Following the success of last year’s inaugural Children’s Fair, The Copenhagen Post is once again organising the event in Valbyparken to help integrate international families into the land of rugbrød and Hans Christian Andersen.
At least 1,500 families are expected to attend the free event, where expats and Danes can mingle and get acquainted with a variety of local groups and organisations. The event offers the opportunity to be immersed in aspects of Danish culture that international families may find difficult to become a part of due to their unfamiliarity with Danish social customs.
Information about how to meet and befriend Danes may ordinarily be guarded fiercely, but the Children’s Fair advocates nothing more than the open integration of international families into Danish life. Among the event’s sponsors is the Employment Ministry’s Agency for Labour Retention and International Recruitment, which hopes that through events such as this fair, international families can be encouraged to stay in Copenhagen.
In addition to starting dialogues between international families and local organisations, the event also offers the opportunity to meet the civil servants responsible for your safety. Police officers will hold demonstrations with motorcycles and their K9 partners, and to demonstrate how fire-fighting equipment works for those lucky enough to have never experienced an inferno, the fire brigade will hold a demonstration in the afternoon – complete with helmets for the kids.
The event is supported by Spousecare, the Copenhagen Public Library, the Danish Red Cross and the Copenhagen Police and Fire Brigade. Also supporting the fair is Expat in Denmark, an organisation that aims to help expats build strong ties to Denmark, and which is operated by a consortium made up of The Copenhagen Post, the Danish Chamber of Commerce and the Danish Bankers’ Association.
ARTStudio ART-n-Me, an old favourite, is returning to The Copenhagen Post’s event with creative workshops to help coax out the Picasso – or Pollock – hidden in your child. The studio currently offers classes in Danish and Russian, but hopes that if enough interest is shown at the fair, English-speakers can also be welcomed.
“We would like to have groups with different nationalities so that international people can meet,” said Irina Grodzinskaja, who works at the studio. “They can get some benefits by seeing what children from other cultures can do.”
Free snacks will be provided throughout the afternoon by The Marriott Hotel Copenhagen, one of the event’s sponsors. Other sponsors include Maersk, McDonald’s and DGI, a sports organisation.
Before leaving, visitors should stop by the Copenhagen Public Library’s mobile library and pick up at least one book in Danish – if you’ve signed your child up for any new activities, knowing some basic Danish will only increase the number of new friends he or she can make.