Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Vikings would prefer a coffin

There seems to be a bit of a Viking-theme to our sojourn in London. Over the past week, we have not only had the chance to speak to various real and quasi-Danes dwelling on this windswept island. We've also seen an unusual amount of English-speakers wearing t-shirts displaying the "Bevar Christiana" slogan. And in addition to the anglo support of the anarchist free state near Copenhagen (what's going on here, I wonder - have I missed something?), we also seem to be surrounded by non-activist Danish tourists who fill the mucky London air with their charming analstaltic voiced consonants and glottal stops.

Which is why this Süddeutsche-interview with the chairman of Forn Sidr, the Danish Viking community, is not only an apt and timely commentary on what appears to be a general trend, but might be of genuine interest to some of our readers. It is comforting to see that the Danish authorities seem to take the religious needs of this minority entirely seriously, even allocating a part of the graveyard in Odense (birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen, the author of tales like "The Little Mermaid" and others) as a burial site for staunch believers in Thor and Freya.

This opens up an entirely new dimension of religious tolerance, if you ask me. But then these Vikings not only seem to be perfectly harmless - they also, charmingly, do not seem to have a concept of hell. Which might have positive ramifications for the way Vikings see life in the here and now, too.

4 comments:

Francis Sedgemore said...

Et forsinket tillykke med årsdagen fra en af deres danskere/quasi-danskere!

How to speak Danish like a native: just practice "Rødgrød med fløde" for five years or so, and you should have it glotted right proper.

The Wife said...

Rödgröd med flöde (can't do the proper spelling here, which makes the words look less charming) is something very yummy indeed. Definitely better than röde pölser. Or the gruesomely garish pop that Danes seem to like to drink.

I'm afraid (forlat - or is that Swedish?) my Danish is too basic to really get your comment fully. If it means what I think it means, then it's me who has to say mange tak - to emphatically assert and underline what John had said a few days ago.

Canada said...

Maybe no Viking hell per se, but Ragnorak is not going to be anybody's idea of a church picnic either.

The Wife said...

I always thought "Ragnorak" was some kind of Scandinavian Gore-Tex ...