Rotsne

Copy of Alcohol culture in Denmark

I found that this page was deleted due to the webhosting firm going downhill, so here is a copy based on a copy I found on the Internet because it tells a lot about our culture:

History of civilization

Alcohol has been a part of the Danish culture for more than 1000 years.

This page describes the consumption by Danes during their life and how political currents are in the process of damaging the Danish culture in favor of an common European culture, which are characterized by have a Puritan attitude in many areas.

The law

There is no law about alcohol consumption in Denmark. However there is a law about alcohol purchase. This law dictate a 16 year limit on alcohol purchase.[1] The youth can obtain a special ID-card down at the City Hall although a passport can be used also.

No person with a BAC of more than 0.05% is allowed to drive. It was reduced from the international recognized normal standard in 1998 because the opening of the Oresund bridge would bring more Swedish drivers on Danish roads and the population from that country had historically shown less stamina regarding alcohol and driving. (In Sweden the limit is 0.02% due to the same reasons)

Before the confirmation

Have parents become too lazy

It is generally regarded as good conduct not to let children under 13 drink alcohol unless it is based on a medical reason. Research have shown that cold medicine generally doesn’t work, so the old treatment of cold with a mixture of The, Rome and Sugar has been widespread in the latest 10-15 years.

Still drunks down to 8 years of age have been spotted – especially during the holiday season [2][3]. The main reason for those incidents are that more than 90 percent of the Danish youth under 12 years are spending their day in a combination of Daycare, Kindergarten, school and after-school recreation centers (Called SFO, which is a shorting for School-Recreation-System). Some are even placed there while their parents are on holiday and sleeping at relatives by night. So in some cases the parents are not prepared to look after their own children and then the children just hang around youth which are allowed to drink.

Some blame the double income society and it is partly is a cause because it was easier in past to pass on tradition and conduct to the younger generation when one parent was in the household at all time. Today youth aged about 12 have to rely on their own without basic support of the home.

A good advice for parents is to be with their children when they are not working. They have to disregard the experiences from their own childhood. There is no network in the communities like in the old days,

From the age of confirmation to age 16

Bag parties or rave parties?

It is an old Danish custom to introduce alcohol for the youth at the confirmation. Back around year 1780 the first written articles in the newspapers about this phenomenon were published. 100 years ago some of the entertainment industry began to market the term “Blue Monday” about the day after the confirmation, so other guests could stay away when the youth parties[4].

When the youths turn 16, they can buy all the alcohol they like. So the parents have to prepare the child of the free choice and they have two options.

They can close their eyes and let their youth attend Rave parties. These parties are seen all over the country in parks and on beaches. They are not illegal, because the law does not speak of an age limit on consumption. But there is a problem. Due to lack of supervision some of the parties run out of hand and damage to property can occur.

So about 10 years ago the first bag parties began to appear. A bag party is a party where the parents buy a certain amount of alcohol they believe their child can drink without damage based on their genetic inheritance. The bag are delivered to adults supervising the party and marked so a child only can ask for alcohol from his own bag. The child are then allowed to party but have to leave when the bag is empty. By this strategy they learn that binge drinking can not pay of because then the party is soon over. [5]

Of course there are some parents, who choose to remove all alcohol from the environment around the child, but the latest development regarding fundamentally youth setting fire on property should be warning enough not to choose this path. A sober youth is a vulnerable youth if targeted by those religious groups.

Also in sport clubs across the country it is common with a beer after training. It is a single beer only because almost any transportation of youth to games are done in cars owned by parents and none want to have a youth messing their car up.

Present tendencies

Lower intake of alcohol have isolated youth and destroyed their health.

A survey published February 2008 showed that a long lasting campaign conducted by right wing church fractions had reduced the overall consumption among youth aged 11 to 15. The price however was high. Without the normal tool to socialize and establish networks, youth in larger number had stopped exercising and leave their homes. Instead of partying and dancing they now spend several hours every day in front of their computer. [6]

General concern about the long-term effect of lacking exercise have resulted in a public debate about the future expenses, when the youth become adults.

Secondary Denmark have only seen one incident of the high school shootings, which are so widespread across the United States. But if an increased number of the youth tends to isolate themselves, there would be an increased risk of producing shooters.

