Ok, so this post isn’t really about pastry but it is about Danish! Guest poster Katie has lived in Denmark for three years and a true Irish girl at heart, she has managed to become accustomed to some of the more unusual Danish wedding er, customs.
Having been in Scandinavia for a few years now I’ve been to my fair share of weddings and they like to really turn it into a party. For a Danish wedding newbie it can be quite daunting but you get the hang of it after about eight hours!
The Danes put the emphasis on the entertainment part of the event, and it doesn’t involve a showband playing a Proclaimers favourite. The family, or a group of friends, will often write a song about the happy couple. This will typically stretch at least 15 verses and involve recounting the drunken escapades of the young lovers, their eventual meeting and subsequent life and future together. The lyrics are usually matched to a well-known folk song or nursery rhyme so everyone can pick up the melody.
A typical wedding could easily involve 5 or 6 speeches, a further 6 or 7 songs and various forms of entertainment sandwiched between dinner courses so it can turn into a fairly long, but very touching evening as everyone puts special effort into showing their love and appreciation for the bride and groom. So when your nervously standing in front of Irish wedding guests giving your 2-minute speech, bear in mind some of the lengths Danish guests have gone to to do their bit to entertain the crowd. One group of siblings broke into the bride and groom’s house and with the aid of a handycam and various props, recreated a hilarious “Through the Keyhole” episode ridiculing the groom’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles bedspread to the delight of the entire reception.
Another groom and his buddies went even further. Having determinedly kept his hair waist-length for most of his adult life, the groom arranged to have it chopped off by his best friend during the reception. Unfortunately the groom’s brothers, nor any of the guests, were in on the surprise and the friend ended up being wrestled and punched as he helplessly hacked off the hair.
I’m not suggesting a fistfight become the de rigeur entertainment of choice at Irish weddings, but arranging a song or activity for the happy couple could be a different and unusual gift for your friends. Not to mention keeping the masses entertained while they wait for their beef or chicken.
- My good friend Katie Rice is an Irish journalist living abroad. Her interests include hockey, the colour purple in general, and being a curly-haired girl in a straight-haired world. She has met Bono twice.
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