4th of July is the ultimate American holiday. We eat American, wear American, sing American, and (in general) speak American English - with great diversity for sure - but it's definitely all-American.
Or so I assumed. Why look outside our borders for more? So when my Danish business partner mentioned that it is a big event in Denmark as well - well, I questioned it and thought it was probably a very minor event. He was just being a patriotic Dane to make me, the Norwegian, feel less accomplished. Ongoing battle. I was wrong. As it turns out the biggest 4th of July celebration outside USA takes place in Denmark every 4th of July since 1912. How in the world did that come about?
In 1911 Danish immigrant Max Henius came up with the idea that it would be great to have a place where Danish emigrants and immigrants could come together and honor their Danish American roots. After raising funds from Danish Americans, they bought 200 acres of forested hills in Rebild, Denmark and named it Rebild Bakker National Forest. It was given to the Danish government on the condition that it would remain in its natural state and open to the general public - and a place to celebrate American holidays.
Today this is a big event that all Danes know well. If they don't attend (thousands show up for entertainment, speakers, food and festivities) they watch it on television. It's attended by heads of government, royals, and celebrities from both continents. In other words: it's a big deal! A big American deal.
Despite our bad American reputation (especially of late) most companies want to enter the US market - it's huge and consumption oriented. At Norden Living we feel that of all the Scandinavian countries we represent designs from, the Danes have always out shined their Scandinavian neighbors both through innovative design and a strong desire to enter the US market - and what better way to make best friends with their biggest export market than celebrating the 4th of July? And honoring history at the same time?
It's marketing brilliance - which is why Hans Wegner, Arne Jacobsen, Louis Poulsen and many other Danes are now household names in the US. And at Norden Living we are happy, through our retail and web shops to further promote the recognition Danish design has received - while still proudly celebrating 4th of July.