CPH Post


Politicians in war of words over 'Danish values'

Forget meatballs, the values debate has moved on to roast pork

Danishness isn't just flæskesteg and beer, Özlem Cekic says (Photo: Michael Daugaard)

January 3, 2014

by JC

Özlem Cekic was recently named the new cultural spokesperson for left-wing coalition partner Socialistisk Folkeparti and she wasted little time in attempting to ignite yet another culture war. 

“Danish culture isn’t just roast pork or Carlsberg beer,” Cekic wrote on Twitter. “Danish culture is also an international outlook and not ridiculous border gates.”

In a comment to Berlingske newspaper, she expanded on her thoughts.

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“To me, Danishness is neither nationalism or conservatism. To me, liberal-mindedness, solidarity and freedom of expression and the freedom to be different are important cornerstones of Danish culture,” Cekic said. “That is why Denmark has been a trailblazer for sexual liberation, rainbow families and equal rights for homosexuals.”

The SFer also quickly turned her attention to the value politics of the far-right Dansk Folkeparti (DF).

“Unlike many DFers, I don’t see globalisation as a threat. On the contrary, I see it as an invitation to learn new things. Our culture did not become Danish by hiding behind border gates.”

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Unsurprisingly, DF’s values spokesperson Pia Kjærsgaard couldn’t stand by idly while someone else attempted to define what it means to be Danish. 

Kjærsgaard told Ekstra Bladet tabloid that she found Cekic’s comment’s “primitive” and “degrading”.

“I think her argument is incredibly condescending,” Kjærsgaard said. “I like roast pork and Carlsberg."

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