13 things that’s different
Since I have been in this country (Dominican Republic) for about one month I have encountered a lot of differences from Denmark. So, I chose to list some of them. Some are small everyday differences others are big things.
Here they are:
- Shoes in the house
DK: You always take your shoes off before entering the main part of the house. In a typical Danish house, you can find a shoe rack.
DOM: The first time I entered our apartment I couldn´t find a place for shoes. So, naturally I asked, “Where should I place my shoes?”. “What do you mean?” my brother with the same facial expression as me whenever somebody speaks Spanish to me (complete confusion). From that day I learned that here you just walk in the house with dirty shoes.
DK: Danish is the official language so everyone speaks Danish. Most people speak English too and it can be hard find someone who doesn’t speak English. A lot of people speak a third language either German, Spanish, France etc.
DOM: Spanish is the official but there is a twist. They speak Spanish with a dialect and they also change some of the grammar. Here it can be hard to find someone who speaks English. If you are lucky to meet an English-speaking person they probably don’t speak English but can say some words.
DK: In Denmark, it’s quit in nearly every public space. If someone speak loudly on the phone they are sure to get some death stares. Playing music outload on the phone is a total no-go.
DOM: There is noise everywhere. First, people don’t speak they yell and takes up so much space. People play music out loud in public, scream across the room etc. They have freaking cars with gigantic speakers in the back that plays loud music. If you have a headache in class have a nice dying a slow and painful death.
- Toilet paper
DK: In Denmark, you put the toilet paper in the toilet and flush. Nice and easy.
DOM: In the Dominican Republic, it’s bad to put the toilet paper in the toilet because it will block the pipes.
- School uniforms
DK: We don’t have school uniforms and don’t even have dress codes.
DOM: All schools has different uniforms. They do this so you can’t see the difference between a poor and rich student.
- ¿Como estas? How are you? Hvordan går det?
DK: You dont ask people how they are because most of the time we don’t care. We don’t like to small talk and we are very straight forward.
DOM: You always ask “¿como estas?” and always get the answer “bien” or “muy bien”. What’s the point of asking if you already know and don’t care about the answer?
DK: We have very clean water so you can drink from the tap. We rarely drink water from bottles.
DOM: Never drink from the tap it’s very dirty and will get you sick. I have trouble with not drinking from the tap because it´s a very strong habit. So far I haven’t drunk any of it (I think).
DK: Denmark is very safe. You can walk outside with your phone out and the worst scenario is that you walk straight into a streetlamp.
DOM: You can’t walk with your phone out in the dark and some places at day too. I can’t walk outside alone when it’s dark.
DK: Most people are Christians and many don´t believe in God. 3% of the population regularly attend to church. It´s illegal for the teachers to say one religion is better than others and it´s illegal to make the student’s do prayers.
DOM: Most people are Catholic and believe in God. Many families go to church every Sunday. You pray in the school and have lessons about the bible and believing in God.
DK: If you are invited to something at 8:00 you show up at 8.00. If it’s a birthday or hanging out with a friend you can come 8:10 but other events you come to the time.
DOM: If you are invited to something at 8:00 its normal to show up at 9:00. The only exception is school and work which I found out first hand (JK mor og far).
- Hair wash
DK: Most men and women wash their hair every or every other day.
DOM: Most women only wash their hair once a week at the hair salon. That’s because their natural hair is curly and they want it straight. Honestly, I have no idea what the men do.
- Pads and tampons
DK: We have a whole variety of different products e.g. pads tampons and menstrual cups. For each product there is different brands, kinds and sizes.
DOM: There is many different kinds if pads but I have only seen on pack of tampons. They don’t offer other products and different types of tampons (as far as I know). When the girls are having their period, they avoid doing anything requiring a tampon e.g. go to the pool. The girls are maybe not informed about different kinds of products and just use the same as their mom.
- Small services
This is for example people filling your grocery bag, people at gas stations doing everything for you etc.
DK: We don´t have any of these jobs because we have to pay our workers a good salary (we don´t have a minimum wage but check this out: https://wageindicator.org/main/salary/minimum-wage/denmark ). If a supermarket would have the bag filling service it would become very expensive.
DOM: These small service jobs are everywhere because the minimum wage is $1,491.00 USD a year. So, you can easily hire many employees for few money.