New in Denmark

Drop It Like It’s HOT at Tivoli

SnoopDoggTivoli0724

SNOOP DOGG at Fredagsrock!

One of the West Coast hip hop’s greatest icons is playing Tivoli tonight as part of the Fredagsrock or Friday’s Rock experience. For sure, Snoop Dogg will drop it like its hot on the great stage.

I am EXCITED!!!!!! I intend to get myh groove, my serve and everything else on and drop it for two hours at Tivoli. I tell you, Tivoli has outdone itself this year with Fredagsrock!

American superstar Snoop Dogg has sold over 30 million records, taken first places on the charts all over the world, received numerous awards and worked with artists of all genres. His debut album Doggystyle in 1993 sold an impressive 800,000 copies in the first week and since then he has delivered monster hits like Gin & Juice , What’s my Name , Beautiful, Drop It Like It’s Hot andSigns .

Also outside the music industry, he has made a name as both actor, TV host and fashion designer, and his huge fan base counts both hip hop and R & B lovers as well as a more mainstream-oriented audience. All they can look forward to a great evening in Tivoli, when the king of laid-back West Coast vibes beats wows us with his verbal and musical skill as he sizzles tha wizzle.

Drop everything like its hot and get to Tivoli — the concert is only the cost of admission and it will certainly be a great addition to your Copenhagen experience.

Copenhagen: Served excellent example to make my home town an Eco-friendly place

ankit_new-dk

I have learn a lot of new things during my stay in Denmark. One of the most important was cycling. I was amazed to see that many people use cycle on the daily basis and there are special paths build for them. I thought, something similar can be done my hometown Kota, Rajasthan, India also. When I was taking an online course from University of Pennsylvania as part of my Zero Cost MBA(Envisioning 21st century global manager) project, I have taken Copenhagen cycling as a case study and tried to present an idea of replicating some elements of it in my home town. Recently it has got huge push in local media as well as among the civic authorities. I thought, I could share this with you here.

(The article appeared in the local media is in Hindi. I have translated the article for you in English, which you can read below. You can also read the assignment submitted as part of the online course, which has served an inspiration for this article).

dainik bhaskar

साइकिलिंग के मामले में कोटा देश के लिए नजीर बन सकता है। कोटा के कोचिंग इलाके में ही रोजाना लगभग 50 हजार साइकिल चलती हैं। इससे प्रतिदिन लगभग 7 हजार लीटर पेट्रोल की बचत होती है। इसके बावजूद शहर में कहीं भी साइकिल के लिए डेडिकेटेड ट्रैक नहीं है। पर्यावरण और स्वास्थ्य के लिहाज से देश-दुनिया के कई बड़े शहरों में भी साइकिलिंग के लिए अलग ट्रैक बने हुए हैं। भास्कर ने इस मुद्दे पर एक्सपर्ट्स से बात की तो सामने आया कि कोचिंग एरिया में साइकिल ट्रैक आसानी से बन सकता है।

Kota can become a shining example for the country in terms of cycling. Around 50,000 people commute daily through cycling in the coaching areas of Kota. It saves approximately 7000 liters of daily. Even then also, there is no dedicated track anywhere in the city for cycles. Many cities in country and abroad have separate cycling tracks to keep environment and health in check. Bhaskar has spoken with experts on this issue and got the conclusion that it is very easy to make a cycle track in coaching areas.

केवल अतिक्रमण हटाने भर से निकल सकता है रास्ता
इसके लिए जितनी जगह चाहिए उतनी जगह तो अतिक्रमियों ने ही दबा रखी है। अधिकारी इस पर थोड़ा सा ध्यान दें तो बिना विशेष खर्चे के ही साइकिल ट्रैक बन सकता है। इससे शहर के पर्यावरण में भी सुधार आएगा।

Track can be made just by removing illegal development on the routes

The space required for the track has been already available but encroachment by many people. If authorities (officers) pay attention to it a bit, then cycle track can be made without any expensive budget. It will also improve environment of the city.

