Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mors dag

A grey Mother's Day Sunday. In front of me is a window sill with lots of plants of unknown destiny. They all look the same when they start, like the offspring of mothers, but who knows what the future brings for them.

I've been flipping through a Danish slang dictionary. "Curlingbarn" or curling-child was an interesting one. Curling is a fascinating game of Scottish origin (as wikipedia says) that somehow really took root in the icy plains of Canada. It's probably a mythical, and I guess metaphorical, sport here. A curling-child is one whose parents have swept away all the obstacles in advance, to give the child the best possibilities to get to "the target". Such children may experience difficulties later in life, when they are not as well equipped to handle obstacles on their own.

It's damn cold here. Beware bare noses. If it weren't for the telltale signs of lettuce green leaves anticipating something in the air, and the hopeful flowerpots on balconies, it feels like Christmas is just around the corner and that the first snow just might fall. It's been a tough winter and now a hopeless spring. When I was in Damascus, many of the Danes coming and going during the months I was there were full of fabulous stories of a truly snowed-in country. Much like descriptions of what Canada must surely be like, in the hinterland east of Vancouver. I hear that the current weather in Vancouver is very pleasant.

I was at a Danish-Yugoslavian event the other event. My friend's father participated in a "youth corps" in 1947 to build a railroad and other works, and this was an event to commemorate it. It was interesting for me to hear that the Ottoman Empire stretched west of Vienna, and so included Hungary and Yugoslavia. Somehow it all comes down to Muslim-Christian relations too, and how it has evolved over time in different ways and in different gradients of peace and war.

Denmark is not "particularly" Christian, but state and religion are close bedfellows, and there are lots of religious holidays throughout the year here that people appreciate. I watched an edition of Joel Osteen yesterday. The idea of ultra-church where 40,000 attend service 5 times a week is close to inconceivable here.

Off to Nørrebro, an inner city suburb. I'll hear a lot of Arabic on the bus but I won't see too many signs in Arabic. Everything has to be Danish here in Denmark.

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