7 votes

Denmark has a national songbook – should it mention Ramadan?

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  1. jgb
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    I actually went into this article expecting to disagree with the inclusion of Islamic inspired songs in a Danish national songbook. Multi-culturalism doesn't demand that any one culture be...

    I actually went into this article expecting to disagree with the inclusion of Islamic inspired songs in a Danish national songbook. Multi-culturalism doesn't demand that any one culture be impressed upon by another; after-all, rather, it means that traditional Danish culture and the cultures of immigrant peoples should be allowed to flourish alongside each other in harmony. No-one insists that Danish Muslims break fast by eating cod roe washed down with a pint of Tuborg, and equally, traditional Danish culture should not be subjected to contrived and politically-motivated admixture.

    However, this crucial paragraph towards the end of the article swings my opinion substantially.:

    But that can be a hard argument to sustain about a songbook that in the past included Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are a-Changin’” and currently contains lyrics about the fall of the Berlin Wall. “It’s got ‘The Internationale’ in it,” said Henrik Kober, a volunteer morgensang leader at the library. “I don’t know what’s political if not that.”

    The pitch from the conservatives who disagree with the inclusion of Islamic themed songs, seems to be that the national songbook is a static, culturally enshrined reflection of Denmark's Germanic culture. However, these inclusions both make it fairly evident that rather than being set-in-stone (or at the very least, standardized in ink), this tradition is a living and evolving one. If that means that, in an organic manner driven by thoughtful selection rather than diversity quotas or identity politics, it evolves to celebrate the modern Denmark, that can surely only be a good thing.

    10 votes