इन इलाकों में संभावना
साइकिलिंग के जानकारों के मुताबिक, नए कोटा में आईएल से अनंतपुरा चौराहा, कॉमर्स कॉलेज से केशवपुरा चौराहा, गोबरिया बावड़ी से घटोत्कच सर्किल, तलवंडी से ओपेरा रोड, केशवपुरा चौराहे से सीएडी, मोदी कॉलेज चौराहे से जवाहर नगर एयरपोर्ट की दीवार तक डेडिकेटेड साइकिल ट्रैक बनाए जा सकते हैं। मानकों के अनुसार साइकिल ट्रैक 1.5 से 2 मीटर का होना चाहिए। इन सभी सड़कों पर इतनी जगह है और यही वह इलाका है, जहां कोचिंग छात्रों का आवागमन ज्यादा है। इन सभी सड़कों पर साइकिल ट्रैक जितनी जगह तो दोनों ओर अतिक्रमियों ने ही दबा रखी है। इन्हें हटाकर भी ट्रैक डेवलप किए जा सकते हैं।

Probable areas

According to experts, in new Kota, dedicate cycle track can be made from IL to Anantpura Circle, Commerce college to Keshavpura circle, Gobriya bawari to Ghatokatch circle, talwandi to opera road, Keshavpura cirlce to CAD and from Modi college to Jawahar nagar airport wall. According to standards, cycle track must be 1.5 to 2 meter wide. All the roads have this much space available and these are areas where coaching students are commuting in large numbers. In all those roads, the space equivalent to developing cycling track has already been occupied illegally. Tracks can be developed just by removing those illegal construction.

यूं रोज बचाते हैं पांच लाख रुपए
कोटा शहर में मोटे अनुमान के तौर पर 70 हजार साइकिलें है। प्रत्येक साइकिल का रोज का न्यूनतम 5 किमी भी माना जाए तो 3.5 लाख किमी साइकिल रोजाना चलती हैं। किसी वाहन का 50 किमी प्रति लीटर का भी एवरेज माना जाए तो इस साइकिलिंग से रोजाना 7 हजार लीटर पेट्रोल की बचत हो रही है जिससे लगभग पांच लाख की बचत होती है। शहर की हवा में रोजाना भारी मात्रा में प्रदूषित गैसें घुलने से बच रही हैं। नियमित साइकिलिंग से जुड़े लोग बताते हैं कि इसे प्रमोट किया जाए तो साइकिल चलाने वालों की संख्या और भी बढ़ सकती है।

Daily savings of Rs. 500,000
According to a rough estimate, Kota city has approximately 70 thousands cycle. If it is assumed that every cycle on an average commute 5 km daily, then all the cycles are traveling a distance of around 350,000 km. Assuming 50 km per liter an average for a vehicle, then everyday cycling is saving 7000 liters of petrol, resulting in savings of 500,00 rupees. Lot of polluting gases are avoided being mixed into the air of city. People belonging to regular cycling tells that if promoted, number of bicyclers will increase tremendously.

साइकिलिंग में हम काफी आगे, फिर ट्रैक के मामले में पीछे क्यों?
कोटा शहर में साइकिलिंग को प्रमोट करने के लिए पिछले चार साल से साइक्लोट्रोट्स क्लब बना हुआ है। क्लब से करीब 200 सदस्य जुड़े हुए हैं। अध्यक्ष चंद्रेश शर्मा बताते हैं कि गुड़गांव, नोएडा, दिल्ली, हैदराबाद, बेंगलुरु समेत गुजरात के कई बड़े शहरों में साइकिल ट्रैक बने हुए हैं। जबकि आबादी के अनुपात में इन शहरों में साइकिल चलाने वाले कोटा से कम ही होंगे। मोटे तौर पर कोटा शहर में 10 फीसदी लोग साइकिल चलाते हैं। भले ही इसमें बड़ा हिस्सा कोचिंग छात्रों का है। हम इस मुद्दे पर प्रशासन से बातचीत करने के लिए तथ्यात्मक तैयारी भी कर रहे हैं। प्रयास सिर्फ इतना करना है कि सड़कों के किनारों से अतिक्रमण हट जाए। बस, इतने में साइकिल ट्रैक के लिए जगह निकल आएगी। एक बार ट्रैक शुरू हुए, फिर लोग खुद ही ट्रैक खाली छोड़ देंगे।

Ahead in cycling, then why behind on tracks?

