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Dining in Denmark - Dinner Etiquette

If invited to a Danish home:

  • Arrive on time. Danes are punctual in both business and social situations.
  • Bring a small gift..., a bottle of wine, flowers, or such. It is not mandatory, but will distinguish you as a socially adept person.
  • Check to see if you should remove your shoes before entering the home.
  • Contact the hostess ahead of time to see if she would like you to bring something.
  • Offer to help the hostess with the preparation or clearing up after a meal is served.
  • Danes enjoy showing off their homes since they have usually done the decorating themselves and are proud of their accomplishments. Therefore, they are happy when you ask for a tour of their house.
  • Do not discuss business.

Watch your table manners!

  • Wait to be told where to sit. There may be a seating plan. Danish meals are relatively formal. Even a summer barbeque will in all likelihood offer appetizers and a main course.
  • Table manners are Continental -- hold the fork in the left hand and the knife in the right while eating.
  • Keep your wrists resting on the edge of the table.
  • It is considered polite to try everything. Your host will have gone to much effort to prepare the dinner.
  • Expect to be offered second helpings. You may refuse without offending your hosts.
  • Finish everything on your plate. Danes do not like wasting food.
  • When you have finished eating, place your knife and fork across your plate with the tines facing up and the handles turned to the right.
  • The man seated to the left of the hostess generally offers a toast of thanks during the dessert course.
  • Do not begin eating until the host toasts with "Skål". (pronounced "skole")
  • Toasts are important in Danish dining. When toasting, raise your glass about eye level and make eye contact with each person seated close to you. Always respond to the toast "Skål" by saying it back to each person who says it to you.

LastUpdate: 2015-03-28 16:23:46