Aglow Like Wonder and Delight

Aglow Like Wonder and Delight

Today’s Daily Word asks us to shine at the thought of the lives we are living. It asks us to polish our aura and halos with the joy of recognition of our happiness in the moment.
That I do now as I report on this last class day of school (before vacation in July) at Frilandet Museet (museum) in Lyngby .This morning I visited the barns and houses of the way of life of Danish people in the past: the daily farm life. Along with my classmates, we walked about and witnessed the remains of the farmware, and its buildings and tools. The community of people back then had to do some hard labor to live in the thatch shelters, they made the roads and ways with carefully selected boulder stones. They had to innovate bathtubs of wood, beds and bedding, the means to sew on old fashioned spinning wheels and to keep livestock. We actually saw horses, chickens, and lambs. Walking the thickly treed paths, and feeling the essence of the place was envigorating and calming. I respected the work that it ook to live without the transformative technologies we have today. It was a demanding life to work closely with one’s neighbors without phones or telegraph. They had to even establish firehouses with big bins of water to be ready for accidental fires. But what I respected most was their artistry in constructing thatch roofs, and housing that had good proximity for their needs. I simply celebrated this little “tur” as the Danes say by being impressed. I am aglow with the continum of life. And although we had a sudden thunderstorm, my classmates and teacher and I managed to have a share-alike lunch on the grounds with a hundred or so visiting school children,all jabbering and frisking about. Their energy fed this moment in life too. Thank you God for delight and wonder. Here’s your Daily Word:

Aglow
I am aglow with vibrant life.
Thursday, June 26, 2014

To function at optimum health, I nourish myself with nutritious food and drink, plenty of exercise, and time for renewal and rest. Such care and attention feels good in the moment and pays dividends for years to come.

My healthy body knows exactly what to do, and I support it. I voice encouraging and uplifting words to and about myself, rather than criticism or fear. Whether positive or negative, the thoughts and words I tell myself also feed my body. Positive self-talk invigorates and supports my intention to maintain a vibrant, healthy body.

I am physically and spiritually alive and well. I am wonderfully aglow with light, life, and vitality.

I pray that … you may be in good health, just as it is well with your soul.—3 John 1:2

Celebratory Snap shots—The Party Is Over Here SDiane Adamz Bogus/Shariananda 6/30/2013

Celebratory Snap shots—The Party Is Over Here    SDiane Adamz Bogus/Shariananda 6/30/2013

In the USA, on any midnight dance floor, when the juice is flowing, the sweat is popping on the rhythm infused bodies, when the crowd is buoyed up by the boom boom, boom of the disco beat, augmented by the disc jockey’s hollers and scratching, there is usually a call that goes out, “ooh–oo -ooh-oo” and punctuated by the chant “There’s a party over here!” Chains and trains of people connect and follow the energy in a lengthening line of revelry and unselfconscious relaxation. When I was able to be in such a setting, enjoying the boogie, I always loved it.

 

Well, since my arrival in Denmark, I have come to believe that the entire country is nothing short of an on-going party, though not always as raucous as the American disco scenes I have visited, but entirely given to fun, exuberance, sharing the moments of life, and embracing “celebration” as a feature of daily life. I have spoken about this before, explaining the concept of hyggelig:  as much as (and as often as possible), a good and mellow time with loved ones and friends; fun with a capital F.

 

The warmth of summer with a growing intensity for heat has eluded Denmark so far this year. It was a late and prolonged winter that we have just come through, and the trees have only just reached their full bodied leafy bloom. The wind blows in from the north and north east, chilling the day, and clouds convene in alternating bluster, first darkening, then lightening when the sun can force through beams. The Danes take every second they can in the sun. They throw together impromptu picnics and soirees on the stroke of a sun beam, and they gather in intense groups at open air cafes and small sandwich or specialty eating shops to drink beers, sodas, coffee and schmooze as if there is to be no tomorrow. And I suppose, they are to be commended for living for today, for tomorrow the sun may not shine. They suck up their fortitude, throw blankets over their legs or wraps around their necks, maybe even a light jacket, and face the gray of the day with the insistent hope that the sun will return shortly. And it does– like a sea change–which often is the cause: evaporation and condensation from local and distant bodies of water.