A club has been formed from past 4 years to promote cycling in Kota. Currently, the club has around 200 members. President Chandresh Sharma told that Gurgaon, Noida, Delhi, Hyderbad, Bengaluru and many cities of Gujrat has cycling tracks, that too when they do not fair well in ratio wise for the number of people cycling. Around ten percent of the people are driving cycles in Kota, even if the major portion belongs to the coaching students. We are also trying to speak with administration on this matter. Just needed an effort to remove illegal construction around the roads. Just by doing so, give free space for the tracks. Once the track start, people will automatically leave the track.

कोपनहेगन: वहां 20-25 किमी साइकिल चलाना आम है

साइकिलिंग को लेकर हमने बात की कोटा के रहने वाले अंकित खंडेलवाल से, जो करीब तीन साल तक पढ़ाई के सिलसिले में डेनमार्क की राजधानी कोपनहेगन रहकर आए हैं। यह महानगर साइक्लिंग के लिए मशहूर है और यहां की 35 से 40 प्रतिशत आबादी साइकिल पर ही सफर करती है। अंकित बताते हैं कि वहां 20 से 25 किमी साइकिल चलाना बिल्कुल नहीं अखरता। मैं खुद रोज इतनी साइकिल चला लेता था। कभी थकान नहीं होती थी। क्योंकि साइकिल के लिए वहां हर सड़क के साथ अलग से बेहतरीन ट्रैक बने हुए हैं।

Copenhagen: It is normal to cycle 20-25 km cycle daily

We have spoken to Ankit Khandelwal regarding cycling. He is by native from Kota and stayed in the capital of Denmark for approximately 3 years during his studies. This city is famous for cycling and around 35-40% of city population travel on cycle. Ankit has told, that driving 20-25 km through cycle is not uncomfortable. Even I have used cycle that much on daily basis. Never got tired, because special tracks have been made for cycling alongside roads.

साइकिल पार्किंग के लिए घर, बाजार, रेलवे व मेट्रो स्टेशन पर खास इंतजाम होते हैं। यहां तक कि मेट्रो में भी साइकिल रखने के लिए अलग से डिब्बा होता है। बड़े-बड़े उद्यमी, राजनेता और कई कंपनियों के सीईओ तक को मैंने वहां साइकिलों पर आते-जाते देखा। कोटा में साइकिलिंग को प्रमोट किया जा सकता है, क्योंकि यहां हजारों बच्चे पहले से इसका यूज कर रहे हैं।

Special arrangement has been made at home, market, railway and metro to park cycles. Even metros have separate coaches to park cycles during the travel. Many businesspersons, politicians and other people were seen using cycle very frequently. Cycling can be promoted in Kota, because already thousands of youngsters are using it.

(Appeared in Dainik Bhaskar, Kota edition, 05-07-2015)

Inspiration for this article came from Designing Cities Assignment-3, a MOOC course from University of Pennsylvania. I have taken this course as part of my Zero Cost MBA (Envisioning 21st century global manager project. Check the last 2 pages of this assignment, where I have used Copenhagen as a base city to modify my home town planning

Happy Independence Day!: An American and Danish Tie That Binds

fourthofjuly

 

I am writing this on the fly as I enjoy a concert that is part of the Copenhagen Jazz Festival today. This is one of the highlights of the year in Denmark and personally for me! Today is Independence Day in my native land, the United States of America. Denmark and the United States of America traditionally celebrate their friendship at this time of year in Rebild, Denmark. This year is no exception. This is a time of year where I am especially proud of the ideals of my native country and the freedom I have had to be an expatriate in Denmark. It also is an excuse (like I need one!!) to have some great American barbeque!

I have not been able to part of the annual Rebild celebration but perhaps I will next year at my 10th anniversary in Denmark.

Happy Independence Day,

my kindred Americans in Denmark!

The first Rebild celebration was in 1912 in the hills of Jutland. A group of Danish immigrants living in the USA purchased 140 acres of wooded area between Rold and the small Lindenborg stream as a token of gratitude towards the country that greeted more than 300,000 Danish immigrants with open arms.

The land was then donated to the Danish people and since then the 4th of July, the American Independence Day, has been celebrated by thousands of people, both emigrants and Danish citizens — and the U.S. flag is allowed to be flown.

The Anerican “Stars and Stripes” and the Danish flag “Dannebrog” fly side by side i Rebild Bakker (the hills of Rebild). People camp out for a week and there is music, entertainment, community, singing and speeches by prominent Americans and Danes to broadcast the ties between the USA and Denmark.

