Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Ah, those Danish-Russian wedding traditions... Drinking from the shoe, cutting socks, hanging locks...

Lock your love inside the check lock on the bridge and throw out the key. Now none and nothing can break your love :)

Ah, those Danish-Russian wedding traditions... Drinking from the shoe, cutting socks, hanging locks...

It probably doesn't make any sense to you. Or it does but partially. That's if you are Danish or Russian and are familiar with the wedding traditions of Denmark and/or Russia.

Well, starting with that my best friend from Russia got married to a Dane and moved to Denmark to live only a few kilometers away from me! Good start, right?

All pictures here are actually hers. As you can see her name is Masha or Maria. In Russia we have an official name and a common, let's say, daily name.

Anyway, Masha and her husband had a great wedding! It was not a big one, only relatives and very few friends, including me featuring as

Friday, April 5, 2013

In Denmark for 25 years, but not feeling like I am a part of it...

In Denmark for 25 years, but not feeling like I am a part of it...

“I’ve lived in Denmark for 25 years, but don’t feel like I am a part of it.”

That’s what I heard a few days ago. Can you imagine living in another country without feeling like you’re a part of the society, of the culture?...

My first reaction was: “What?? How is that possible?? It must be really hard!

But what do we really mean by “being a part of

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Take Your Pet With You To Your New Home!

Kisyonysh a couple of years ago

This post is a continuation of How Does Your Lovely Pet Feel Abroad? and I am going to tell you how I moved my cat family member from Russia to Denmark (if you're moving you cat from another country check out here). Kisyonysh has lived with me for almost 5 years (she's 5) now and seems to be enjoying it :) 

No doubt it was quite a busy period when I had to figure out which documents I needed to have and what I had to do to relocate her here. It was especially complicated due to the fact that different authorities were telling me slightly different things. So every time I had to check and recheck twice. Which I also recommend that you should do.

Plus I worked at that moment and was busy with packing and getting ready for moving myself. So there was a little pressure back then, but I've never regretted it!

Kisyonysh didn't have a passport or vaccinations done by that time. So I had to make sure she got those. 

But first she was supposed to get a

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Quality of Life. Progressive?

Once again a task at our language school gave me inspiration to write a post. We were supposed to write about Quality of Life (Livskvalitet); what it is for us and why we find those characteristics important.

Serious topic, ain't? :)

Honestly I had no idea what to start from. First, I had to figure out what the quality of life is in general, what stands behind this term. I think this short explanation gives quite a good overview over the term. 

Now when I knew an overall meaning, I had to find my own. But so many things were on my mind! I couldn't figure out how to put them together and explain to the others.

I really had to focus /sweat

“Focus is the key to the world.” 
- William Dinsmore III

Then it hit me. Focus! Of course! Focus on the present, be here and now, live this moment. That's the quality of life! Which surely has a lot of "subqualities", as I decided to call them.

I would especially name such subqualities as:

Monday, March 18, 2013

Share Your Knowledge and Experience in Denmark!

I’m going to make a presentation in our language school for foreigners in Denmark. We should choose the topic ourselves. I want to talk about how to stay open and positive in the new culture. Because I can see how many people get dragged down by new things they don't understand or refuse to.

For that I want to share my own experience, observations and ideas + give the other students ideas on which books they’d better read to understand Danes, their culture, traditions, workplace culture and so on.

So I've started gathering tips everywhere I can and would like to ask you, my readers, to add up to my short list below. It can be an online book, as well as a paper one. Please share a link if it’s an e-book. Short descriptions are more than welcome. It can be in English, Danish or/and Russian (please state the language).

Please advise only those books that you have read or those you were told about/recommended by a reliable source.
This list will help a lot of expats in Denmark! I’d very much appreciate your contribution :)

Here is what I can come up with now.

Paper books:
1. The Worktrotter's Guide to Denmark by German writer Dagmar Fink, who’s been living in Denmark for many years now (in English). I read this book when I’ve already been to Denmark a few times and just before moving here. It helped me a lot. For ex., I realized why my at-that-time-boyfriend behaved in a certain way :)

2. Business-Dances with Danes. Decoding Danish workplace culture again by Dagmar Fink (in English). Reading it now and so happy to have started it before I’ve found a job in Denmark. It simply broadens your mind in terms of what Danes are at work and what the Danish economy is.

3.         Your suggestions? :)

Saturday, March 16, 2013

What Foods Do You Miss From Back Home?

What Foods Do You Miss From Back Home?

A few weeks ago a Russian friend of mine came and visited me. What do you think she brought from mother Russia?? :) Sguschenka! Yeah! I'm absolutely sure Russians and Ukrainians know exactly what I mean :) For the readers from other countries a short explanation.

Sguschenka is a special milk product which Lena (i.e. me) has loved all her life and can't find in Denmark /wahaha

Ok, now seriously. Sguschenka or sguschennoe moloko is actually condensed milk which we

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Name Change in Denmark

Name Change in Denmark 

You got married in Denmark (details are here) and want to have your spouse's last name? Or do you just want to have a new name? Then I recommend you to read further on.

First of all, you are not allowed to change your name before you obtain your residence permit (opholdstilladelse) and a CPR-number

If you are lucky and have got these within three months after the registration of your marriage, hurry up and

Sunday, March 10, 2013

How Does Your Lovely Pet feel Abroad?

How Does Your Lovely Pet feel Abroad?

Kisyonysh loves playing with anything she sees in front of her

How much do you love your pet? Are you ready to take you pet with you abroad if you have a chance to do it? Are you ready to go through all the veterinary and paper stuff to bring your lovely miaowing or whoofing or doing other stuff pet with you to your new home? If the answer yes, I am so much on the same planet with you! :) If not, I can also understand that. 

