Culture News in Brief: Denmark’s connection to Tintin runs deep

In other news, a passion for Kenyan music might have accidentally spawned an unlikely career through a slight ‘google malfunction’

The 90th anniversary of Hergé’s creation of Tintin in 1929 has given DR the green light to again propose the theory that the cartoon amateur detective was inspired by a story the Belgian author read about a young Dane.

A year earlier in 1928, the 15-year-old Palle Huld had won a Politiken contest to travel around the world, and when he departed from Copenhagen under the media spotlight, the story spread far and wide, including to Belgium.

READ MORE: Blistering barnacles! Tintin was a Dane

A love affair begins
It wasn’t until the 1960s that the popularity of Tintin took off in Denmark, but since then a special relationship has developed (see factbox below). Expert Carsten Søndergaard recently claimed that Denmark is “the most significant outside its Francophone market”.

And it helps that “it seems very likely” that Tintin was a Dane, he added, although Hergé, who died in 1983, never confirmed it.


Palle Huld


Queen almost certain
The Danish queen, who gladly received signed copies of several books for her children in 1976, is reasonably sure, and she told the visiting Belgian royals the story back in 2017.

“There may not be that many people who know that Hergé may have been inspired by something that took place in Copenhagen in 1928,” she said.

Bodils buck the trends, as ‘Lykke-Per’ is virtually snubbed
Normally the Bodils follow the lead of the Roberts. A CPH POST analysis a few years ago revealed that 60 percent of the major award winners spread over a five-year period were duplicates. But this year could be different, as ‘Lykke-Per’, which recently received 16 Robert nominations, has only got one Bodil nod – for best supporting actress. The most nominated films, instead, are ’Den tid på året’ and ‘Ditte & Louise’, which have been shortlisted for best film along with ‘Den skyldige’, ‘Holiday’ and the cartoon ‘Ternet Ninja’. Lars von Trier’s English-language film ‘The House That Jack Built’, which received 12 Robert nods, has also been mostly ignored, although Matt Dillon has again been nominated for best actor. The Bodils, which are voted for by the film critics, will be handed out on March 2.

READ MORE: Curiosities among the Robert nominations

Star of ‘Master of None’ coming to Copenhagen in April
Aziz Ansari, the writer and star of the hit Netflix series Master of None, for which he has won two Emmys and a Golden Globe, is performing at DR Koncerthuset on April 8. Ansari, whose humour is very much inspired by his Indian heritage (specifically Tamil Muslim) and what it has been like to grow up as an Indian-looking man in the US, first sprung to fame in ‘Parks and Recreation’. Tickets, which cost 375 kroner, go on sale on Friday at 10:00 at

Clean Bandit to perform at Smukfest 
British trio Clean Bandit will be appearing at Smukfest this year. Teaming up with vocalists, the instrumental electronic group have had a string of number ones in the UK in recent years, including ‘Rockabye’ (with Sean Paul and Anne-Marie) and ‘Symphony’ (Zara Larsson). Also confirmed are Nashville sister duo Larkin Poe, Dutch DJ megastar Martin Garrix, and American rock band 30 Seconds To Mars, which is fronted by the movie actor Jared Leto. Smukfest is scheduled to take place from August 7-11.

DR singing up the praises of rapper who owes his success to mis-spelt Kenya
DR is again talking up the prospects of another Danish rapper – this time the 20-year-old performer Keith Birongo who goes under the alias of K-Phax. Following a breakout year in 2018, big things are expected of the mumble rapper, who comes from Aabenraa in southern Jutland and has Kenyan heritage. His first inspiration came at the age of seven courtesy of his father, who downloaded a compilation of Kenyan music that turned out to be music by Kanye West.

READ MORE: DR identifies young British-Dane as future rap star

The art of getting your knickers in a twist and improvising
The expression don’t get your knickers in a twist has proven to be particularly apt in the case of the translation of ‘De’, the latest work by Helle Helle, which is a 2019 DR Romanprisen nominee. Both the Norwegian and Dutch translators struggled with a passage in a book in which a prudish shopworker refused to write the word ‘Buksestrømper’ on a sign – a word that has since evolved into ‘strømpebukser’ or pantyhose. Without the necessary vocabulary in their languages to do the episode justice, the translators had to improvise, with the Norwegian version switching it so the shop worker refuses to write the word ‘brassiere’.

READ MORE: Wizards behind the words: the unsung heroes of Danish lit