Things are not perfect as an expatriate in Denmark, and not all American expatriates in Denmark find it to be a welcoming country due to immigration policies as well as practices within the Danish Immigration Service, Folkeregister and sometimes even within a municipality like Copenhagen Commune, but I keep the faith that one day it will be better!

 

 

 

Annual Wife Carrying Contest at a Western Canada Scandinavian Festival

I thought readers of Nothing Rotten In Denmark blog would like to know that come summer time, numerous Danish and Scandinavian festivals are held throughout North America in the US and Canada. This feature about the popular wife carrying contest at a festival in western Canada will appear in the Danske Pioneer/Danish Pioneer and Norwegian American Weekly newspapers.

The teams had names like Tartan Trolls, Thighs to the Sky, and Mooove Over. ‘Wives’ had to weigh at least 100 lbs. or “eat an extra helping of Swedish meatballs” according to the rules. The winning team won the wife’s weight in Carlsberg beer, sponsor of the Carlsberg Cup.

Clearly this wasn’t the Kentucky Derby.

Under a broiling sun, people at the Scandinavian Midsummer Festival at the Scandinavian Community Centre in Burnaby, BC, Canada lined up on either side of the makeshift racecourse of styrofoam obstacles and wading pools (the husbands had to get both feet wet before reaching the finish line).

Around a dozen teams entered this traditional Finnish race. But all on this day, Finnish or not, any adult team could participate.

The rules were as silly as the race: Regardless of being married or not (or even the gender), the ‘wife’ shall be the contestant carried and the ‘husband’ is the contestant doing the carrying. A husband could carry his wife, his neighbor’s wife, or someone found ‘further afield.’ Inflatable wives “will be disqualified.”

Some of the men carried their wives upside down, side-to-side, and even upside down. A few even took a tumble on the grass course with their unique carrying style. But as the rules stated, “Husbands may carry their wives any way they choose.”

After a while the crowd – enticed by the MC with a mic – yelled not for the winning runners in the relay races but the ones coming from behind. One made it to the finish line only to come crashing down. Ruled they crossed the finish line before collapsing, the only thing hurt seemed to be their pride.

In the final run for the cup and beer it was the tall-and-short team – she wasn’t even 6 feet while he was 6-6 – of Thighs to the Sky with the winning time of 29.91 seconds who won. Pretty good considering Alysia Baldwin and Kent Hodgson, both 30 and from Vancouver, just returned that morning from Maui, Hawaii.

One of the husband and wife teams at the starting line of the annual Wife Carrying Contest held at the Scandinavian Midsummer Festival in Burnaby, BC, Canada on Sunday, June 22, 2015.

One of the husband and wife teams at the starting line of the annual Wife Carrying Contest held at the Scandinavian Midsummer Festival in Burnaby, BC, Canada on Sunday, June 22, 2015.

It was Baldwin’s and Hodgson’s first time running in the Wife Carrying Contest.

It took five cases of Carlsberg beer, stacked on top of each other, to equal the weight of Baldwin: 134 lbs. Clearly, this was not a race for a wife to be bashful about her weight; her ‘husband’ (partner) weighed 250.

One of the security men asked if the winning couple needed help with the beer. “That’s the best line I’ve heard in getting some beer,” said a bystander to the security man wearing an orange vest. It caught him by surprised. But Alysia and Kent caught the joke and laughed.

Guest Blogger: Danish Parenting and Gender Bias

This month, I have asked author of the book  The Danish Way of Parenting , Iben Sandahl Ehrhorn to provide a guest blog on gender equality in Danish schools and in raising children. You can find her new book on Amazon.com  Enjoy!

Iben:

I grew up in a very social/liberal environment – one might say that my family was in the forefront of those who were active in the feminist debate.

Both of my parents worked and in the early days we had a nanny in the house. My parents divorced when I was 3 years old, which forced both of them to take care of everything that had to do with housekeeping and the family. I learned that it does not matter if you are a man or woman – everybody joins in to make the family function properly.

Friday, June 5 was Constitution Day in Denmark – and the 100th anniversary of Suffrage for Women, too.

It is a story of a more than 150-year struggle by my predecessors, which has ensured complete freedom for me in our democracy without suppression or feelings of inferiority towards the men around me.

I appreciate having grown up in a country with freedom of speech and ingrained respect for the individual’s word. I have seen how fighting the battle has paid off.