16 to 18 years of age

Adult life tryouts

When the youth becomes 16 they can obtain a special ID-card down at the city hall. The youth have to bring some ID and a photo. If the youth already process a driver license to a motorbike, it can be used instead [7].

There are no limits on consumption, so they can drink all the alcohol they can afford. But they are not allowed in nightclubs before they turn 18, so they have to drink at private parties in their homes or at schools. It is common for high schools to arrange parties with alcohol. They are often closely monitored by both teachers, parents and in some case security firms, so no outsiders can take advantage of the drunken youths. It is often claimed that the number of youth with only an exam from public school (20 percent as of 2006 do only have 9 years of schooling) would dramatically increase if there were no access to parties in high school. The parties serve as an important team-building tool.

Youth cannot drive a car before they are 18. Most families use these two years as a trial to decide whether their son or daughter should have a driver license. A drivers license in Denmark is among the most expensive in the world to obtain and also hard to get. Mandatory time on racetracks is a part of the education to show the youth that driving a car is not just like doing it on video games. It takes a sober person to succeed. So youth who cannot manage their consumption are very likely not to have their education financed by the parents and the streets are therefore kept free from a potential threat [8].

There have been some cases where the youth have consumed so much that they are unable to remain in high school and they have to drop out[9]. Then it is up to the parents to coach their child to give up the unhealthy way of living. But they have to settle for coaching. They cannot – like in the United States – hire escort firms to bring their child to wilderness therapy risking the life of their children. In Denmark detoxing a person, who have not acknowledged their misuse, is considered waste of both money and time [10][11]. In some cases it can even be against the law if the youth are held away from counseling at the authorities or a lawyer.

There is also another issue to consider. In Denmark we have been an increase in the number of young adults who have turned into drugs because they cannot handle the demands they meet in the companies [12]. It seems that if the parents do not allow their child to underachieve, the child will fail due to stress once they are adults and unable to keep up the pace in the working environment.

Adulthood

In College

A large number of the universities and colleges in Denmark have a Friday bar, where the students learn to network. The ability to actively engage in networking is considered a key factor to the future possibility of the success for the students. Students through their network have founded many firms, which later have grown to international size.

Some of the more visionary firms have chosen to finance the Friday bars in the hope of attract the brightest students[13][14].

However the developed student environment have been under attack from puritanical powers[15]. One of the items to be attacked has been the intro-trip called “Rus-ture”. Today they are very lacking in standard because some people wanted to attract a larger amount of foreign students by hiding important aspects of our culture from them so they would not scared away.

But as the critics ask: Why attract foreign students, if they are not willing to integrate themselves into the local culture? Would they not be of risk of creating ghettos for themselves with limited contact to the local population? [16]

In the workspace

Today most firms have introduced prohibition against consuming alcohol during work hours unless we are talking about special occasions like receptions or anniversaries. But it is a recent tendency. Until about 20 years ago it was normal with workers drinking alcohol during lunch – often to low prices with help from their firm.

But most of the firms do have social events so they can build up teams inside the firms. They are a key factor to the well-known ability for employers in Danish firms to be highly productive. It does also mean that people who exclude themselves from these social events involving alcohol consumption very powerful state that they are not interested in the wellbeing of both their colleagues and eventually the wellbeing of the firm.

Many firms host a Friday bar. The ability to communicate a message to the firm are often much more effective using the informal channels of communication at a Friday bar than any news mail.

In general

The average adult Dane does consume 11 liters of pure alcohol and it doesn’t leave any impact on the general health in the population.

However, puritanical powers have tried to make the National Health Service (of Denmark) lie about the recommended weekly limits. Today they are 21 units for a male and 14 for a female. In order to prevent circulatory disease it is recommended to consume at least one unit per day. Leading forces from the alcohol research environment in Denmark – among them the doctor and alcohol researcher Leif Sestoft have criticized the maximum limits stated by the National Health Service [17][18].

Retirement age

Lately there has been a rise in the criticism of elderly drinking alcohol in residential homes for elderly people. It is costlier to handle a drunken elderly than a sober elderly. The debate is about the cost of running facilities for elderly people – not so much about the quality of life for them [19].

It is paradox and difficult for our politicians. For once they have to show a high average life expectancy, when they move among politicians from other countries. But secondary the term of describing people above their retirement age is “the burden of elderly”.

