Paragon Politeness Denmark Edition

Paragon Politeness explores the etiquette required when interacting with people of other cultures. It's easy to insult someone if you do not understand the local cultural norms. Paragon is here to help you explore a new culture and teach you what to do.

Today, Paragon Politeness teaches you about the etiquette standards for Denmark and what faux pas you should avoid. The Danes are polite and expect courteous behavior from everyone in everyday interactions.

When Meeting People:

  • Greet with a firm handshake, direct eye contact, and don't forget to smile!
  • Introduce yourself with your first name. 
  • Shake hands with women first.
  • When arriving or departing, shake hands and say good-bye individually.

When Giving Gifts:

  • Christmas and birthdays are traditional gift giving holidays. Make sure not to show up empty-handed.
  • When invited into a Danish home for dinner, bring flowers (particularly a bouquet of wild flowers that must be wrapped) or good quality chocolate or wine.
  • Red wrapping paper is preferred.

When Accepting an Invitation to Dinner at a Dane’s House:

  • Arrive on time! Danes are punctual in both business and social situations. 
  • Ask the host if you should bring a dish to contribute.
  • Offer to help the host clean up before and after the dinner.
  • Ask for a tour of the house! Danes are proud of their homes.
  • Leave work at the office. Do not discuss business.
  • Watch your table manners. Forks should be held with the left hand, and knives with the right.
  • Don't be quick to jump to your seat. Wait to be told where to sit.
  • Be adventurous, and try everything being offered.
  • When you have finished eating, place your knife and fork together across your plate with the tines facing up and the handles turned to the right.
  • The man seated to the left of the hostess offers a toast of thanks during the dessert course.
  • Do not begin eating until the host toasts with 'Skol.'
  • When toasting, raise your glass about eye level and make eye contact with the people seated closest to you.

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