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Dec 10, 2015

Being Asian in Denmark and Europe (students' perspective)

As a student and foreigner in Denmark, I was asked so often on how different is between Denmark and Indonesia by people here, and I was asked by my friends in Indonesia about how is it in Denmark, including the student life there. Check this video out to also hear about my funny stories :)

Dec 9, 2015

Christmas at Den Gamle Gy, Aarhus, Denmark

Den Gamle By (The Old Town) is one of the must-visit attraction in Aarhus and in Denmark as it has 75 historical houses from all over Denmark and there also some unique museums and exhibitions, like Danish oldies music and fashion exhibition. I was there in the summer this year, and it was really remarkable. However, Den Gamle By is also very pretty in December when it's approaching Christmas time as they also have many beautiful lights and Christmas trees decorating the complex and most importantly... Christmas market.

I had a chance to visit Den Gamle By on December 8th with other fellows from Youth Goodwill Ambassador of Denmark (Aarhus University's representatives) and we also had Julehygge just before the dinner time. The lights were very pretty although when it's dark, it looked a bit spooky. I would totally recommend to go sightseeing in these historical houses during the day as the oldish decoration combined with darkness equal... (you could imagine by yourself - Den Gamle By is also closed at 6PM). Anyway, the ticket price in this December before Christmas for students was 70 DKK and for adults is 135 DKK (but I was very happy to get this tour for free because YGA Aarhus arranged this for us).

Here are some shots I got during the evening Christmassy tour at Den Gamle By....

Big Christmas tree in the center of Christmas area

A shop sells æbleskiver (small round Danish pancake that is very common to be served at Julefrokost / Christmas gathering)

Another shop at Christmas market

Julehygge with æbleskiver and glögg (hot spiced wine that is usually served during winter)

Epic lights after the entrance

Dec 7, 2015

Christmas Lunch in Denmark

On December 2nd, 2015 I got a chance to attend a Christmas lunch / Julefrokost organized by University International Club, Aarhus University. Although personally I don't celebrate Christmas back in Indonesia, but attending an event like this had given me many cultural understandings about Denmark and how Danish Christmas looked like. I came to this gathering with my Indonesian friend, Clarissa, and in this Julefrokost they invited many people from different nationalities and background (Danish and internationals - staff, their spouse, students in Aarhus university) that made this very unique and colorful but we followed Danish Christmas tradition at the end. Btw, I heard that Danes in Denmark celebrated Christmas already before Christianity era and they believe if Santa is from Greenland.

It was not the first time for me attending Julefrokost, because I also had this last year with other students in my faculty, anyway, this might be a bit different because the spirit was more into 'family gathering'. We were asked to bring a Christmas gift for maximum 20 DKK (around US$ 3) and it will be swapped later.

Now let's see how it went through photos....

The Christmas gifts were put under the Christmas tree (also the one from me)

We sang Christmas songs by circling the Christmas tree (and we constantly moved or ran in some movements - in circle or step front and back while holding hands)

We sang these songs: Beauty Around Us, Glory Above Us, Bright and Glorious in The Sky, Silent Night, and the Danish songs too, which were: Enebærbusk (Juniper Bush), 'Nu Det Jul Igen (Now it's Christmas Again), and Jeg Gik Mig Over Sø og Land (I was walking over sea and land). When we sang 'Nu Det Jul Igen we had to step front and back faster and faster and it was so fun. After finished singing, we could pick up the Christmas gift under the tree and the children got the privilege to take it first.

Choose your Christmas gift

And I got a Christmas gift like the picture below...

What's inside this gift? I got a pack of tea bag and a sack of chocolate, hehe. I think I was quite lucky, because they are better than toys for little child if it's for me.

After the gift session, we had a little performance like the picture below. The guy was from Chile if I am not mistaken, and he's in Aarhus because his girlfriend is studying here.

Tough acrobatic action - He was very sweaty after he finished

And then... time to have food. We were served roast pork and pickled curry herring, and I took the herring one. Most importantly, the dessert, my favorite Risalamande. Risalamande is rice pudding with cherry sauce and almond. There's also a little game when we ate this. If we could find whole almond in Risalamande, then we should say it, so we will get a prize (the prize were musical CD or a set of wines). Risalamande tasted sweet and yummy. I really liked it although it was not my luck to get the prize.


We really enjoyed this Christmas experience in Denmark. We also had a chance to talk with other guests, like I talked with couples from China and Japan, and a guy from Germany. What they do in Aarhus University is varied, from being PhD students, post-doctoral, until lecturer at university. Usually people here will have Julefrokost quite often in December with family, friends, and colleagues with food and Christmas gifts included. There's also another game for the Christmas gift that involves playing with a dice (but I didn't play that on that day). Now I am waiting for another Julefrokost with other friends, hehe....

I and Clarissa