Editorial | Danish integration in English

When it comes to work-life balance, it’s the ‘life’ part of the equation that most foreigners need a hand with

This past Sunday, about 2,500 people took part in The Copenhagen Post’s third annual Children’s Fair. It could only be described as a harmonious meeting of Danes and foreigners, children and adults. 

For most of the families; their attendance was planned. But there were also many who just happened to be there. According to the police, who were there to tell festival attendees about their work, there were also a number of young local residents who it would be fair to describe as trouble-makers. They too had a good day – as did the clubs, local government officials, fire brigade and other organisations that were there putting on performances. 

And that, if anything, is what the Children’s Fair is about. More than just an opportunity to network, it is an opportunity to interact socially with other foreigners and with Danes – to integrate.

We know that, on its own, an event like the Children’s Fair is not going to solve the difficult task of integrating foreign families, or that by taking part in the fair they will make the connections that brings their network to life. But it is part of the answer.  

We at The Copenhagen Post see The Children’s Fair as one of the many initiatives that everyone – foreign families, public authorities, businesses and the nation as a whole – benefit from, and which are worth emulating.  

If Denmark is famous for its ‘work-life’ balance, then The Copenhagen Post sees it as its goal as part of our efforts to help Denmark attract and retain foreign workers to make sure that we can do something to add to the ‘life’ half of the equation. The ‘work’ part comes naturally to those who came here to take a job. But we can’t assume that they or their families will be able to figure out how Danes socialise. Many of them never wind up realising that the path to a social life in this country goes through foreninger – clubs, associations and other leisure time groups.

That’s why it’s so gratifying for us to be able to organise events like the Children’s Fair – not least when the sun shines – and watch as Danes and foreigners, children and adults mingle with each other, meet representatives from foreninger, talk with public officials or stand in the shadow of a real-life fire engine, all in a Copenhagen park. 

The Copenhagen Post would like to thank everyone who helped to make this the most successful Children’s Fair ever – including our sponsors, without whose support our small contribution to integration would have been impossible. 

We’re already looking forward to next year.