Those crazy Danes - Part 3 (Raising Vikings)

DS9 and I went to the Danish National Museum on Sunday. Just a quick visit - he wanted to see the national treasure Guldhornene - two golden horns. We looked at a special exhibition about the rain forest, Egyptian mummies and, of course, all the Viking 'stuff'.

If you mention 'Vikings' people automatically think of a bunch of hoodlums...looting, pillaging, raping and generally running riot. But they were also expert craftsmen and designers. Modern Danes are still renowned for their design skills but have (happily) moved away from the warrior mentality. New settlers to Denmark are still in for a bit of a culture shock, though, especially when it comes to raising children...

A French friend of mine nearly fainted when she found out that children sleep outside in their prams. My Mum did the same with me in Scotland. But here it's not something only reserved for the summer. They do it all year round, also mid-winter, when it's raining, snowing...you name it. Though the Danish health authorities don't recommend it if the baby is ill or if the outside temperature is below minus10c/14f :)

When our DKs were small, they slept in a pram which I parked in our garden. People who live in flats often have an old, extra pram permanently parked on their balcony, so the baby can get their daily nap. And at kindergarten they have specially built, large wooden cribs for the kids. The cribs are parked in a shed when the weather is particulary nasty. Our kids were sent off with their favourite small duvet/comforter and pillow. Do I need to tell you that kids get a really long, good nap this way, or have you already worked that out for yourself? ;)

And you must get your kids kitted out appropriately. Wellie boots, waterproof trousers and raincoat, thermal boots and a skisuit for the winter. Not because we get a lot of snow or we're all off on ski trips. You need good gear because Danish kids are out in all weathers. Trips don't get cancelled because of the weather. Our kids go to the local, Danish school and the policy there is that the kids are outside during breaks. Even if it's raining or snowing.

Because as the Danes say, "There's no such thing as the wrong type of weather. Just the wrong clothing!" :)

The above may seem a little 'barbaric'. But to be honest, the Danes are - on the whole - a healthy and hearty bunch. And I've got my own two little Vikings to prove it ;)

2 comments:

C-Joy said...

I bet you are remarkably healthy for all that fresh air! I wish my students were out in more types of weather. We do have dangerously cold times in winter that necessitate staying indoors at times, or sometimes when the playground ices itself shut. Our lot are forced to stay inside many times due to adult laziness & a fear of mud.

DianeDenmark said...

LOL!
Wish sometimes that DD7 had more of that 'fear of mud' thing going on. Sometimes I forget to check her pockets before putting her things in the wash - and out come some (squeaky clean) snails! :)