It was just like a scene from a random Christmas family movie, where the entire family of 10 came to visit their relatives’ home and the story begins. Knowing that my husband and I are not coming to Norway for Christmas, my mother-in-law came up with a ‘brilliant’ idea: “Why don’t the entire family from Norway come to visit us in Denmark? That would be ‘koseligt’ (joyful in Norwegian)…”, texted her to my husband last month.
So this week, my small apartment was being invaded -as my brother-in-law coined- by my parents-in-law, my sister and brothers-in-law, their kids, and sisters of my mother-in-law (should i say tante-in-law?). They arrived by DSDF boat with a nice short-cruise program from Oslo-Copenhagen, catered to rich Norwegians, who typically want to make a weekend trip to Denmark for cheep and loosely regulated beers (fyi, the danes called this boat Oslo boten, while the Norwegians called it Danske boten; that explain the route each of these folks is bound to).
All the efforts to clean and make our apartment look nice were useless as our family don’t really bother if it was clean or not. My brother and sister-in-law carried tons of belongings, from kids spare clothes, diapers, to extra foods. Most of them scattered around the floor. That was why they didn’t really bother if the place was actually neat or not….”it’s gonna be messy again”: that was the message.
The 17th of May is a sacred day for many Norwegians. It is the day of the Norwegian constitution, which heroically even more sacred, since it remarks the independence from the Swedish kingdom, and then from the Danish kingdom, and back again to the Swedes (the Danish and the Swedish kingdoms were constantly in war back then; and when the Danes chose a wrong guy, a.k.a Napoleon, in one of the wars, they had to hand over Norway, in tears, to their viking brother across the Øresund channel – the Swedes).
The Norwegian constitution (May 17, 1814) is an inspiration for the danish constitution (June 5, 1849). In Denmark, the constitution also remarks the end of the absolute monarchy in the country. However, because Denmark had been for ages being a wealthy powerful kingdom, the constitution has merely been seen as an noble moment at the parliament by many danes; it does not carry the same emotional degree as the constitution in Norway, which seen by many as a symbol of freedom and sovereignty. That is why the norwegians around the world dedicate the 17th of may as a holiday to celebrate, throw party, dress in bunad (norwegian traditional dress), parade along the street while waving the norwegian flag, and enjoy massive amounts of beers and foods (including the classic pølse og lompe: a grill sausage, wrap in oat bread & soft ice). On the contrary, the celebration scene like this is hardly found during the constitutional day in Denmark.
After thinking carefully for months, I finally decided to resign from my job as a category manager at a B2B SaaS & online media company in Denmark (let’s call this company as “XYZ”). It was not an easy decision. In fact, I happened to ignore my psychologist’ suggestion to leave this post and search for a new job as I insisted myself that I like the job (I do!) despite the management style which placed me in limbo, not knowing where my career would progress.
Centrally located in Copenhagen, “XYZ” is an appeal for many who dream to work in the city center. The company consists of many young people, with a young, informal spirit. It is a very international workplace, with a sort of laid-back culture and tons of parties, dining out, and team events to spoil the employees. A close-knit company where you know almost all your colleagues who carry a pride of the products they are managing. So, why on earth did I leave the company?