Denmark is at war in Afghanistan. It is costly, but running nursing homes are also costly and some has to cut down expenses. It has resulted in rather bizarre incidents where diapers have been turned to be used twice because people are getting too old, which means expenses for the society.

Main currents in the Danish society

Deceit by the politicians

In 2007 a conspiracy were revealed. The purpose of this conspiracy was to avoid Denmark from being known as one of the countries in the world where alcohol is indulged in high quantities. They even conspired regardless of the fact that people today drink far less than in the Viking Age where it was normal to consume 6 liters of mead per day.

Due to a claimed error in the process of translation they wanted to lower the limit to 14 units per week for males and only 7 for females. The press revealed the conspiracy and they were forced confess to their evil aim. The present limits of 21 and 14 were maintained. They did however add that a person only should drink 5 units for an evening, which is a huge help for parents when they are agreeing on the amount of alcohol their child should take to a bag-party.

Binge drinking holidays

After the wall fell, worn down countries appeared after 50 years of communist rule. They have nothing attract tourists with in general. That is why a number of countries with Bulgaria in the lead decided to take over the role of hosting holiday resorts for the youth from the entire Europe. The Island of Ibiza held this role However February 1, 2008 the government ordered marketing for binge drinking holidays to stop out of fear that the improved economy in the Eastern countries could result in an intensive competition with our export firms. The ban against marketing of binge drinking holiday does only apply for Denmark. Most of the firms have links to departments outside Denmark where they can continue the marketing.

Riots February 2008

In relationship with a weeklong holiday in February 2008, Denmark became the target of a lot of violence, riots and fires. The cartoon crisis were blamed to be the reason of these disturbances but after the government had done some research the youth who caused them were in fact normal youth characterized by a lack of will to integrate themselves among the other youth who uses this extra “Spring-break” to party and socialize. They get bored and an old saying in Denmark state: “Idleness is the root of all evil.”

So we are speaking of a large group of youths, who are facing a hard decision. Will they allow themselves to be integrated including what it takes regarding consuming alcohol and socialize or will they choose to settle in a country where social interaction is not prioritized so much?

Sources:

  1. Law about ban on sale of tobacco and alcohol to youth under 16 years of age (In Danish)
  2. Drunk kids threw rocks after police (Jyllandsposten, July 23 2007 – In Danish)
  3. Children in drinking orgy and on drugs (Ekstra Bladet, July 24 2007 – In Danish)
  4. Blue Monday (kristendom.dk, April 28 2007- In Danish)
  5. The police allows bag parties anyway (Danmarks Radio, January 10 2008 – In Danish)
  6. ID-card to youth over 16 years of age (Ballerup kommune – In Danish)
  7. DUI on Danish roads 1997-2006, (sikkertrafik.dk – In Danish)
  8. The students are drunk Friday morning, Jyllandsposten, May 24 2007 – In Danish)
  9. Get your child abducted for 1,800 dollar, Berlingske Tidende, February 25 2005 (Reprint from WANT YOUR KID TO DISAPPEAR?, by Nadya Labi, Legal Affairs, July 2004)
  10. Children dies in behavior modification camps across the United States, Politiken, October 20 2007 – In Danish)
  11. Mr. and Mrs. Denmark are doing hard drugs, (24timer, January 6 2008 – In Danish)
  12. Future people – first violin on computer science, (IT-vest – In Danish)
  13. Firms fund free beers to students, (Denmark Radio no. 1, October 12 2007 – In Danish)
  14. Danish students are european champions in alcohol consumption, (Berlingske Tidende, January 27 2008 – In Danish)
  15. Eating earthworm on the intro trip are stopped, (Politiken, August 20 2007 – In Danish)
  16. Alcohol: the salt of our lifestyle af Leif Sestoft, Speciallæge, dr.med. (Publiceret på hjemmesiden Biokemisk forening.)
  17. Alcohol are better its reputation, (Berlingske Tidende, July 15 2007 – In Danish)
  18. Increasing alcohol problems among elderly in the future, Av Jakob Kehlet ,Social- och hälsovårdsnytt i Norden, (Marts 7 2006 – In Danish)
  19. Administrative krumspring truer plejehjemstilsynet, (Ugeskrift for læger, 2001 – In Danish)

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