Nothing’s Rotten in Denmark


Photo by Jan Ingemansen — Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved

Hamlet, Kierkegaard, and Smilla had it wrong.

Life is good in Denmark. In fact, life is at its happiest.

Following a spring post in KadmusArts’ Culture News that highlighted Denmark’s position as the best country for technology, now Business Week magazine highlights two recent studies that show Denmark is the happiest place to live.

More Hamlet 2 than Hamlet, Denmark tops the list for taking care of its citizens to maximize happiness.

Forget the darkness of Kierkegaard or the rage of Metallica (co-founder Lars Ulrich is Danish), a University of Leicester study and a World Values Survey both recommend Denmark as the place to live if you are in search of happiness.

The Leicester study analyzes economic data including quality of health care, standard of living, and education access. The Stockholm based World Values Survey looks at the issues around freedom of choice, gender equality, and minority support.

Denmark appears to lead the way in a most important national goal. Obviously, if you are not worried about being able to afford to live, you can really live.

Perhaps the defining Danish characteristic is the Danish word hygge (or German gemütlichkeit, or Czech pohoda); not easily translated, hygge creates its own sense of being cozy, comfortable within one’s home and at ease within one’s community. [At KadmusArts, we call this feeling "festival!"]

This kind of living means that you also have the time to be happy as an audience, and or as a cultural creator.

After all, any country that has hosted and supported the world’s longest running theatre ensemble, Eugenio Barba’s Odin Teatret, clearly has something wonderful. In addition to its cultural exports, Denmark produces 57 festivals throughout the year.

So, take a moment to contact your Danish friends, cook a Danish meal, or celebrate Danish culture.

Congratulations, Denmark. We are happy for you!

- Bill Reichblum

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One Response to “Nothing’s Rotten in Denmark”

  1. Isaac Ampem-Daako
    August 31st, 2008 16:28

    Hi Jonathan, I’m highly interested in the arts and have done a couple of works. Presently I have a stage drama piece which I think is quite classical. It deals with environmental issues in a romantic way so much that it appeals to all and sundry. Would kindly have it assessed, and subsequently presented in one of your shows if you find it good enough. I shall wait to hear from you. Thanks.

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