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State of Denmark Week 6


Happy Fastelavn! It’s that one day in February where you can fight your kids for the sweets dropped from the cat’s barrel. It’s also a day when you can embrace your sweet tooth. 

We had rain, snow, and minus degrees this week. A kind reminder that winter is not over yet. And no one felt the fury of nature more than the people of Vejle, who have faced floods, landslides, and emergency evacuations. As predicted by scientists, with every year of rising temperatures, the weather conditions become more extreme. 

On the positive side, we are less lonely and use fewer tobacco products, according to the public health report from 2023. We still drink like there’s no tomorrow, but at least the amount has stagnated in the last few years. Our mental health scores look grim, but it could also be that we pay more attention to them than we did in the past. 

How can we get healthier? One idea is free school lunches. A study from the UK shows that such programs reduce obesity and boost reading skills. The Radikale Venstre (Social Liberals) leader is already calling for it. Moving from the canteen to the playgrounds, the authorities are trying hard to remove puff bars dealers. Inside the classrooms, the government plans to introduce a new subject – “understanding of technology” – to teach about deep tech, AI, and data, and integrate elements of technology understanding in all subjects from year one to year nine. 

I will end this week’s column with a series of shameless plugs: First, you are invited to an event in Copenhagen where I will speak about the future of Denmark (February 22, evening). Second, I am looking for a podcast producer for a 10-episode project called #VOTEHOME (paid gig). Send an email to Third, I am working on an article about the beauty industry in Denmark and seeking entrepreneurs within this sector to interview. Send an email to Lastly, I am looking for internationals working in bookkeeping and accounting in Denmark for a paid collaboration. Send an email to Thank you for reading. See you next week!

Word of the Week

Fastelavn = Carnival. The word comes from the German “fastelabend,” meaning the evening before the fasting started. Basically, it was the day you could go crazy with all the sweet and savory stuff before going into the long 40-day fasting period. The celebration has Catholic roots, but since the 1536 Reformation, it lost its religious significance. 

Narcis George Matache
Narcis George Matache
Executive Editor and Founder of "Last Week in Denmark".

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