This is how Kisyonysh looked like in the first months of her life
My fluffy girl had already lived with me for 4,5 years in Russia, when I decided on moving abroad. My mom told me that I could just leave Kisyounysh (yes, that's her name!) with her, and she'll take care of the cat. But my goodness!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Are you a job seeker in Denmark? Read this!

Are you a job seeker in Denmark? Read this!

Are you a job seeker in Denmark? I recommend you to read this article and increase your exposure to the Danish job market through job fairs.

I will tell you about what a job fair is, how to get prepared for it, what to do at the job fair and what to do and expect afterwards. You can apply these tips when having decided on visiting a job fair(s), plenty of which are happening in March and April throughout the country. Search those you might be interested in here.

Ok, let's start. Today I was at a job fair (jobmesse) in Aarhus, second biggest city in Denmark located in mid Jutland. My God, there're so many ..............

Saturday, March 2, 2013

How Much Do You Hate the Danish Culture?

How Much Do You Hate the Danish Culture? 35%? 70%? 100%?

A few days ago I wrote a Post on how differently people look at the Danish culture, at Danes and at the Danish system. Some even express pure hatred. So, I got to think about that it would be great for some foreigners to change the degree to which they hate the Danish culture into the degree to which they can cobtribute to it instead.

Another trigger for this post was the topic we are studying at the language school (sprogskole) now. We are reading about the Danish democracy and the Danish Constitution (Grundloven). You have the freedom of speech, but things like blasphemy, humiliating others because of their race, skin colour and some other things are not allowed. In the school we are talking a lot about tolerance to other people's culture, religion and so on.

So, I sat down and wrote down some ways in which we can contribute to the Danish culture and the Danish society (or actually to any other, if you live in another country), in order to exercise ........................

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

25-year-old Unmarried Danes Hate Cinnamon

25-year-old Unmarried Danes Hate Cinnamon

He doesn't seem to be enjoying it. I mean the one tied to the tree...
No, this is not from an action movie where they tie the agent to the tree and torture him. This was real! But no torturing... though he was tied to the tree. You might ask "What The Face"? What did the poor lad do? Well, he is just one of the 25-year-old umarried Danes! Simple like that. If you're scratching your head trying to figure out if you heard it right, that Denmark is a democratic country... Well, you did hear it right. Though

Friday, February 22, 2013

To Apply for Residence Permit in Denmark

To Apply for Residence Permit in Denmark

As I've mentioned in the previous post, I applied for a residence permit in Denmark under the family reunification category. In the post What you need to apply for a residence permit I wrote about what papers you need to have to get married with the Dane you love. Marriage falls under the category of family reunification, along with cohabitation and registered partnership. Read carefully HERE.

Here I am going to write about what documents you need to have to actually apply for the permit and which things you should be especially aware of. If marriage, cohabitation or registered partnership are not the reason you're going to apply for a residence permit in Denmark, you should visit the official website of the The Danish Immigration Service where you can find all the

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Beating Your Head Against The Wall? 8 Points on Why You Shouldn't

Beating Your Head Against The Wall? Eight Points on Why You Shouldn't

Have you ever felt like you're beating your head against the wall? Like you're alone against the crowd?

That's how I felt this Tuesday. It was my first day at language school (which by the way in general was pretty cool!). I "met" so many different nationalities there! There were people from Poland, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Ukraine, Philippines, China, Germany, Armenia... It was strange though that I hadn't really met any Russians :)

Anyway, this Tuesday I suddenly realized how differently people see their lives here in Denmark, in a country new to them (even if they have been living here for over 2 years), how different their ways are to cope with some problems and misunderstandings here. Some complain and even express their anger and irritation regarding Denmark, its culture and its people. They feel rejected and pressured. It all looks black to them. And it's quite hard, if not impossible at the time being, to make them look at the things otherwise. I heard about it before, and any

Sunday, February 17, 2013

In Denmark They Beat the Cat out of the Barrel!

In Denmark They Beat the Cat out of the Barrel!

If someone in Denmark told me "let's go beat a cat out of the barrel and have fun"..... I would say "get off, weirdo"!!

But this was not the case in 1500-1600s. Back then I would probably have said "yeah! let's go for it!"

That's what they call Fastelavn in Denmark. The English closest equivalent would be "Shrovetide". On this day a barrel with an alive cat inside would be hung up and people would beat it up until the bottom fell out. Then the cat was allowed to run away (hopefully still alive!). Yes! Can you imagine? If you ever heard of those days' Danes as a wild and....................

Friday, February 15, 2013

What you need to apply for a residence permit

In order to apply for a residence permit in Denmark you should fall into one of the categories below:

 - you've got a job in Denmark (DK) and signed a contract with your employer
 - you study in Denmark
 - you apply for asylum
 - you want to reunite with your family members (mother, children, husband, wife...)
 - you're an au pair in DK

I'll tell you my story here and that is case 4 here or "family reunification." If it doesn't apply to you, you should visit The Danish Immigration Service. However, should you not find all the information you are looking for, feel free to ask your question in the comments below.

So my story started...........

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Those Funny Danes


Hi! It's my first post in the blog and I'm so excited!!! Today I want to tell you about a weird but still charming tradition of Danes' called Kobberbryllup or Copper Wedding :) 

Last Saturday my husband and I went to such a wedding anniversary. In different countries the number of years spent together and to be celebrated vary a lot. Denmark is no exception. But these charming Danes went even further! When do you think they celebrate the Copper Wedding? You might suggest 5 or 22 or 7... No and no. They celebrate 12 ½ years Wedding Anniversary!!! Where on Earth did they take this number?! :)

If we should believe history, the tradition traces back to 1800s..........