Few places feel the chill of fall as early as Scandinavia! All those pumpkin spice latte's at Starbucks are making us feel decidedly fall-ey even if the weather hasn't quite caught up yet. So we are headed to Denmark to meet our latest CultureBaby Mom, Anna, in Odense.
Where do you live now and with who?
I live in the third largest city in Denmark, Odense. It has a population of about 170,000 people and most work here for the hospital, University or local government. We moved here from Vancouver, Canada when my husband was offered a job at the University. We live here together with our two boys, Sam and Robbie.
You are an Aussie and a Brit with Canadian kids! How did your family come to be such a mix of nationalities? Is there ever a culture clash at home?
I'm half Australian and half English and my husband is Australian and Russian. We met in Sydney when we were studying and moved together to Vancouver for his studies in 2005 so both our kids were born there. As yet we haven't had any cultural clashes in the family! I am more traditional and reserved than my husband who is more laid back and carefree. The children are a mixture of both.
Have you had any CultureShock moments in Denmark you'd care to share?
Danes are very punctual and our family, as much as we try, are not too much. There has been many a time when apologies have been in order. The dress code is also interesting. We had five families over for a "casual" passover dinner (with kids and all) and all our guest showed up wearing their best dresses, suits and ties as if they were going to a wedding!
Is Odense a multicultural city?
I'd have to say that Odense is not as multicultural as I am used to. I have previously lived in Sydney, Paris, London and Vancouver - all of which are extremely multicultural. However my eldest son attends an international school and the kids there represent a wide variety of countries and cultures so I am thankful for that.
Can you tell us about a moment that for you was quintessentially Danish?
Whenever I go to a Dane's house, there is always food...particularly bread rolls "bollers" and they're served with jams/cheese/meats. Whatever hour you go..breakfast/brunch/lunch/afternoon tea/dinner....there are always bollers on the table.
Is raising your kids as global citizens important to you?
Absolutely. I am so thankful for this opportunity for my kids to grow up in a new culture with a foreign language to learn and new places to visit and experience. They have had so many opportunities to meet people from all over the world and learn about religions and beliefs different from their own.
Can you tell us if you have a favorite CultureBaby product?
I love the classic American striped leggings! I'm a big sucker for stripes.
You can read more about Anna at her own blog, Simply Stylish Mom.