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A Royal Encounter

21 May 2013

Last fall I have had the honor of being appointed Youth Goodwill Ambassador of Denmark.

The Youth Goodwill Ambassador Corps is a global network of international students and young graduates, who work on a voluntary basis in order to promote Denmark as an attractive study and work destination.We are taking part in an unique talent development program seeking to increase talent mobility between Denmark and other countries around the world.

Being a Youth Goodwill Ambassador of Denmark

As a Youth Goodwill Ambassador, I am taking part in activities and events designed to help me learn about Denmark while developing myself. This program has given me a unique insight into the Danish society, business environment and a big network of talented young professionals from all over the world.

Thanks to Youth Goodwill Ambassador Corps, I visited Wonderful Copenhagen for a communications and social media training. I met the founder of CPHmade and got to hear about the many wonderful manufacturing companies that produce a range of astonishing products in the heart of Copenhagen.

I also visited Nordea Bank for a discussion about the Danish job market and particularities of working in Denmark, as well as to hear about job opportunities at this Nordic financial services group. Last but not least, I watched Oscar nominated “A Royal Affair” (with English subtitles) during a special screening at Cinemateket.

Meeting Danish Royalty

On 20-21 April we held our bi-annual national conference. It was a two-day event where Youth Goodwill Ambassadors from Aalborg, Aarhus and Copenhagen came together to network, share ideas and learn more about Denmark.

As part of the conference, we got a taste of Denmark’s strengths within innovation and entrepreneurship highlighting how science parks, clean-tech and international talents can create growth and increase Denmark’s global competitiveness in a conference at the Danish science park Scion DTU near Copenhagen.

His Royal Highness Prince Joachim, who serves as a patron for the corps, attended this conference. He was joined by the Martin Lidegaard, the Danish Minister of Climate, Energy and Building, as well as Martin Bendsøe who is the SVP and Dean of DTU (Technical University of Denmark). Plus, four local entrepreneurs presented their companies and their success stories. The event was moderated by Natasja Crone, one of Denmark’s most prominent Danish journalists.

It was a great honor to meet HRH Prince Joachim and Minister Martin LidegaardThey both shared their own experiences with representing Denmark and engaged in an open dialogue with us youth ambassadors. They told us how important high-skilled internationals are for Denmark, in order to remain competitive in a global market, and how much they appreciate all that we do in order to promote their country.

I was very impressed by HRH Prince Joachim, who spent an hour answering a variety of questions from the audience. The questions focused on everything from his entrepreneurial project and work-life balance to innovation and bringing change to the world around us. He seemed like a wonderful person – very down to earth and honest. I can now understand why Danes love their Royal Family so much.

Romania was mentioned quite a few times during this meeting, especially since Minister Martin Lidegaard had just returned from a visit to Bucharest. He was truly impressed by the progress Romania has made in recent years in the field of renewable energy.


All in all, it was an incredible, once in a lifetime experience. I am very grateful to have had this opportunity. Thank you, Youth Goodwill Ambassador Corps!

The Youth Goodwill Ambassador Corps is founded by Copenhagen Capacity, Wonderful Copenhagen, Copenhagen Goodwill Ambassador Corps and the Danish Agency for Universities and Internationalization. Partner institutions include Copenhagen University, Aarhus University, Aalborg University, Copenhagen Business School and the Technical University of Denmark. The program is supported by the two funds Karl Pedersen og Hustrus Industrifond and Industriens Arbejdsgivere in Copenhagen, both administered by the Confederation of Danish Industries (DI).

Concerts: update

21 May 2013

Since my last post about concerts, I got to see some great bands perform live, so an update was required. Here it goes:

The Crookes

This band is really underrated. They truly deserve to become more famous.

Band of Horses (ooops, I forgot the name of their opening act)

Loved their live show – the projected images created a magical atmosphere.

The Killers (support: Louis XIV) on Malmö Arena

Buying tickets to this concert was a last-minute decision that I don’t regret at all. Elaborate stage lights, cool graphics projected on a massive canvas, great performance.


