As some of you already know from UCN Student Help Desk FB page together with my colleagues, we are running the office for UCN service, hospitality and tourism students in order to help them with integrating into danish culture much easier and faster. That is why we decided to open new blog page, only for them and all of the posts are going to be written by all of us in there. More information about that soon - but get ready!:)
But Me-You-UCN will be still written by me, don't worry :)
Anyways I hope you have had a really nice weekend, because I must say - I had, and that gave me an inspiration for this blog post.
All of the people from our office went out on saturday night, to spend some time outside the office. We had a really nice time together, drinking danish beer and having conversations about differences in our and in danish culture.
While we were drinking beer, my danish friend Rasmus was saying all the time "Skål" (read Skool) what in english simply means cheers. I think this is a very important word when you are trying to integrate with Danes, because they put a lot of interest into it. For example when they say 'skål' and you do not put your glass up - it is very rude. (Your glass needs to be filled!) Also when you are in Jomfru Ane Gade (read the post here) and people are going around with the glasses, yelling to you Skål, all the time, that means they are happy and you should just say it back and simply drink!
Why is it so important then? Well, as you know, Denmark is known from its viking culture, who in the Middle Ages raided most of the European countries. They are known from its big success and power. When you say it to the others, or others say it to you - it is a wish of a good health, fortune and an honest friendly connection.
Anyways, coming back to the 'Skål', earlier this word, was also used as a greeting between the vikings. Nonetheless, after every battle they fighted, they were so tired, when coming back to their camps, they just dreamed of a relaxing drink and without too much words, they just raised their bowls (Yes, vikings drunk like a real men) and said SKÅL, til they get asleep and ready for the next battle. Nowadays it is used only as a Scandinavian toast of friendship and you just greet each other with a short 'Hej' (read Hi).
I must say - what impressed me about that, is that in eastern European contries we say 'cheers' ('na zdrowie') only when we drink alcohol, but here in Denmark they say it even when drinking tea.
So have a good life in Denmark, SKÅL to all of you!