 

At the beginning of June, one would think temperatures would rise, and the swimmers and runners, strollers, and sun bathers would be delighted and greatly visible, but this season, as I understand it, the percentages of people enjoying the bold outdoors is greatly reduced. Nevertheless, that did not stop one man, from celebrating the joy of summer in the square at Norreport, one of the main commercial areas where the bus and train stop in central Copenhagen.

 

SNAP SHOT 1

 

As Vivi and I were en route to the cafe Flottenheimer, owned by a Turkish friend whom we had previously met at the department of immigration, we passed through one of the large areas where there is outdoor seating and large numbers of people eating, drinking, chatting, and just hanging in the merciful light of day without rain or gray skies. It is really a sight to see. It feels like one is in a Monet painting, part of the many dotted pattern of the scene. Framing this surreal moment are pubs and convenience stores, clothing shops and specialty businesses for various ethnic and cultural groups. Tables are round or square, full of glasses half full, half empty–your pleasure to imagine. Passing through the utter energy of it, I found myself gaping and giving Vivi my usual   running commentary of wonderment and appreciation, to which she always smiles and says, “We enjoy every clear day, every sunny day we can get because summer is so short and winter so long.” Just then, a naked man steps into our path. He is singing, and smiling, his privates dangling, his suntan marked by the light places where clothes had defined their shadow. He was bald headed, and had an earring in his ear and a beer in hand. He was in a bliss and his friends who sat at the table where his piled-up clothes lay partly in the seat and partly on the ground, were clapping and smiling and hooting him on. For my part–I was shocked. I was not quite ready for this level of freedom of expression. I have seen it on TV, nakedness in commercials and in television programming. I have even seen film of the naked swimmers of winter here in Denmark, but to come upon a naked man among crowds of dressed people took me by surprise. I blushed–and yes, I can–brown skin or not. It did not faze anyone except me it seemed. Everyone else, whom I could see, just smiled or laughed or ignored him and kept to their own enjoyment.

“Vivi!” I said. “Shari,” she said. And that was that. We passed on taking in all the mass of Danish compatriots enjoying the summer day.

SNAP SHOT2

The 20 or 21 of June is the longest day of summer in Denmark. They call it Midsummer, and they have a tradition of celebration around it. I do not have the history, but the tradition is to go to the edge of the sea (or nearest beach) and build or be a part of the burning of a substantial bonfire. If you are in the right place along the beach front or water’s edge, you can look down the length of the beach and see the other bonfires burning, and it sets up a kind of connection between the groups of people. Viv and I went to Skodsborg   Strand in Skodsborg. This was the night of that great, full moon that was reported to be nearer the earth than usual. We drove out along the coast near dusk, and found ourselves at a modest gathering of people where tables and chairs had been set out by the owners of a mobile cafe. There was a silence to the celebration that I did not expect. Couples in various configurations strolled slowly to and fro, some watched the modest bonfire at our location; others seem to be like extras in a film, in place, but without purpose except to people the scene. Some of the people sat inside the tents having coffee or drinks; still others sat on the pier brick wall, eating ice cream. Others sat at the picnic tables or along the wooden pier itself. There I noticed a group of teens huddled at the far point edge of the pier, smoking cigarettes, and clustered as if up to something secretive. They were quiet and respectful, and I appreciated getting a look at the teens of Denmark here. I have seen some on the S-tog commuter train and on the bus, but here they were participating. Smaller kids, of about 8 years or so, played on the bolder breakers–one leaping from one to the other with mountain goat facility. He liked my attention and got bolder, without a slip. His sister or slightly younger girl companion followed with the same alacrity. Older couples were arm in arm, and mothers and children, groups of families also strode by. It seems everyone of all ages celebrates Midsummer. Yet it was quiet for an event meant to celebrate solstice; but what do I know? I just got here. It seemed to me that music was missing. What’s more the fire was burning too low, and there was no extra wood to flush it; the signal fires further down the beach seemed fitful as well, burning high for a time, then disappearing, down to just above ember blaze. I said to Vivi, “This is mighty quiet. They need some music.” She said,” We usually do have some, if we had gone to one of the larger gatherings at other bonfire locations. There the people sing favorites and dance, and make noise.” But I knew that she had not wanted to go to a great crowded location because it would have been too much. She had had a full work week, and so had I online. Mellow, easy, and cozy ruled the day. So, I satisfied myself with a double scoop of chocolate and banana ice cream, called ” is” and we cuddled close under the canopy of  a blue tent with a blue glass candle holder where burned a candle as the huge moon rose before us, alternately falling under the dense, dark clouds and reappearing when we least thought it’d come back. We stayed until the wind changed to cold and whipped us to chills. The cafe owner started to put things away, and asked us to move to a picnic table, handing us our candle to take the romance with us. So much for the Midsummer celebration. Still, it seems to me, one has to take the good times as they come, regardless of the weather. Sadan er det. (So it goes).

