The week started out with a “Sock Walk” across campus, where participants wore brightly colored and patterned socks. The President of the University of Richmond, the Provost, Deputy Chief of Mission from the Danish Embassy in Washington D.C., Lars Bo Møller, administrators, students and Danes from the community joined in the walk, which ended with a Danish breakfast. There, three University of Richmond students currently studying at DIS Copenhagen joined the group by Skype and exchanged some of their favorite cultural reflections with the Danish students in Richmond.
Other events during the week included a presentation from Søren Bregenholt, Corporate Vice President of Novo Nordisk – who flew in just for this event – about “Happiness and Business in Denmark,” a Sus-Dane-ability Challenge, and a talk by the Danish Ambassador to the U.S., Lars Gert Lose. Malene Torp, DIS Executive Director, and Julie Scott, DIS Director for Institutional Relations, were present for this meeting with the Ambassador.
During the week, DIS faculty member Janis Granger collaborated with University of Richmond’s Professor Joanne Drell, a medieval historian, to lead a discussion on the Christian and pagan elements in “Beowulf” and “The Saga of the Volsungs.” At DIS, Janis teaches Nordic Noir, Scandinavian Crime Fiction, Hans Christian Andersen and the Danish Golden Age, and the Optional Study Tour course, Iceland: Vikings and Sagas.
The candle-lit walk was another highlight of the week, where stations displayed aspects of Danish culture. Janis hosted a Hans Christian Andersen booth while the five Danish students studying at the University of Richmond stood by the julestue they had created, complete with a Christmas tree decorated with Danish flags. There were stations celebrating hygge, music from Denmark, a display of the University of Richmond’s mascot in Lego, and more. Afterwards, there was a dinner of Danish cuisine at the campus cafeteria, including flæskesteg and rødkål, Danish hotdogs, and desserts such as æblekage and drømmekage, made from recipes supplied by the Danish students.
Janis reflected on the week, sharing,
“I was honored to be invited to celebrate this special Danish week. With my many years at DIS, I was on board to welcome the first University of Richmond students in 1998 and I actually remember a couple of them – by name. For a number of years, I also worked closely with the University of Richmond in helping Danish students study there.
At this late stage of my career, it was a privilege to be a part of this whirlwind week. As a Dane, who has chosen to be Danish, I reveled in the celebration of our partnership with University of Richmond and with a week of pure Danishness.”
See videos and photos of Let’s Go Danish Week
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