Danishness, Danish culture, personal identity


Danishness is flourishing in the U.S.A. at the dawn of the twenty-first century, and it is not difficult to find this Danishness, or rather, to find what Americans consider to be Danishness. When the Danish media focus on Danishness in the U.S., they tend to highlight two areas: Solvang, California, the so-called "Danish Capital of America," and the two "Danish Villages," Elk Horn and Kimballton, Iowa. Today, Solvang has a population of around 5,000 and Elk Horn/ Kimballton around 1,000. However, estimates have 1.5 million tourists visiting Solvang and 80,000 visiting Elk Horn/Kimballton annually. Dannebrog waves on high in both areas, while half-timbered buildings, windmills, storks, horse-drawn carriages, folk dancing, wienerbrod, and aebleskiver thrive in a common interpretation of the local perception of Denmark and Danishness.