Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

Sign up for our twice-weekly newsletter!

A Very Danish Easter

Last Saturday I had an experience that directly embodied the major pillars of the study abroad mantra: Gain cultural experience and meet people native to your new country.

My mom was in town and we were invited by my Danish friends Per and Marianne to attend a traditional Easter lunch with their family. We drove roughly 90 minutes outside the city, into the winding Danish countryside, to the vacation cottage of Marianne’s parents. Being Jewish and new to Denmark, I had no idea what to expect, and my mom even less so, as a mere visitor with no knowledge of the Danish way.

The cottage immediately stood out, with a Danish flag out front at full mast, and blustery conditions causing it to flap aggressively. Two smaller flags also waved hello at the foot of the driveway: We were definitely not in Kansas anymore.

As we entered the cozy living space, Marianne’s parents greeted us with wide smiles, warm hugs and not a lick of English. Her father tried his best, often lapsing into German, which Marianne assured him we did not understand. Regardless, we felt extremely welcome.

After some initial introductions to various family members and their friends, the grand spread was revealed: hard boiled eggs, curried herring, smoked salmon, meats, breads. Little did we know this was only the first course, and proceeded to stuff ourselves to the gills.

Multiple types of alcohol were always at the ready, wine, beer and schnapps flowing steadily throughout the day long celebration (on Easter Saturday, strangely enough.)

At the table, a mix of English and Danish floated back and forth, with conversation oscillating between American politics, the difference between Scandinavian and Italian bread and a general interest in the two American mystery guests.

Dessert was probably the most shocking element of the day. Not chocolate eggs, not marshmallow peeps, no, not cookies, but a tray of very potent cheese. This struck me as quite un-Danish, as the plethora of bakeries throughout the city shows their fondness for sweets. Not one to mess with tradition, I politely chewed my cheese with a smile.

We left the cottage, woozy from a full day of food and conversation. This was definitely one of those experience filed under the special label of “Once in a Lifetime.”

More to Discover
Donate to The GW Hatchet