This may seem rather random, but it’s actually a commentary on how differently Norwegians and Swedes are treated in Denmark.
I was told a story by a Finn who had heard that Danish and Swedish sounded alike, so he spoke Swedish at a bar when trying to order something to drink. But the bartender just kept ignoring him, and it was only when the Finn said he wasn’t Swedish that he got a beer.
Another story I was told was from a Norwegian. He too was mistaken for a Swede and nobody wanted to give him a beer. When he then explained that he was from Norway he got a beer for free.
Even some Norwegian tourist guides to Denmark says, “A lot of Danes can’t hear the difference between Swedish and Norwegian, so remember to tell people that you’re from Norway. You will get a lot better service”
Behaviour like that is luckily far from the norm, and rather embarrassing when it happens, but it illustrates how Denmark feels about it’s neighbours quite well.
Sweden Norway Denmark
5th December 2010