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Yesterday my Chinese language partner Xiaohua and I talked about the Danish habit of taking a nice walk in cemeteries and spend enjoyable time there (and not as usual, going to a graveyard to grieve or visiting the ones that have left us).
Growing up with Asian parents, I was told to respectfully avoid cemeteries and honestly, every time I had to go to the cemetery on our vacations in Vietnam, it wasn’t a joyful experience. The graves were small mausoleums that looked like small houses and every grave would have the picture of the dead person starring back at you when you stand in front of it.
Therefore, I never felt like the cemetery is THE place to go for a stroll – a place to walk and talk, sit down and enjoy the sun.. (and I still don’t).
In Denmark on the other hand, a cemetery is more like a park, where couples or families are together, enjoy their day off, walking among tombstones and memorials. It’s a whole different view for me.
I honestly have no idea if Danes even meet up for dates at the cemetery as well – but I can imagine it. If someone who reads this know the answer, could you please tell us? 😀
Anyway, the cherry blossoms have turned Bispebjerg Cemetery candy cotton pink and I had to join the hype and go there myself this weekend. It was my first time in a while that I was in a cemetery. It was around noon, and the cherry blossom allé was packed with people and everyone was having a good time.
Families would play with their children, couples would sit next to a grave stone with a pick nick blanket and enjoy the view. I didn’t feel like being on an actual cemetery. It was like taking a walk through Kongens Have.
Personally, I had a nice time and enjoyed the beautiful spring vibe, the colors and smell of flowers, but I still think, it is a bit strange to relax and spend quality time between graves. Maybe that’s the Asian in me showing.
If you have the time – make sure to drop by Bispebjerg Kirkegård ( Frederiksborgvej 125 2400 København NV) in the next few days and if you go there early enough, it wont be too crowded 🙂
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What else have I learned about Denmark. Find out here 🙂