Monday, October 22, 2007

So, you're dutch right?

Actually no, I'm from Denmark, so I'm Danish. Dutch people are from Holland. No, Denmark is neither the capital of Holland or IKEA. Yes, we do have windmills, but the wooden clogs and tulips are more of a Dutch thing. No, Danish... not Dutch. Yes, Denmark is in Europe. No, pot is not legal in Denmark, you are thinking of Amsterdam, that's in Holland. Yes - Holland, where the Dutch people live.... no, I live in Denmark.

There is a strange link between Denmark and Holland in the minds of most Americans. When they hear I'm from Denmark, they nod with a satisfied look of recognition and say "ah, so you're Dutch?". After I explain to them that I'm Danish, we usually move on to the topic of windmills, wooden clogs and tulips in Denmark. I should try to present myself as being from Holland some time, just to see what kind of cultural confusion that will bring along... "Hi, my name is Kasper, I'm from Holland" ... "ah, so you're Croatian?".

I still have no idea why this link between Denmark and Holland exists in the minds of Americans, but I think I got a bit closer to the answer when the discussion fell upon geography this weekend. It turns out that most of my wife's friends only had a single geography class in school and according to them. It's scary that a country that plays such a big role in the rest of the world has so little general knowledge about it.

At this point, you might assume that the primary purpose of this blog is to bitch about American culture from a European standpoint. Well, yeah... I'm sure there will be a lot of that, but I promise to bitch just as much about European culture and once in a while I will even post excitedly about stuff I love. In fact I intend for this blog to be an open and honest outlet for my experiences as a Dane moving to America.