 

SANP SHOT 3

 

Vivi works for a company that fund raises for large charitable organizations. Her company is in start-up, and she is a skilled and experienced fund raiser who brings managerial expertise to the effort. Earlier in the week, she invited me to come out to have a beer with her and her co-workers and colleagues when their work day was over on Thursday. This seemed like fun, and it was another chance to see how workers enjoy hyggelig together. Gaining more and more independence as I learn the bus routes and the train schedules, I took the 6A bus that runs on Frederiksborgvej toward Norreport, and got off at Jagtvej and Tagensvej. This was bout 9:30 PM, and it was still daylight, as it would be at about 6PM in the USA in most cities in the summer. I was not sure how to navigate once I got off the bus; so standing at the bus stop with cell phone in hand, I took in the Dogn/Netto grocery store, the florist shop, the cycle shop, and the business building in each direction starting with my corner. I rang Vivi, and she came out from the bar, where they already had gathered. She instructed me to cross the street to the northeast corner. Soon, I could see her on the avenue (vej) and we waved to each other. I felt like I was in a movie where two lovers see each other for the first time, and are about to be united after an interminable, longing separation. We met mid-block and embraced as if, indeed, it had been a long time since we have been together or seen one another. We kissed briefly–not to make a scene–(not that anyone would care, stop and stare), but we are private. Then we walked arm in arm as we often do to, Zorro’s. What a name! This is the name of a Mexican liberator, “the fox (“so cunning and free–who makes the sign of the ‘Z'”) and the name of a TV series as well as more recently a three-film American movie. Denmark never ceases to amaze me with its American pop culture assimilation.

 

Once inside, I met Kenneth, Runa, Maria and Ben. Kenneth, Vivi designated as a colleague, and the three others as co-workers. I am told by a tourist book that Danes are not big on titles or designations that place one above another, but they do make distinctions in the work hierarchy; the distinctions are relational. The place was a little small for dancing, as it had just one long open room of about 30 feet by 20. At one end was the bar and beer taps, at the other a raised cul de sac with a recessed DJ stand, low tables, and several chairs which varied in construction and comfort. I took a covered arm chair. Vivi sat across from me on a leather booth like bench with the two female co-workers, and Ben sat to my left in a wooden chair. Kenneth, King Edward cigar cool, sat on a wicker love seat, with his legs crossed, and with big self-important attitude. I liked him. I started by saying hello in Danish, and receiving the greetings of each, along with names that Vivi inserted. The music was playing low, and though we were right next to the DJ stand, I was able to hear fine with my left ear. You may recall that I have reduced hearing in my right ear from an unfortunate lightning and thunder strike seven years ago. So transformation in stride, being a newcomer to Denmark, I was all ready for a nice, coffee house chat with new people. Well, for a short time, while daylight still streamed in, Ben and I talked about the gay and lesbian achievements in America as well as his activism in Denmark. Seems he was among those fighting for “marriage equality” which was only recently passed. Before that, legal unions were civically sanctioned or church blessings were attainable if the church was willing, but not “marriage” as it is performed for 1 man and 1 woman. Because he was sitting to my immediate right, I chatted with Ken a while, too, about books, and philosophies of human development, spiritual and cosmic views. I could not get within ear range across the table to Runa and Maria, but we smiled a lot. Then the DJ came into the area and stepped behind the stand. He asked if he could turn the music up because it was his birthday, and he and his friends would be partying. Ha! Did he ring my bell or what?! No sooner had he put on a deep drum rhythm, than I was out of my seat, moving furniture and dancing, just a little time keeping and swaying, but with enticing energy. Soon, Ben and Maria, Vivi and the DJ and a few of his friends were in that little area stomping and romping too. We all just hooted and I called out–“Ooh-oo,ooh-oo ,there’s a party over here.” They copied me, and we just had the best time for the rest of the night. The DJ was celebrating his 27th birthday. In between we were all swilling Tuborg beers and wiggling and bumping booties, and howling like boogie monsters. We forced a circle, and different ones stepped in the middle while the others touched them or did one on one dance moves. I stayed out of the circle. After all, I am a married lady–and so did Viv. But man, what a good time! I met several more people, three of whom I gave quick (wrist) touch readings, and they were amazed. One of them extended me an invitation to an event that is up-coming in which I may come as the oracle and read for his guests. He said he’d call. Vivi and I took a taxi home, because buses were running an hour apart, but we were quite pleased with ourselves–two old ladies out partying with the 20 and 30 year olds. Denmark, Nu slapper du af! ( You are besides yourself.)

