July 4 special: Americans living the dream in Denmark

The US is admired the world over for the many liberties and freedoms denoted by the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
Many have flocked to her shores to experience these same ideals, and as a result the country is a melting-pot of many cultures.
However, her ways of life and liberties have been exported to all corners of the globe, as we discover with two Americans living in Denmark, and their contrasting experiences with Danish life and how they celebrate their independence across the Atlantic.
Chandre Gilliard Torpet
Chandre, a headhunter, moved to Denmark in 2001 for work, and later settled down and married a Dane. An American at heart, although having travelled and lived outside of the US for much of her life, Chandre still holds on to many of her American traditions – including Independence Day.
What is the appeal of living in DK? 
The security I feel.  Healthcare, education, the economic safety net are all components that add to the feeling of security for my family.
What does Independence Day mean to you? 
Independence Day is the day to be unabashedly patriotic. I doubt many Americans sit and think about our War of Independence, instead Americans are in a festive mood.  Warm weather and the start of summer vacations mark the Independence Day weekend, and people are generally in a positive spirit. This is what Independence Day means to me.”
How will you celebrate 4th of July here in Denmark?  
We will be hosting a big party; including family members travelling to Denmark from the U.S. I typically enjoy the company of my American friends and family – and our respective Danish loved ones.”
Jeffrey Hunter
Jeffery is a freelance photographer (www.jeffreyhunter.dk) with a love-hate relationship with Denmark. Although he has struggled to remain in Denmark legally, due to employment issues, Jeffery has grown to love Denmark for what it is.
Why did you choose Denmark? 
I came [to Denmark] because I fell in love with a Danish girl. I had no idea about Denmark – I’d never even heard of the country! At first I found the people very cold, closed, boring, non-spontaneous, non-creative, and scared. After breaking up with the girl, and a period of depression, I eventually grew to know the Danish people, and I really like the country. It’s clean. It’s beautiful. The buildings are pink and blue and yellow and never dirty. The dramatic changes in daylight are amazing. The climate is perfect, and pretty girls ride bikes in high heels. Just a few of the reasons I fell in love with Denmark.
How do the two nations compare?
Danish people are also a lot more relaxed and open-minded when compared to my countrymen from back home. For example,they are very open about sex. In America, we have this idea of ‘slutty’ – if you have sex too quickly or early on in a relationship, it’s shameful. Here, [in Denmark] it’s just a normal part of being human. I think this is much healthier.
What does Independence Day mean to you? 
I don’t think about it. When I lived in America, it meant nothing. It meant only fireworks. But now, after living outside the country for so long, when you ask me, I guess it means something. Not really the Day, but rather the spirit of what the Day stands for. After living outside the country so long I can see that America is unique for this “independence”. It’s in our blood. We’re raised since kids with this feeling of the superhero. We can do it. We don’t need anyone else. I never encounter this mind-set in any other country.”
Do you celebrate the Day? 
Not really. My mom usually sends me a text, and I don’t know it’s the 4th of July until then!”