A Dane abroad: Same same… and no different
Kirsten Louise Pedersen
Twelve years ago, trends and social currents between countries appeared to have more variation.
Information didn’t travel as fast as it does now, and it showed. I remember calling Denmark (via dial-up) from New Zealand in the early 2000s, laughing as I recounted how Kiwis didn’t rake up their garden leaves – they used a funny machine to blow them from one spot to another! (enter: the leaf blower). But it’s not funny anymore as everyone has one now. Boo.
Quite the decade
When I finally moved to New Zealand in 2004, the internet did exist and the mobile phone had been around for a substantial number of years. However, it was before the invention of the smartphone, the world domination of social media and the epidemic of #everyboringselfindulgentmoveImake.
Watching TV at my mother’s house in Denmark over Christmas I realised, after hitting the mute button by mistake, that I could just as well be watching New Zealand TV! Everyone there is also busy trying to become master chefs, pop stars, home improvement specialists – or the bride/groom of a ‘successful’ singleton. And don’t forget the news channels that tend to be death and misery wherever you look.
Health and diet trends have spread around the world at a record speed too. Your average petrol station in Copenhagen now stocks Paleo snacks sitting in special Paleo sections (you wouldn’t want cross-contamination with less elite foods) and, as if by invisible global consensus, quinoa and chia seeds have become prolific star ingredients in most cafe meals. Although they’re not quite as prolific as crossfit gyms, eyelash extensions worthy of a drag queen and training for a casual ironman.
Zombie nation’s here!
Technicoloured fashion icon Iris Apfel famously complained there is too much sameness in the world today. Minutes after the latest red-carpet event or tweet by an (endorsement) inspired celebrity, women around the world can sweep their hair into the do of the moment as they trawl the internet for where to buy whatever the flavour of the hour is wearing.
The hipster phenomenon is a funny example of how trends move today. Ironically, it was supposed to be an original movement, born out of disdain for all things mainstream. But the innumerable beards, leather satchels, checked shirts, gelled moustaches and tattooed appendages prove that nothing is immune to modern day’s mass-scale sharing and adoption of whatever is popular!
As I recently bought an Antipodes lip balm, a Trilogy moisturiser and a Sistema Tupperware box (all New Zealand products) from general stores in Østerbro. I thought about how almost any brand and product is becoming available almost anywhere today.
The New Zealand Herald recently announced that H&M has confirmed the opening of a store in New Zealand in 2016. Surely IKEA is not far away either. Now you too, NZ, can be cheap, functional AND fashionable!
Whether it’s about the latest weed-turned-superfood, lawnmowing equipment or adult colouring-in book – it’s sure to soon be in a store near you!
Kirsten Louise Pedersen
Born and raised in Denmark, Kirsten jumped ship in her early 20s to spend the next 12 years living in New Zealand. A physiotherapist, acupuncturist, yogini and foodie, she has a passion for life and wellbeing. After a few stints back in the motherland, Kirsten is once again back living in Aotearoa, New Zealand.