Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Fastelavn 2012


A week ago yesterday was Fastelavn in Denmark. Americans can relate to Halloween in the Fall? Fastelavn however is an old pagan festival that goes back to 700-800 AD. There are celebrations in schools, villages and town centers. And it is alot more than just candy.  Ssh. Don't tell Hershey about it.

I just got through watching a delightful vimeo of children in viggestue (nursery school -ages 2+) being introduced to Fastelavn for the first time. By the time those children are the age in this video they all have it down pat and they know all the songs. Yes, there are Fastelavn songs. And they know how to do a peaceful parade. (Well, except maybe 1 or 2 boys.)

Kelli Norgaard had a hotly tested post last year on wondering why she broke up fights at her school in Texas every day and had not seen one during her years at her gymnasium in Herning. I think the answer is in this little video.

And there are some major differences in the educational systems in Denmark.
1. No competitive sport teams in the schools and competition is really down played. Cooperation is the taught value "with no one left out". 
2. In many locales, students have the same teacher every year from 1st class (first grade) until they are 16 and ready for gymnasium or vocational school.

Dr. Richard Jenkins, Professor of Sociology at the University of Sheffiled, published in 2011 (Museum Tusculanum Press), a long researched book called "Being Danish". He has quite a few sections on how the educational system teaches "Being Danish" and he does a pretty good job of bringing in all the pro and con opinions.  This is not a light read. Pretty sure it is used as a sociology textbook somewhere. 

1 comment:

Jono said...

Cooperation is looked upon as socialism in the U.S. That is why Congress fails to function. That is only oversimplified a little.