Danish Immigration to Texas

By: Raghuram

Danish flag which is also called the "Dannebrog"
Map of Denmark in Europe

Push Factors

Most of the Danish immigrants left their home country, Denmark, for two major reasons. The first reason that the Danes left Denmark was because they wanted be free of the economic hardships that was in Denmark at that time. The second major reason that the Danes left Denmark was because it was too overpopulated in Denmark. You had to be a Christian.



Map of Danish settlements in Texas

Pull Factors

There was really one major Texas attracted the Danes to move from their home country, Denmark. The reason was that in Denmark there were economic hardships, and most Danes saw Texas as a second chance. There was religious freedom in Texas.

Culture Highlights

Traditions/Customs

There are several traditions that Danes follow. When it's a couple's 12th and a half annivesary, it is celebrated with a big breakfast, and half a triumphal arch of spruce with lights and flowers are made by the neighbors, friends, family members, and/or relatives. When it's a couple's 25th annivesary, it is celebrated with a big breakfast, and a triumphal arch of spruce with lights and flowers are made by the neighbors, friends, family members, and/or relatives. The Danes have special names for almost each year after marriage up to 75 years after marraiage. They also baptize children before they are 1 year old. They Danes are all confirmed or go through the process of confirmation which is a big day for Christian boys or girls which occurs when they are 13, 14, or 15 years old. The big day is either in the spring or fall season. After the ceremony, there is a party thrown by other people for the child who has been confirmed on that same day of the ceremony. The party has Danish music and songs, Danish food, Danish drinks, and the people at the party wear Danish clothing. Another Danish tradition is lighting candles in honor of those who died in WWII, and putting the candles on the windowsills of all the windows. This tradition occurs on May 5th which was when Denmark gained its independence. The last Danish tradition is celebrating Quinquagesima Sunday. It is celebrated 7 weeks before Easter. Children wake up early morning, and they are given Shrovetide twigs (twigs filled with candy). There is a party with Danish music, Danish food, Danish games, and people wear formal Danish attire. There is one game which stands out in the party. The game is "Knock the Cat of the Barrel". The barrel is filled with candy. The child who hits and breaks the bottom part of the barrel becomes "Cat King", and the child who hits and breaks the last board of the barrel becomes "Cat Queen".

Baptism
Christian girl during Confirmation
Half a triumphal arch of spruce with lights and flowers
A triumphal arch of spruce with lights and flowers
Kid celebrating Quinquagesima

Festivities

New Year's Day- January 1st

Twelfth Night- January 6th

Quinquagesima Sunday (7 weeks before Easter)- February

Palm Sunday- March or April

Maunday Thursday- March or April

Good Friday- March or April

Easter Day- March or April

Easter Monday- March or April

Liberation (Freedom) of Denmark (End of WWII)- May 5th

General Prayer Day (4th Friday after Easter)- April or May

Ascencion Day- May

Whit Sunday- June

Whit Monday-June

Constitution Day- June 5th

Midsummer Day- June 24th

Martinma's (St. Martin's) Eve- November 11th

Matinma's (St. Martin's) Day- November 12th

Christmas Eve- December 24th

Christmas- December 25th

Boxing Day- December 26th



Official Danish Festival Band

Danish Food

The Danish food is based on Denmark's climate. Danes eat pork in the winter. Fish is very popular and easily accessible because there are bodies of water surronding Denmark. Tomatoes are used for a lot of meals. Potatoes is a staple food, and it is used in almost every meal. Potatoes are a essential ingredient to the Danish cuisine. Pastries are served with almos every breakfast meal. There a lot of drinks that the Danes drink. In winter, the Danes drink coffee and hot chocolate. Saftevand is a drink made from syrup and water that kids love. Hyldeblomstsaft which is a drink made from elderflowers. Danes drink beer at night after the sun sets. Beer is also the national drink of Denmark. Akvavit, a strong alcholic drink, is another drink that the Danes drink. The last drink that Danes drink is "cherry herring" whch is the same thing as cherry liquor.

Flaeskstag or Danish pork roast
Fish
Tomatoes
Potatoes
Pastries
Coffee
Hot chocolate
Saftevand, a drink made from syrup and water
The national drink: beer
Hyldeblomstsaft, a drinkmade from elderflowers
Cherry herring, the same thing as cherry liqour

Significant Individuals

Charles Zanco (1808-1836)

Charles Zanco, a Danish painter at the time, arrived at Texas in 1835. He designed and painted The Lone Star Flag with a single five-ponted star on it. Beneath the star there was the word Independence on the flag. The flag was navy blue. Charles Zanco also fought at the Alamo and that is where he died. He was the only Dane at the Alamo. He has affected the Texas culture by providing a Danish style of painting.
Flag created by Charles Zanco

The Dansk Folkesamfund

The Dansk Folkesamfund was the Danish name for The Danish Folk Society. The Dansk Folkesamfund sponsored some Danish colonies and settlements in Texas, such as Danevang. This group of people have affected some of the architecture and culture of Texas.
The Danish capital of Texas, Danevang sponspored by Dansk Folkesamfund

Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875)

He was a famous Danish poet and author. His stories have been converted to 150 different languages. Some of his most famous stories are "The Emperor's New Clothes", “The Steadfast Tin Soldier”, “The Snow Queen”, “The Little Mermaid”, “Thumbelina”, “The Little Match Girl”, and “The Ugly Duckling”.
A portrait of Hans Christian Andersen

Ole Kirk Christiansen (1891-1958)

He was a really famous Dane. He was the founder of LEGO. He affected the American culture by making a toy that is popular all over the world.
A portrait of Ole Kirk Christiansen

Hans Christian Oersted (1777-1851)

He was a Danish physicist who discovered electron, magnetism, and aluminum. He has affected the world of science. A lot of new discoveries were inspired by Hans Christian Orsted.
A portrait of Hans Christian Oersted

Gutzon Borglum (1867-1941)

He was a famous Danish artist and sculptor. He is famous for creating the presidents' heads at Mount Rushmore in the state of South Dakota. He has affected the American architecture, and made it somewhat Danish.
A portrait of Gutzon Borglum

Queen Margrethe II (1940-Present)

She is the queen of Denmark and Greenland. She protects the The Danish Immigrant Museum. She is also known as an illustrator for books, plays and movies. some of her most famous illustrations were done for The Lord of the Rings and The Wild Swans. She has affected some of the American movies and have made them a bit Danish.
A portrait of Queen Margrethe II

Trivia

Dyrehavsbakken meanind "The Deer Park Hill" is the oldest amusement park still running, and it is 10 km to the noth of Denmark's capital, Copenhagen.


In Denmark there are 443 islands that are named, and 76 of them are inhabited.


There is not a single mountain in Denmark.


Denmark was the first country in Europe to ban slavery.


People in Denmark eat the most pasta than any other country in the world.

Analysis-paragraph

The Danish have affected Texas in numerous ways. They have affected the culture, food, customs, traditions, clothing, painting, and the architecture of buildings in Texas. According to the United States of America, there were 1,430,897 Americans of Danish origin or descent in the United States, and 33,400 people spoke Danish at home in the United States.

Analysis-paragraph

Texas is better off because of immigration for various reasons. Without immigration, Texas wouldn't be as modern, and it wouldn't look like what it is today. It wouldn't have all the cities, inventions, toys, buildings, paintings, and a bunch of more other things if there had been no immigration.

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