 

SNAP SHOT 4

Yesterday and the day before, June 29 and 28th, there was lots of alarms and hooting going on in the street, sometimes followed by police sirens. I learned from Vivi that the trucks I saw going by were groups of graduation youth, who were moving from gymnasium (high school) on to college or vocational education. The completion of the three years at gymnasium is an achievement and big celebration for all of a week may go on with truckloads of howling young people waving and being saluted by the proud and encouraging populace. Vivi explained to me that the youth rent the trucks which look like farm trucks with wooden slats rather than Ford or Toyota or Chevy working pick-ups. They are decorated with the school and school colors and they transport 20 or more students from the same school all around the city from open neighborhood to the other. Something like the prom limo for high school grads, but much less dignified and less glamorous, but much more fun if you account for the wild hooting and yelling and the stops by each student’s home, where all on the truck is invited in to each the other’s homes to eat a little snack, drink a refreshment, and receive congratulations. They start early and ride around all day, stopping, celebrating, and moving on. That’s phenomenal. I am sure everyone is stuffed to the gills by the time they come back home from all that rebel rousing. It just makes me so happy to think that the youth are encouraged to blow off all that energy in this chauffeured and socially accepted way. Det er rigtig dejlig. (It’s right on.)

Reprinted article–Reader Supported News–What Can We learn from Denmark?

This article is widely published on the Internet but is offered for reprint at Reader Supported News. I appreciate the opinion. Shariananda

What Can We learn from Denmark?

Danish Ambassador Peter Taksoe-Jensen spent a weekend in Vermont this month traveling with me to town meetings in Burlington, Brattleboro and Montpelier. Large crowds came out to learn about a social system very different from our own which provides extraordinary security and opportunity for the people of Denmark.

Today in the United States there is a massive amount of economic anxiety. Unemployment is much too high, wages and income are too low, millions of Americans are struggling to find affordable health care and the gap between the very rich and everyone else is growing wider.

While young working families search desperately for affordable child care, older Americans worry about how they can retire with dignity. Many of our people are physically exhausted as they work the longest hours of any industrialized country and have far less paid vacation time than other major countries

Denmark is a small, homogenous nation of about 5.5 million people. The United States is a melting pot of more than 315 million people. No question about it, Denmark and the United States are very different countries. Nonetheless, are there lessons that we can learn from Denmark?

In Denmark, social policy in areas like health care, child care, education and protecting the unemployed are part of a “solidarity system” that makes sure that almost no one falls into economic despair. Danes pay very high taxes, but in return enjoy a quality of life that many Americans would find hard to believe. As the ambassador mentioned, while it is difficult to become very rich in Denmark no one is allowed to be poor. The minimum wage in Denmark is about twice that of the United States and people who are totally out of the labor market or unable to care for themselves have a basic income guarantee of about $100 per day.

Health care in Denmark is universal, free of charge and high quality. Everybody is covered as a right of citizenship. The Danish health care system is popular, with patient satisfaction much higher than in our country. In Denmark, every citizen can choose a doctor in their area. Prescription drugs are inexpensive and free for those under 18 years of age. Interestingly, despite their universal coverage, the Danish health care system is far more cost-effective than ours. They spend about 11 percent of their GDP on health care. We spend almost 18 percent.

When it comes to raising families, Danes understand that the first few years of a person’s life are the most important in terms of intellectual and emotional development. In order to give strong support to expecting parents, mothers get four weeks of paid leave before giving birth. They get another 14 weeks afterward. Expecting fathers get two paid weeks off, and both parents have the right to 32 more weeks of leave during the first nine years of a child’s life. The state covers three-quarters of the cost of child care, more for lower-income workers.

