H.C.Andersen (wel)fairy tales

It is so beautiful in Copenhagen, right now. It has been snowing for days, and apparently it will not stop for a week or so.

photo BT/M.S.Andersen

But there are some other photos that I would like to post: the Little Mermaid came back from China last week! All the photos are from the newspaper Politiken.

photos above:  Jens Dresling

It’s a fascinating story: the Mermaid was shipped to China in the spring, as part of the Danish pavillion at Shanghai Expo. The pavillion has been designed by the Danish architecture studio BIG.

The pool where the Mermaid was placed in Shanghai was filled with real water from Copenhagen harbour! The Danish pavillion, called Welfairytales, was designed to offer “a genuine Danish city experience”. Visitors were encouraged to get one of the 1500 city bikes in the pavillion, so they could bike around the Expo. It is a fact that Danes in Copenhagen bike everywhere, all the time. We’re just like the Wheelers (Return to Oz!)

Last week the “lille havfrue” came back to the Copenhagen harbour.

both photos: Jens Dresling

In the background you can see a boat, with a sign that says: “Godt, hun havde point nok”. Good thing that she had enough points (to come to Denmark). The sign is a critic to the recently approved Danish Green Card point evaluation system: now to get a Danish green card you need to reach a certain number of points.

The system favors people who are young, with a high education (the more prestigious the school, the more points you get), and professional workers.

I don’t need a green card (I am an EU citizen), but as an example I found out that I’d get 60 points for the 2 years master’s, plus 15 points because the master is from one of the top 100 universities in the world (Copenhagen University is n°51), plus 15 points for being under 35. There are many critics to this system: it discriminates poor people: if getting a nice education like this is free in Denmark, it is extremely expensive in many other places in Europe and in the world.

A Welfairy country like this tends to be very selective when it comes to inclusion.

But on the bright side it’s true that IF you get in Denmark with a permit, you are offered the fancier  lifestyle you can imagine (except if you imagine a sun-drenched type of lifestyle and you hate high taxes, the rain, cold and darkness). I can’t say the same of Italy, even though it is also a welfare state with really high taxes.

To close with some more fairy-tales: here you can see a 3 minutes short movie about the Mermaid trip to China. Very, very poetic!

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