Ulla Terkelsen: Vi kan sove i flyvemaskinen

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English version below.

Ulla Terkelsen er en af de mest kendte danske journalister – la grande dame! Hun har været med og dækket historier overalt i verden og har tilsyneladende levet (og lever stadig) et meget spændende liv, som hun beskriver i sin bog Vi kan sove i flyvemaskinen.

Hun har boet i mange lande og har observeret mange kulturer og folk. Noget særligt sker, når man flytter væk fra sit eget land og er væk i længere tid. Det giver et andet perspektiv, som jeg også selv oplever. I bogen beskriver Ulla en interessant observation af danskere og dansk/skandinavisk kultur:

Den københavnske kultur, hvor man hele tiden skulle tale om sig selv og hinanden, var et smertepunkt for mig. Der spildte jeg nok for meget tid. Folk sagde næsten lidt ondskabsfuldt…”har du hørt, han har det ikke godt”… Eileen Fitt, min veninde fra Irland, har aldrig sat sine ben i Danmark, men hun har mødt danskere i London, og hun sagde altid: ”You Danes talk a lot about relationships”. Det gør Woody Allen selvfølgelig også, det er ikke alene en skandinavisk ting, det foregår også på Manhattan. Men englændere gør det ikke, og irere gør det slet ikke. De taler om forholdet til paven, om kærligheden, om nationalskjalden William Butler Yeates (…).

Men irerne sidder ikke og piller navle og analyserer relationer, det er en skandinavisk besættelse – som du så også ser i New York City. At folk hele tiden skal pille i deres forhold til andre mennesker. Det kommer der sjældent noget godt ud af, prøv dog at opleve mennesker i stedet for, find det sjove hos dem, mød dem. I Danmark bliver folk ved med at dissekere hinanden, indtil de ikke kan tale rent.

Ulla Terkelsen: Vi kan sove i flyvemaskinen, s. 123.

English version:

Ulla Terkelsen is one of the most famous Danish journalists – la grande dame! She has covered stories all over the world and she has apparently lived (and still lives) a very exciting life, which she describes in her book We Can Sleep on the Airplane.

She has lived in many countries and has observed lots of cultures and people. Something special happens when you move away from your native country and live abroad for a longer period of time. You gain a different perspective on things, which I too have experienced. In her book, Ulla writes an interesting observation about the Danes and Danish/Scandinavian culture:

The culture in Copenhagen, in which people constantly talk about themselves and each other, was painful for me. I probably wasted a lot of time there. People would say, almost a little spitefully… “did you hear, he is not well” …Eileen Fitt, my friend from Ireland, has never set foot in Denmark, but she has met Danes in London and she always said: “You Danes talk a lot about relationships.” Of course, Woody Allen does the same; it’s not just a Scandinavian thing, it happens in Manhattan as well. But the British don’t do this and the Irish definitely don’t do this. They talk about the relationship with the Pope, about love, about William Butler Yeates (…).

But the Irish don’t sit around self-analyzing and analyze relationships, that’s a Scandinavian obsession – which you also see in New York City. That people constantly have to fiddle with their relationship with other people. It rarely bring anything good. Instead, try to experience people, find the fun in them, meet them. In Denmark people keep dissecting each other until they can’t speak clearly.

Ulla Terkelsen: We Can Sleep on the Airplane, p. 123

 

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