Mumford and Sons (support: Mystery Jets and Half Moon Run)

I travelled to Hamburg for this concert – that’s how much I wanted to see them perform live. And my expectations were definitely met: it was the best concert I’ve ever been to.


Imagine Dragons (ooops, I forgot the name of their opening act)

Awesome atmosphere! The audience was on the top of the world, yeah :)


Fredags Rock in Tivoli Gardens, where I won’t miss: 30 Seconds to Mars, Editors, Fallulah, Marie Key, The Raveonettes, Mads Langer, Tina Dickow, Thomas Helmig , VETO and The Floor is Made of Lava.

Roskilde Festival 2013, where I won’t miss: The National, Rihanna, Volbeat, Sigur Rós, James Blake, Of Monsters and Men, Ingrid feat. Lykke Li, The Lumineers and Jake Bugg. By the way, I was chosen to be one of the 9 Twitter reporters at RF13 and I will be tweeting from the official Twitter account of the festival @orangefeeling.

Plus, I already have tickets to The National & The Tallest Man on Earth, who are concerting in Copenhagen this fall.


Danes are crafty

26 Feb 2013

One thing I like about Danes is  that they make their own handmade decorations and cards. It’s so hyggeligt (cozy) to get together with your family or friends, surrounded by colorful paper, crayons, scissors and glue, to create cute little decorations. They call this klippe og klistre and it literally means cut and paste.


No wonder paper cutting is associated with Denmark! Not many know that Hans Christian Andersen, the world famous Danish writer, was also a gifted artist. He made thousands of paper cuttings of swans, toy theaters, windmills, angels, and other whimsical images. Often he made the paper cuttings while telling a story, then gave them to the children listening to him. If you ever get to his home in Odense, there is a display of his works.

Another Dane – Christian Flensted – took this traditional craft to another level when he created the modern mobile. His first mobile paper cut, created in 1953, is called the Stork mobile. Known as the uromager (which translates to maker of mischievous things that are always on the move), Christian Flensted started a beautiful family business that is now run by his son. You can order wonderful mobile paper cuts like the ones below from Flensted Mobiles.


But what do non-famous Danes make nowadays? ‘Cause they are all master paper cutters, that’s for sure ;)

Danish wedding favors

As in many other countries, Danish newlyweds give small presents to the guests at their wedding. In Denmark these are often handmade and involve… matchboxes. As it was for the wedding of King Frederick IX of Denmark and Ingrid of Sweden in 1935 – look at their commemorative matchbox. Here you can see two cute examples found by Diane. I especially like the hand embroidered matchbox from 1975


Julepynte/Christmas ornaments

Juletræt (the Danish Christmas tree) has a very traditional look and is decorated with with Julepyntekonfekt, pine cones, baubles and candles (sometimes real wax candles!). By the way, Danes hold hands and walk around their Christmas tree, singing Christmas carols. Isn’t that sweet?

The most famous Julepynte is Julehjertet (Christmas heart), a woven heart-shaped basket, usually made from good quality paper in two contrasting colors. Other Christmas decorations include garlander (paper chains), nisser (elves) and kræmmerhus (cornets). The most used colors are red and white, which are the colors of the beloved Dannebrog (Danish flag). The cornets and the heart-shaped baskets usually hide walnuts, pebernødder (the so-called Danish pepper nuts, which can be traced further back than any other cookie) and konfekt (little sweets, usually involving marzipan, nougat and chocolate).


Påskepynte/Easter decorations

Danes put some tree branches (forårsgrenene) in a vase and decorate them with paper-cuts in various shapes such as eggs, flowers, birds and bunnies. Hæklede æg (crocheted eggs) are another great ornament for ones forårsgrenene. The more creative Danes make self-standing decorations as well, out of carton, feathers, glitter… the sky is the limit :)

Another really nice Easter tradition is to make gækkebreve (snowdrop letters) and give them to your friends and family. These are handmade cards, in which you are supposed to put a snowdrop, write a poem (some inspiration here) and send it to a friend, without signing it. You just have to  draw a large dot for every letter of your name.  If the person who receives the letter guesses who it comes from, you have to give them an Easter egg.  But if they can’t guess, they have to give you an Easter egg.