At a time when college education in the United States is increasingly unaffordable and the average college graduate leaves school more than $25,000 in debt, virtually all higher education in Denmark is free. That includes not just college but graduate schools as well, including medical school.

In a volatile global economy, the Danish government recognizes that it must invest heavily in training programs so workers can learn new skills to meet changing workforce demands. It also understands that when people lose their jobs they must have adequate income while they search for new jobs. If a worker loses his or her job in Denmark, unemployment insurance covers up to 90 percent of earnings for as long as two years. Here benefits can be cut off after as few as 26 weeks.

In Denmark, adequate leisure and family time are considered an important part of having a good life. Every worker in Denmark is entitled to five weeks of paid vacation plus 11 paid holidays. The United States is the only major country that does not guarantee its workers paid vacation time. The result is that fewer than half of lower-paid hourly wage workers in our country receive any paid vacation days.

Recently the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) found that the Danish people rank among the happiest in the world among some 40 countries that were studied. America did not crack the top 10.

As Ambassador Taksoe-Jensen explained, the Danish social model did not develop overnight. It has evolved over many decades and, in general, has the political support of all parties across the political spectrum. One of the reasons for that may be that the Danes are, politically and economically, a very engaged and informed people. In their last election, which lasted all of three weeks and had no TV ads, 89 percent of Danes voted.

In Denmark, more than 75 percent of the people are members of trade unions. In America today, as a result of the political and economic power of corporate America and the billionaire class, we are seeing a sustained and brutal attack against the economic well-being of the American worker. As the middle class disappears, benefits and guarantees that workers have secured over the last century are now on the chopping block. Republicans, and too many Democrats, are supporting cuts in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, nutrition, education, and other basic needs — at the same time as the very rich become much richer. Workers’ rights, the ability to organize unions, and the very existence of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) are now under massive assault.

In the U.S. Senate today, my right-wing colleagues talk a lot about “freedom” and limiting the size of government. Here’s what they really mean.

They want ordinary Americans to have the freedom NOT to have health care in a country where 45,000 of our people who die each year because they don’t get to a doctor when they should. They want young people in our country to have the freedom NOT to go to college, and join the 400,000 young Americans unable to afford a higher education and the millions struggling with huge college debts. They want children and seniors in our country to have the freedom NOT to have enough food to eat, and join the many millions who are already hungry. And on and on it goes!

In Denmark, there is a very different understanding of what “freedom” means. In that country, they have gone a long way to ending the enormous anxieties that comes with economic insecurity. Instead of promoting a system which allows a few to have enormous wealth, they have developed a system which guarantees a strong minimal standard of living to all — including the children, the elderly and the disabled.

The United States, in size, culture, and the diversity of our population, is a very different country from Denmark. Can we, however, learn some important lessons from them? You bet we can.

 

Follow Sen. Bernie Sanders on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/SenSanders

May 27, 2013

Learning the Danish Language–Det er rigtig godt! Shariananda aka SDiane Adamz Bogus

“Det Dansk sprog er hard”. This I am told by the new Danes that I meet in casual circumstances. “Danish is hard.”  At first I did not want to agree with the native speakers. I took their observations to be the collective  agreement of a people who think that newcomers to the language ought to be duly challenged and respectful. I thought their warning about the difficulty of Danish was a matter of national pride like the white, cross-pathways on the red field of the Danish flag.  It didn’t  scare me.

As a matter fo fact, when Vivi, my beloved, first spoke it, Danish sounded so melodic to my ears, it was as if an old friend had called and sang me a greeting. “Hvordan gaar det?” (vor daan gor day?)” How goes it?” or  “What’s going on?” That could be felt in the words. And though the unpronounced “h” in hvordan was different and the unfamiliar words “gaar” and “det” piqued my curiosity,I definitely fell hard for Danish. I remember asking Vivi:”How do you say ,’My heart is melting’ in Danish?” and “How do you say, ‘I love you in Danish?'” She said “Jeg elsker dig” was the phrase for “I  love you” (yii  el skaa die ). “Den smelter min hjerte” was the other.  But it wasn’t the hailing phrase of  “Hvordan gaar det” that attracted me, nor even the fact that I was falling in love with Vivi and wanted to express it in her language, but after I got a glimpse of the language in an online program, it was the apparent use of the word “good” and “God”  in so much of the daily language that won my heart. Never in all my language training had I seen a language that was so unself-consciously optimistic, so full of God and goodness.

