Tag Archives: expat in denmark

Bridging Cultures with Filipino Warmth in Denmark’s Professional Landscape

When I first landed in Denmark, a piece of advice lingered in the air: “Your colleagues are just colleagues; they’ll never be your friends.” Coming from a culture where everyone is a potential friend, the idea seemed peculiar, even alien. Back in the Philippines, the whole town could be my Facebook friend, and we’d chat on Messenger as if we’d been best friends since kindergarten.

So, when I moved to Denmark, it was like navigating uncharted waters. Can I invite my colleagues for a cozy dinner at home? Should I suggest a weekend cinema trip? The lines between professional and personal relationships felt blurred, and I was determined to infuse a bit of that Filipino warmth into the chilly Danish air.

Me and my former collegue Dorthe

One day, I decided to throw a party. An old Filipino tradition we call “salu-salo” – a gathering filled with laughter, good food, and a dash of karaoke.

Karaoke Party
I always say “I’ll make a filipino buffet!”

I extended the invitation to my colleagues, eager to share a slice of my culture and bridge the gap between our worlds. The response was mixed; not everyone was immediately open to the idea. Some seemed skeptical, perhaps unsure of what to expect from this Filipino soirée.

Thorwing party during Corona Lock-down

But I persevered. I kept throwing parties, inviting colleagues old and new, hoping to break down the invisible barriers that separated us.

Slowly but surely, friendships began to blossom. We laughed together, shared stories, and discovered common ground that transcended the professional realm. It turns out, Danish and Filipino cultures, while different, weren’t so incompatible after all.

TGIF With Anja and Gitte

Danish Reserve Meets Filipino Warmth:

In Denmark, the culture is often described as reserved and respectful of personal space. Colleagues maintain a level of professionalism that may initially appear distant to someone accustomed to the open, familial warmth of Filipino relationships.

With my best collegue ever, Mette

Yet, as the parties continued and the barriers crumbled, I discovered the warmth beneath the Danish reserve. While they might not shout their affection from the rooftops, Danes express care through small, thoughtful gestures and genuine, direct communication.

Bonding moment with Mette, she was giving me Body Therapy (because I was broken hearted hahahaha)

Balancing Act: Finding Common Ground:

We are no longer collegues… but BFF’s

The key, I realized, was finding a balance. Balancing the vibrant, extroverted spirit of Filipino culture with the calm, composed nature of Danish culture.

We are keeping in touch…

It was about appreciating the subtle warmth beneath the surface and understanding that friendship, in Denmark, often starts with a sincere, albeit reserved, nod.

Me and Mette at Salsa Dance

As the years passed, my social circle expanded. Danish friends embraced the boisterous Filipino gatherings, and I embraced the tranquil Danish coffee meet-ups. The fusion of these two worlds created a unique tapestry of friendships that defied cultural boundaries.

One of a kind friendship…

So here I am, a Filipino in Denmark, breaking the stereotype that colleagues can’t be friends. In this diverse tapestry of cultures, I’ve learned that while we might express warmth differently, the desire for genuine connections and camaraderie is universal. After all, friendship knows no cultural borders.

Lost in Translation: A Pinoy’s Guide to Bringing the LOLs in Denmark

So, you find yourself in Denmark, surrounded by smørrebrød and Vikings, wondering how to sprinkle a bit of Pinoy flavor on the Danish way of life. Fear not, intrepid friend, for being a Filipino in Denmark is like mixing adobo with rye bread – unexpected, but oh-so-delicious. Here’s a crash course on how to be a Pinoy in Denmark, complete with quirky humor and a sprinkle of that uniquely Filipino charm.

1. Crack a Joke, Pinoy Style

 Filipinos are renowned for their humor, but our jokes might need a bit of translation in the Danish context. Try delivering a classic Pinoy punchline with a deadpan expression and watch the confusion turn into laughter. Remember, it’s not about the joke; it’s about the joy of sharing a laugh, even if they’re chuckling at the sheer absurdity of your humor.

2. Balancing “Lakas” with “Hygge”

 Filipinos are known for our loud and lively gatherings, or as we call it, “lakas ng loob.” In Denmark, where “hygge” rules the social scene, find the sweet spot between Filipino exuberance and Danish coziness. Throw a karaoke night and let your voice resonate in the hygge-filled air. They might not understand every word, but the energy is infectious.

3. Smile, Wave, and Be Unabashedly Friendly

 Danes, though friendly, can sometimes be a tad reserved. Break the ice with your megawatt Filipino smile and an enthusiastic “Hi!” Don’t be disheartened if they seem a bit taken aback; your warmth will eventually thaw the Danish reserve.

4. Adopt the Art of “Pakikisama”

   “Pakikisama” is all about getting along and adapting, a skill every Pinoy has mastered. Apply this in Denmark by joining in local activities, whether it’s a brisk winter walk or a summer barbecue. Your willingness to participate will earn you points in the Danish camaraderie game.

5. Surviving the Winter Blues with a Pinoy Twist

   Danish winters can be long and dark, but fear not – bring out your inner Pinoy sun! Organize a tropical-themed party, complete with leis, beach tunes, and perhaps an attempt at a Danish-Filipino fusion dish. It might not replace the sun, but it’ll certainly brighten up the winter gloom.

6. Tackling the Language Barrier with Humor

 Danish may be a linguistic challenge, but humor knows no language bounds. Throw in a few Tagalog words or phrases when chatting, and if they give you a quizzical look, follow it up with a light-hearted explanation or a chuckle. They might not get the joke, but they’ll appreciate the effort.

Being a Filipino in Denmark is all about embracing the differences, celebrating the quirks, and finding joy in the unexpected. So, gear up with your Pinoy spirit, mix in a dash of humor, and get ready to make Denmark a little more vibrant, one friendly smile and awkward joke at a time. Happy adventures, kabayan!