One man’s campaign to conquer the frigid Danish psyche is being heralded by the Copenhagen Post:
Danes have a harder time opening up to others, according to Lars AP, who has started a nationwide niceness campaign
Lars Pedersen’s has a message for Danes: be nice
Only in Denmark can you get away with using the F-word in your book’s title and cause absolutely no uproar over it.
But the title of the new book from Lars Andreas Pedersen – who goes by the moniker Lars AP – isn’t meant to offend. ‘F**king Flink’ is aimed at giving Pedersen’s fellow countrymen tips on how to be more open and polite to strangers.
‘Flink’ is the Danish word for ‘nice’, and as the son of an American father and Danish mother, Pedersen thinks he understands what the concept is all about.
‘Year after year Danes are rated as the happiest people in the world,’ he writes in the book. ‘But try standing in the supermarket queue on a Monday afternoon or driving during rush hour traffic. Danes can be some of the least tolerant people around.’
As part of promoting the book and what he calls ‘a movement’, Pedersen dressed up as a traffic warden and issued ‘tickets’ to people who were extra nice.
And Pedersen points out that Danes are generally nice – to each other. A survey in the book indicated that 42 out of 100 Danes said the reason they were not more open to others was out of respect for the person’s private life.
I like it when human beings work for understanding, compassion and civility. We’re all in this together, after all.
Some good advice from Lars on how to accomplish the niceness project:
1) Be atypical – don’t act cool. Be nice with a ‘twist’.
2) Use the ‘cracks’ – finding the right places and situations in which to be nice. Take advantage of social fissures – or try to create them yourselves.
3) Complain nicely – it’s okay to carry on the Danish national sport of complaining – as long as you do it in a ‘f**cking flink’ way.
4) Be an individual. Don’t be afraid to leave yourself vulnerable – expose yourself.
5) Give more – try to give more than people would expect. Take an extra umbrella with you when you go out. Then when it rains you can offer a place of refuge to a stranger.