My beloved and I first met on the Internet where I learned she was a Dane and that her spoken language was Danish. But so many phrases she shared with me seemed to convey goodness. “Godmormorgen” “Goddag” “Godaften” “Godnat” “Sov godt!” “God rejse” “Det er godt vejr.”Det er supergodt”. As a newcomer to the visual appearance of the language, the word G-O-D looked familiar, and was pronounced “G odd” as I was accostumed to doing in American English , but here, it is pronounced with  a kind of glottal stop that makes it sound like “gu” (goo), or a short cough–“Goo daa!”  where the “d” is unvoiced and the “a”  in day is long and the “y” is replaced by an unvoiced “g”.  To my surprise, the word is not God at all. It is the word for “good.” And ,given how often it is used,  I came to feel the language was full of nothing but good. Things are “dejlig”, meaning lovely or “nice” or “good.” “Det er merget dejlig”  which means that things are very good or nice, or lovely. In some cases, the Danes say,  They are “rigtig dejlig”, meaning righteously or downright good. Even the bad is expressed as good. Things are said to be “ikke godt” or not good. The cultural millieu is expressed as something called “hyggelig” (who gail lee), a cozy, good time, mellow with one’s loved ones,friends, even at a public event. Cool and good.

Last year, I visited Denmark or Danmark for two months in April and May. I attended a school called Copenhagen Danish Courses in Osterport, the west gate of Copenhagen. I took three weeks of a five week course, which I will finish this year, and I attended three days per week. It was intense and frightening for me. I have some hidden disabilities that challenge me more than does the language. First, I have hearing loss in my right ear ;second, I have dyslexia and tend to invert words or read right to left, or have trouble distinguishing my left from my right; and third, I am high strung and often become very anxious when I am trying to master a new skill or feel I am to be tested. Coupled with my late age and physiological changes, I am hard pressed to master Danish, but very determined–and motivated–to do so. I have moved to Denmark this year, and am taking short instruction twice a week at Frivillagecentre in Gentofte,a small community fifteen minutes from my home. I am working with a volunteer Danish  tutor, a woman near my age,Bente Kronemann. In order to get permanent residency, I will need to speak and write and understand Danish.

That aside, in last year’s class,I got the basics by  learning vocabulary, verb forms, and expressions. We also read and were required to memorize a single dialogue about Danish life or circumstances. Things like how to invite friend to the movies; how to count, tell time, give personal information, how to ask about a lost personal item; how to introduce oneself, and how to affect the rhythm and pronounciation of Danish. I was quick to get basic understanding of the alphabet and it’s whine, especially the fricative “T” “F”  and the sibilant “S”and “C”, but Danish does things with vowels that go beyond long and short. They have three additional sounds that add alpaphets to the 26 we share: “aa” “oe” “ae”. Every Dane pronounces the language differently and enunciates as she or he pleases—except maybe the newscasters, who talk so fast I hardly understand a word beyond “Godaften, velkommen til ….Nyhedsudsendelse.” (“Good afternoon, welcome to this station’s newscast.”). Not only does the ordinary Dane speak a little differently from another, but the quality and content of a given word/mouthful may be enunciated or garbled in the most unusual fashion.  Viv says Danes “swallow” the words. To me they mumble.

In that former Danish course, I learned that the spoken language often bares little resemblance to the written. In the written language the “d” and “g” may be silent and often is.  The “h” in question-words like “where” when” “how”–that is “hvor,”hvornaar”,”hvordan” is silent.  The “j” may be pronounced like an “I” and the “Y’ like a “U”.  These variables with the awesome collection of pronouns that play musical chairs in sentences is enough to send one to the Engelsk/Dansk dictionary every two minutes. I tell you this Danish plays tricks on my ears, eyes, and my mind.

But the Danes know English. They speak it well or haltingly depending on their closest friends,family and work environment. Vivi is well-spoken and has an impressive vocabulary, although she may be hard-pressed to translate Danish cultural idiom to English, but her sister, who has good command, shys away from English because she is not often required to speak it and feels the limitations of concepts and conjugation of irregular verbs. Personally, I like the various constructs that Vivi makes to convey her thoughts. Instead of saying, Dinner is ready; she might say “Skal vi spiser os nu?” or “Can we eat our meal now.” The Danish language has terrific courtesy and democratic consideration built in. One doesn’t stay things in an autocratic or authroritative tone of voice. One invites the other to cooperate. “Come in and have a seat,” we Americans might say. The Danish will do the same,but avoid a directive. “Komindefore, det er dejlig til se De!”

