While at the airport for my flight out of Denmark last year I noticed that I had forgotten to bring something to read. It wasn’t a long flight (to Zurich) and I decided to buy something easily digestible and short, good for an early-morning flight. In the humor section of the book shop a title caught my eye: The Xenophobe’s Guide to the Danes. Interesting I thought, it was a little book so I bought it.
The book, part of “a series that highlights the unique character and behaviour of different nations”
presented a humorous view of what makes the Danes different. It wasn’t really a xenophobe’s book, more like a guide for somebody that knows very little about the Danes. It was funny, and my husband, a Dane, decided to join me reading after getting curious why I was laughing so hard. He accepted that the book was quite accurate, although pointed out that the author failed to recognize that amongst Scandinavians Danes are the smartest, handsomest, and have better breath (the author mentioned the friendly rivalry between Scandinavian countries).
The point in these books is to make fairly educated generalizations on what makes countries different. They are mostly written by nationals of these countries. Excerpts from other books in the series:
If you were writing a guide to your country what would you say in a paragraph to describe your country? Mine?
Dominicans are deeply distrustful of their government. It will be assumed that if a politician opens his mouth only a lie can come out of it. Surviving two dictatorships and a tortuous path to a moderately successful democracy has given Dominicans a firm belief that politicians ‘solo quieren jodernos’ (only want to screw us). Elections are just a mean to choose who will screw us for the next four years.