Danish Etiquette


Greet someone with a firm handshake and eye contact.  Don’t forget to smile.  Shake hands with everyone present (even children) when you see them and when you leave.  It is polite to shake hands with women first.

When Dining at Someone’s House

Bringing a bottle of wine, a dessert or flowers, and even a book to someone’s house when you are invited over is an appropriate thing to do.  You should take your shoes off before entering a home.  It is polite to offer to help with preparation and clean up.

When sharing food, it is not polite to take the last item off the plate.  You should also not begin eating until the host/hostess takes the first bite.  Don’t rest your wrists on the edge of the table.  Try to eat most everything served to you. It is important to make eye contact when you are toasting while eating and when speaking.  Sometimes dinnertime can last several hours. Be patient and enjoy the company and conversation.

Some General Tips

Danish people like their privacy.  It is not polite to invite yourself to another person’s house.  Instead, you should wait to be invited.  Danish people do not show emotion in public.  They do not like to be interrupted when speaking.  They avoid arguments.  There are no formal introductions at dinner parties, meetings and conferences.  You need to just start a conversation.  The Danish people are very informal.  It is important to be on time.  Don’t be expected to make small talk or someone ask how you are doing.  This is reserved for people who you know quite well.  Make sure you say thank you as Danish people are very thoughtful and love to be appreciated.

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Online Danish lessons for kids: dinolingo.com

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