There are many spellings and words in Danish that look or mean the same as in English. For example:

at=that  bus=bus  kan=can  dog=yet  end=than     familie=family

graffiti=graffiti  hund=hound/dog    is=ice or ice cream   journal=journal   kapital=capital

lease=lease  magnet=magnet  normal=normal  over=over  park=park  quiz=quiz

resume=summary  sekund=second  trods=in spite of    unacceptabel=unacceptable

vat=cotton  weekend=weekend   xylofon=xylophone  zoo=zoo

But the pronouncation is often so radically different, one knows it will take a while to acclimate and internalize the particular aggregation of French/German/Swedish/English and old Danish that the Danes speak. It’s a proper language, and I feel one morning I will awaken after all this exposure and find I can hear and speak it fluently. Even now, I catch a phrase on two during televison commercials, and recognize (maybe after a 20 second delay) that I actually understood what was said. Because I am telepathic and intutitive, I often “know” without actually understanding the exact content of the spoken utterance. I also hear the music of it and understand. Praise God for these gifts. Speaking of which, the word for being married is “gift!”. “Er du gift? Ja, jeg er gift!” (Are you married? Yes, I am married.)

Two ladies at the traffic light, and bus stop,respectively,decided to speak to me. One asked the time. The other commented on the sunshiny day.

“Hvad er klokken?” She said without preliminary introduction. Stricken and called up short, I glanced at my watch. It was 4:30 o’clock.

“Den er fire. Nej, nej! Den er tretten. No, uh, nej, Den er fjortende….”I garbled the time,trying to remember whether 4:00 PM is 13:00 or 14:00 and if the half hour is kvater or kvart. Neither. It’s “halv” or half. The woman (“kvinder”) at the light then smiled and gave me a quick review: “Danish is a difficult language. The “h’s” don’t sound. The “d’ is soft.” and she said more, “Det er halv fem,” (quarter to 5) amused with the absurdity of it. I laughed too. I see. I begin to see why they say it is so hard.

The other woman, next to whom I sat as I waited to take a bus to my favorite restaurant, said, “Det er god solenskinner i dag!” It was said so naturally and easily and quickly that I wasn’t sure she was talking to me nor if I even heard and understood. For there was my usual delay in realizing what was said and that I had a response to generate. “Oh, ja, det er det!” I said, having recognized the phrase for “sunshine” and my favorite word,”good.”  “Yes, that’s so!”

There is one more thing I am learning –Danes like the tradition of exchanging known greetings. When one says, thank you, or “tak for det”, the other is to say “Velbekomme” (you’re welcome) or “Det var saa lidt!” (That was so little). At the table, one is to say “tak for mad” at the end of dinner,not during or before the meal. If one did something in return for a favor or worked with another, one can say “Tak” but the other will say “det lige mode” or li’moede.” One uses “skal”, “kan”, “hvad”–that is–shall/can/or what to ask some specific questions that are to include two: “skal vi se et film?” “kan du lige en slik?” Hvad laver du? Want to see a movie? Do you like candy? What are you up to? or Where do you work?  There are nuances of politeness built into the language, cultural mores insinuated and made to carry the intention to be fair or cooperative. These are not only learned behaviors; they are transmitted by the language.

So I go on with my apprehension of Danish. Being transformed and acclimatized. Det er rigtig godt!” Oh, by the way, the Divine Source, God, is called “Gud”, and “Herren” (the Lord).

SDiane Adamz-Bogus—alias–Shariananda:Denmark Journal

Denmark Journal #1

4/21/2013

 

I find Denmark refreshing in its literal approach to life. The people take things at face value and are unguarded in offering friendship. But they are also self-contained and unobtrusive. They will not easily make eye contact with one as she passes. But if one—namely me—speaks, they will light up and smile. It is a “privacy” thing in the culture. But in the same way, they are rude in the public places, bustling past you with a bump or a swipe and rarely saying excuse me” though they have a word for it “undskyld.” They reach across you and over you in stores and at the table. They give no ground in passing on the street. It annoys me but when taken on the whole, I am inspired by these people.

