COPENHAGEN: Danish humor

Although Denmark is the world’s happiest country, the birth rate is currently the lowest it has been in 27 years! In 2013, the birth rate was reported to be 10 per 1,000 residents. A new campaign by Spies Rejser addresses this problem and highlights some of the differences in humor between Denmark and the United States.

Travel agency Spies Rejser has released a video in hopes to increase their business and the birth rate. According to studies, Danes have 46% more sex on vacation. Warning: Danish humor ahead.

The video begins with an explanation of the dire problem in Denmark. Then, we meet Emma. She is vacationing with her significant other in Paris. Okay cool, got it Spies. Then they throw us a curveball by advising us that although Emma is Danish, she was made in Paris. She then visits the hotel room where it happened. I think awkward laughter should be the common reaction at this point. For me, I laugh and say “typical.”

After living in Denmark for quite some time and taking a “Scandinavian Moods in Cinema” course, i’ve gotten pretty used to the humor here. In general it is often very dark and dry, but so ironic you can’t help awkwardly laughing. One of the most famous Danish films, “Festen” (The Celebration) is hilarious despite the fact that it is about a son coming forth at a family celebration about his father molesting him as a child. I imagine all Americans would think about is how far this is from being politically correct. But if you can learn to appreciate this deadpan humor, you will be laughing hysterically at most Danish productions.

Okay, now you are prepared for the rest of the video.

Emma is creeped out by the room and leaves. Phew. Spies then tells us all of these facts why more people have sex on vacation and why all Danes need to go on more vacations.

Here comes the best part: Spies has somehow turned this into a competition!!! You can book a vacation with an “ovulation discount.” If you can prove that you conceived while on the vacation you booked with them, you win a 3-year supply of baby products and a family friendly vacation.

The video ends on an even higher note as it addresses those who may have already had kids (elderly) or those who simply cannot (gay couples). They depressingly stare at the camera, but everything is okay because Spies encourages them that “it’s not just about winning, all the fun is in the participation.” Oh Spies, you really have a way with words. The very expressive narrator finishes off strong with his dramatic reading of the slogan, “Do It For Denmark,” which I might add I jokingly mimic all the time.

If you haven’t watched it yet, you need to. Also, you’ll be adding to the view count that is currently higher than the population of Denmark, which makes me laugh.