While the culture minister, Bertel Haarder, undoubtedly had best intentions in mind when he set out to create a new Danish cultural canon, people on the internet have not been very helpful in coming up with legitimate suggestions.
The campaign to elicit opinions via social media and the website danmarkskanon.dk didn’t go quite as planned and became the target of pranksters instead.
Suggestions such as ‘drinking culture’, ‘a love of canons’ and ‘X Factor’ were provided when Danes were asked what makes Denmark the country it is.
A case of mistaken (cultural) identity?
Haarder, who believes that the canon is an essential tool in helping Danes retain a sense of their unique cultural identity, is still hopeful that many people are willing to help.
“It is important that we are aware of our cultural identity – it says something about who we are, why we live the way we do, and why there are certain values we cannot compromise on,” Metroxpress quoted him as saying.
And the campaign hasn’t been entirely in vain – many people have written in with more serious suggestions such as ‘liberalism’, ‘cohesion’ and ‘modernism’.
The suggestions will be voted on this autumn by a panel of judges, and the finalised list will then be decided via digital referendum.