They live between old values and new technologies. The old values assume  a certain sturdiness. For example, there are stairways or “trappenen” everywhere in public and private buildings:movie theatres, the train station, churches. Not simple three step or 5 step stairways but 20 or more steps. Elevators–where in use–are “ud af drift” out of order. Unlike at home in the USA, Denmark posts no signs that say “Watch your step” nor is there any assumption that it will be the stair owner’s negligence in any slip, fall, or exhaustion. In Denmark, as far as I can tell, there are no attorneys’ standing ready for a complaint about the city’s negligence. It’s as if the understanding is “fend for yourself; watch your own feet , if you can’t climb–send somebody else, and don’t bother anyone with your troubles. We’re all in this together as one time Vikings.” Vivi (my new spouse) says the Danes are “relaxed” about many things that we Americans sue each other about. “Relaxed?” What a word!

I am told by my love that Danes work cooperatively toward a mutual win-win solution in most settings. This is apparent to me in watching the workings of the Immigration service office, the “Udlaendingestyrelsen”. The office opens at 8:00 A.M., but they announce that it is okay to start to line up at 7:30. They have an information line, 13 windows of service, an electronic counter, and a “voiced” electronic bulletin board that announces what’s what and how in several languages. That is also supported by the welcome of a living person in Danish and English, at the opening of all windows of service. The bulletin board runs a ticker scrawl that states how many persons (“mennesker”) they have served in the past and in what amount time;they report how many theyhave sewrved since opening that very day–this they do  reliably and cheerfully. They take the time needful with everyone. They tend not to become indifferent or annoyed or weighed down by the crowds. My love says, “We are civilized. We are practical. We keep it simple and fair.” Yes, so it seems where service is concerned.

At the Immigration office in particular, the people seeking services come from everywhere. Romania, Turkey, Israel, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Pakistan, Frances, and so many more, including, as in my case, the USA. They wait their turns calmly and patiently, largely because the State provides vending machines with hot and cold drinks and sandwiches, a free daily paper. Everyone can sit at a four -seat coffee shop style table. Some are those elevated bar seat tables and chairs. So the feel is as if one is in a cafe or restaurant. While all wait, right at the opening of the windows, an employee who goes from one table to line to the other in order to get an idea of what are the concerns of those waiting and to direct them. It works like clock-work. There is this homey feel to the service in a highly technical environment partly fostered by the plainly and ordinarily dressed employees.

I am also impressed with the timeliness of the buses and trains. One needs no car in Copenhagen. It is not a huge city, and the country while divided into areas such as Soulland (Sjaelland) Jylland, Bon Holme , so many people travel by public transportation or bike. I will talk about this in future blog journal entries. Since I want to hear from my fans and family, loved ones and associates, I write lots of cards and letters, but it takes between 6 and 10 days to get  a letter to the USA and viceversa. The mail service leaves a lot to be desired in pick times, delivery and postal costs. A letter can go at the “A” speed or “B” speed with a stamp or “frimaerke” to indicate when it will be sent along. Postage for a letter is 14.50 Danish crowns (or” kroner”). Converted to American that’s about $2.53 American to mail. But here at is almost 2/3 of a twenty kroner coin. And 20’s are the coin of the realm as our $20.00 bill is. Post card are 12 kroner. So I figure I’d better get this blog going if I intend to keep connected with you all.

I have decided to use my former name as a pen name–SDiane Adamz-Bogus so as not to loswe those who know my former writing and that which is to come. I am Shariananda Adamz and that is how I am known in Danmark. I feel brand new, born freshly and now that the spring is finally here, I am ready to blossom and leap forth. You will want to know so much about the differences and the commonalities between the USA and Denmark. Many things suprise me and many dumbfound me. For example how the doors open opposite those in America, and how the toilets flush by pull lever or push down button. I hope you will follow my journey here on Word Press.  You may contact me at this address: Handvaerkerhaven 23, 2 TV   2400 Copenhagen,NV  Denmark (postage $1.05).

You may also contact me on line through Facebook as Shariananda Adamz-Bogus or my email:Shariananda@gmail.com.

Anyway, I find Denmark fascinating. The written language, the dress, the time-telling, the spoken word, the beauty, the way people dress and interact, so so much. So I begin.