INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT DENMARK7:00 AM
I am still not over my Denmark-high. It's just been almost 2 weeks since we flew from Copenhagen to Manila. I am glad I am back in sunny Philippines, but I wish I could have played more in the snow back in Hillerod (pardon me for being such a snow-deprived earthling - I just really love snow).
Anyway, apart from having the lowest number of January sunshine in 26 years, here are other interesting facts that you might want to know:
Jensen? Hansen? or Nielsen?
Denmark has a Law on Personal Names. Parents can choose from a list of only 7,000 preapproved names. If a name isn’t on the list you need special permission from local church and government officials. Creative spellings are usually rejected. You also have to name a baby girl with a girl’s name – the same goes for boys – and you can’t use a surname as a first name. Of the 1,100 names that are reviewed each year, about a fifth are rejected. Recent rejections include Anus, Pluto and Monkey. One in every four Danes has the surname Jensen, Hansen or Nielsen.
In Denmark, a country that embraces rules with the same gusto that Italy defies them, choosing a first and last name for a child is a serious, multitiered affair, governed by law and subject to the approval of the Ministry of Ecclesiastical Affairs and the Ministry of Family and Consumer Affairs.
Want Some Viennese Bread?
In Denmark, Danish pastries are called “Viennese bread”. In Vienna, a similar pastry is called ein Kopenhagener. Lurpak butter is named after a Danish instrument called a Lur, invented in the Bronze Age and made out of curved metal horns. They are among the world’s oldest surviving musical instruments.
The Danes ruled England for 27 years. Sweyn Forkbeard overthrew Aethelred the Unready in 1013. However, Sweyn died the following year and Aethelred re-established himself, only to lose the throne to Cnut the Great, who established a great empire encompassing England, Denmark, Norway and parts of Sweden. He was succeeded by two of his sons: first Harold Harefoot, then Harthacnut (literally “Cnut the Hard”), who celebrated by digging up his brother’s corpse and throwing it in the Thames. Eventually, Harold’s remains were recovered and reburied, possibly in the churchyard of what became St Clement Danes in London. The Kings of Denmark since 1448 have been called either Christian or Frederik, except for Hans (1481-1513), though he is sometimes referred to as “John”.
Kaffeklubben Island is the most northerly point of permanent solid land on Earth – excluding ice and gravel banks – and belongs to Denmark. It translates as “Coffee Club Island” and the first person to set foot there was a Danish explorer called Lauge Koch. It was named after an informal coffee club of geologists who liked to meet at Copenhagen’s museum of mineralogy. The world’s most northerly sea, Kaffeklubben Sø, was assumed dead for 2,000 years until algae was found there last year. And the world’s most northerly flower, purple saxifrage, grows on the tip of Kaffeklubben Island. Read more here...
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