be about – but I think I am going to try going back to the initial idea: having a place to share just whatever is on my mind and making a digital home for the things in my life that need it.

Thank you to WordPress for the past seven years.

Welcome to my world.

WP 7 year anniversary

Posted in Uncategorized

Beer bread

I’m currently fasting as I have to have blood samples taken in the morning. I was told that the fasting had to start at midnight (it’s currently 1:20 AM as I write). Problem? Well, not the needles.

Well, no problem, then?

Uhm… No. Well… #firstworldproblem.

I have been baking tonight. I was hoping that the rolls I was baking could have been done before midnight so they could complement a soup for a late supper. But the rising took too long for that to happen. I have been clever enough to fill up my fridge and “pantry” (a wooden box on wheels under the fridge/freezer) to be able to make something else to eat in time to start fasting without starving (in this case: a quick portion of eggs).

But now the rolls are sending out the wonderful scent of freshly baked bread in the entire apartment, making my mouth water.

Looking forward to a roll with butter and soup with another roll after the samples. Luckily my appointment in the morning so I don’t have to wait that long.

The recipe for the rolls is from Jamie Oliver’s first cookbook; it’s the basic bread recipe with the beer bread finish.

Almost. can’t. wait. Almost.

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Posted in Health, Kitchen

Nostalgia

I was going through some photos of mine on Facebook and came across this one from October 2nd, 2012. The caption reads:

Fall has kicked in. Soon it will be November (ie. time for the final preparations for the general period and month of Advent and December) – and before I know it, I will be opening the first window of my advent calendars.

It seemed only yesterday that I was taking a walk on a summer evening in Copenhagen and longed for the semester to start. How time flies…

I have moved since then; I lived in Gellerup at the time, and less from a year from posting the photo, I moved to the apartment I live in now. I have sublet the apartment that I lived in that summer in the meantime and am soon to sell it. I am also to embark on new adventures within a reasonable future. That summer seems so far away from where I am now.

How time flies indeed.

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Posted in Uncategorized

70th Anniversary of Denmark’s Liberation (WWII)

One of the things that has sometimes baffled me about the actual end date of the war in Denmark is whether it was on May 4th or May 5th. I know the story of how black curtains were used to stop the light from the houses being visible from the air; whenever bombers would fly over inhabited areas, they wouldn’t be able to see where to throw the bombs. Because of this, we have a tradition of lighting candles in our windows on the evening of May 4th, the first time doing this being upon hearing the news in 1945 – but the official date of the liberation of Denmark is May 5th.

I looked it up, and on the website of DR (Denmark’s National Broadcasting Corporation), it says that we received the news on the evening of May 4th, but the German capitulation wasn’t officially enforced until 8:00 AM the next day, May 5th.

Gratitude to anyone working and fighting for what we hold dear is in order. Thank you to all of you, dead or alive.

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Posted in Denmark, History

Commercial programming: Unintentionally doing it right

Some cable companies in Denmark offer the possibility of starting over some programs on TV. Some channels show TV-shopping programs, so when starting over the programs following these shopping programs, you’ll get the last bit of it to start with. These channels do not offer the possibility of fast forwarding due to making their money off of their commercial programming, so they obviously want us to see it and buy everything we see.

Every now and then, that last part of the shopping program contains a fancy fitness machine, promising broad shoulders for the gents and time glass figure for the ladies as well as flat stomachs, six packs, and tight and shapely buttocks for everybody. You will get this and all the bikini readiness you want in only five minutes, with only this one machine, AND in your own home – how about that!

I do think that these commercials don’t really work the way they were intended on me. The thing is that the commercials also show people who clearly aren’t sixpacked nor pleasing on the eyes in a bikini (at least if you ask the TV-shopping people); they are in a gym and so not in the know when it comes to how the machinery works – you know how difficult it is to ride a stationary bike or walking/jogging/running on the treadmill without slipping and falling after the two first steps, right?

Really? Seriously. As mind numbingly dumbing down these commercials are, I tend to go in the opposite camp, however mind numbingly dumb that also is. I start to look forward to get a membership to the gym, strutting around in public, proud as the swan I am going to be with all of that working out that I can actually work those machines.

It seems that I (as well as the local gym) should actually be thanking those TV-shopping commercials – so thank you kindly! 😀

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Posted in Personal, Television
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