This literally translates into Shrovetide’s rice, which doesn’t make much sense. So let me explain :) Fastelavn(Carnival) is a holiday that occurs seven weeks before Easter Sunday and is sometimes described as a kind of Nordic Halloween, with children dressing up in costumes and going to a party where they smash a large barrel full of sweets (it’s similar to a piñata).

The traditional thing to eat during Fastelavn is fastelavnsboller (yummy round rolls, covered in icing and filled with whipped cream).  A popular childrens’ song in Denmark, used when trick-or-treating during Fastelavn is:

Fastelavn er mit navn, boller vil jeg have.

Hvis jeg ingen boller får, så laver jeg ballade.

Boller op, boller ned boller i min mave.

Hvis jeg ingen boller får, så laver jeg ballade.

But let’s get back to our Fastelavnsris. This consists out of a bunch of twigs decorated with candy, egg shells, ribbons and small paper-cut ornaments (traditional shapes are cats, barrels and masks). Kids enjoy making it and then flogging their parents to wake them up on Fastelavn’s Sunday.



Hope this proves just how crafty Danes are.

Do you know any other Danish traditions that involve DYI (do-it-yourself)? Or blogs that present creative handmade decorations? Let me know :)

Photo source: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 78 and 9.

Disclaimer: I use the term crafty with the meaning: skillful, dexterous.

(my) Eurotrip (2012)

08 Jan 2013

Home base: Copenhagen, Denmark.

München, Germany

I always spend some hours in the city in between flights. This year I also got to see the main attractions after 2 short visits: one in early January, the other in late March.


Oslo, Norway

In the beginning of March I was on a 3-day cruise to Oslo from Copenhagen: most of the time spent on board of the ship (not boring at all, I must admit) and only 8 hours spent in the city.


Lugoj and Timișoara, Romania

One week vacation in Romania – time to spend some time with my family and old friends, enjoy the Romanian cuisine and re-visit familiar places.


Espoo and Helsinki, Finland

In May, I attended a short course on neuroscience at Aalto University and lived in the university campus in Espoo for 11 days. I had 2 days to visit Helsinki and regret that I didn’t go to Suomenlinna, which is apparently a must-see in Helsinki. Next time :) Worth mentioning that during the course, we also went on a weekend trip to a cabin in the Finnish woods, next to a lake. Have no idea what the place is called, though.

Tallinn, Estonia

… is the reason why I didn’t get to see the beautiful island of Suomenlinna. Instead, on the 2nd of June, I went on a 1-day cruise from Helsinki to Tallinn with some friends and spent a lovely afternoon in the old town of Tallinn.


Malmö, Sweden

1-day trip from Copenhagen, which is only 30 minutes away by train, in August. I was lucky enough to be there on a sunny day and got to walk around, go on a canal tour by bout, relax in a park and visit some museums.


London, United Kingdom

This was a 5-day pre-Christmas lovely vacation with my boyfriend. I wouldn’t mind living there at some point ;)


That’s all folks! :)


Cold autumn weekend treats

27 Oct 2012

Meant to make you smile, wonder, daydream, listen or act:

  • Why should you travel young - “You won’t always be young. And life won’t always be just about you. So travel, young person. Experience the world for all it’s worth. Become a person of culture, adventure, and compassion. While you still can.”
  • London underground signs - so much fun!
  • Find out interesting stuff about the 25 most powerful TV shows of the last 25 years
  • I Just Want to Listen to the Best of - a neat little site that gives you the top 10 tracks of an(y) artist or band, powered by and Grooveshark.
  • Discover social interaction graphs in movies -
  • Watch this epic Danish ad for a bus company. Riding the bus was never as cool or dramatic ;)
  • Feeling adventurous today? Try drungli, the adventure generator for spontaneous people.
  • The Crookes and Jessie Ware deserve more fans.
  • The micro delivery network for travelers & locals - 
  • If you are looking for the most awesome TV show out there, try Forbrydelsen.

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