It is very difficult for me to grasp the fact that life has not always been like this. I can understand it intellectually, but that is as far as it goes. The dignity of the individual and respect for her or him has always been an inherent part of my natural heritage.

This does not mean that everything is smooth sailing, however. Let us take an important experience to illustrate this: Throughout my adult years, I had visited my doctor on occasion and I had a good and professional relation to her.

We had never had any problems communicating in spite of the fact that she was originally an immigrant from a distant country.

It was a great shock when at the age of 27 I had a consultation with her together with my husband. I was expecting for the first time, and we were setting foot on our new and unknown path to becoming parents. This was, for sure, a joint project.

The moment my husband and I came in and she welcomed us at the door, I suddenly became totally invisible.

I was shocked! I was the one who was pregnant, but she only looked at my husband and only spoke to him. I was there in the room all right, it was me who was in focus, and yet it was as if I was not present – did not exist. It was a very strange experience, and I had just not seen it coming.

It dawned on me, of course, that she had a different cultural background. We had many things in common and yet there were different indicators revealing that our attitudes to gender equality were miles apart. My husband and I were faced with a woman from a different and strong cultural heritage, her mindset still firmly fixed after 25 years in Denmark.

It was an interesting experience.

Living in a democratic country where equality is always a burning question is very much reflected in Danish education. Danish students are champions of democracy, mainly due to the Danish tradition of critical thinking. Students are taught to look critically at adopted values and in so doing acquire a deeper understanding of democracy.

It is not about taking a negative stance but about being realistic.

‘The Danish Way of Parenting’ points out that Danes do not pretend that negativity does not exist. We just focus on the bigger picture rather than getting trapped by one aspect of an argument. This is what psychologists call being ”realistic optimists”.

Much parental education takes place in schools today. This is one reason why the book provides input on how we parents need to focus more on developing healthy, whole human beings, rather than promoting self-centered little creatures.

On looking back, you will find that gender differences in school was not such a salient topic in twentieth century Denmark. A non-discriminatory understanding is a pre-requisite for teaching being gender-neutral.

Educational theory and practice are of paramount importance for a proper focus on the differences between boys and girls. All are treated equally, but with increased attention to differentiating according to the individual student’s needs.

Most classes have an equal proportion of boy and girls and most teaching is organized around the children’s individual skills. However, it is impossible to differentiate thoroughly with an average of 26 students in a class – but teachers strive to do their best and to address each child’s zone of proximal development.

(The ‘zone of proximal development’ is defined thus: “A child needs the right amount of space to learn and grow in the zones that are right for them with the right amount of help” – Lev Vygotsky)

Instead of focusing on equality, teachers focus on things like socialization, autonomy, cohesion, democracy and self-esteem. As we are equal human beings, teachers want the students to develop a strong internal compass, which can guide them through life.

My co-writer Jessica Alexander and I recently talked to a well-known psychologist, and we were discussing the present-day plethora of diagnoses like ADHD, which tend to be given to many boys in school. You can find them in almost every class today. The psychologist told us that the common Danish reaction is to read the term ADHD as ”Alle Drenge Har Det” (all boys have it). One could suspect that there is some kind of discrimination going on here!

By focusing very narrowly on the differences between boys and girls in general, we think that stigmatizing takes place and therefore prevents the individual child from unfolding.

Instead of spending resources on categorizing children (using diagnoses or gender differentiation) which we often tend to do so that we can more easily get through our own assignments, it would be much better if we concentrated our good energy on understanding the individual that we are facing.

What matters is not what gender person you are face to face with – but what individual you are involved with.

When many years ago my own doctor ignored me during my pregnancy consultation, I was taken aback. At the same time, I also became curious about who this woman was when she took off her doctor’s coat. A woman who had carried along her cultural heritage into her adult world, as we all do.

I did not think it was because she was a woman or because she wanted to be rude or because she did not know my cultural heritage. I understood that she was authentically being herself with her own personal cultural baggage.

‘The Danish Way of Parenting’ invites readers to reflect on their own practice. Our purpose in the book is to put various facets of life and different approaches to upbringing into perspective.

We want to treat boys and girls – not as gender individuals but as human beings with equal rights and equal possibilities. This is not the same as saying that you can encompass all possibilities– but there are really many that you can reach.

The Danish Way of Parenting’ believes in the importance of meeting other people with respect – that it makes a difference.  Thanks for reading!