“Christmas in Danish”

Two weeks ago I attended University of Copenhagen International Staff Mobility‘s (ISM’s) “Christmas in Danish” event. It was a fun initiative of the ISM to help the international staff experience how Christmas is celebrated in Denmark. Naturally, we had to make traditional Danish Christmas decorations and have traditional Danish Christmas meal.

The first thing we had to do was to make julestjerne (Froebel star) and julehjerte (pleated Christmas hearts) while having pebernødder (literally means pepper nuts, but it contains neither pepper nor nuts). I was actually not at the event yet when this was happening, as I was at my Danish class.

By the time I get to the event, the main meal was just about to start. The traditional Danish Christmas meal consists of roast duck, caramelised potatoes, rødkål (pickled red cabbage), and risalamande (rice pudding). I don’t remember if æbleskiver (round pancakes served with jam) was served as well at the event. If it was, then I must have missed it.

Risalamande is an interesting dish. Nowadays it is cooked in a large batch with one (or a few) almonds hidden inside it. Whoever finds the almond wins a present. I really don’t like it, though. I guess it’s because I am used to having rice as a main dish, that having it served as dessert just doesn’t sit well with me.

All in all, it was a very enjoyable occasion. A good meal with good company. The only thing I didn’t like was the guest speaker. We had a French-Danish comedian, Thierry Geoffroy, whose humour I simply do not get. Everyone else seemed to enjoy his humour, but I simply cringed. Oh well, can’t have everything perfect, I guess.