The Funen Village

16 Aug

There are many challenges to be faced when you move to a foreign country and there are times when the trials and tribulations seem to overshadow everything else. When all my emotional warning lights start flashing red, there is a particular place I like to go to restore factory settings – Den Fynske Landsby (The Funen Village).

On the face of it, DFL is a museum. It is a collection of old buildings from around the island of Fyn, brought together and rebuilt to form an old-fashioned country village where the story of life in the days of Hans Christian Andersen is told.

 For me, what makes the place so special is the people who work there, including the army of volunteers. More than a museum, it’s a living and breathing entity. The fact that the village lies within the boundaries of Denmark’s third largest city only adds to the feeling of having stepped into another time. The atmosphere is quite extraordinary and that is why I am to be found there on such a regular basis.

On Saturday they held Harvest Day, and since my warning lights had begun flashing red, I went along.

The place was a hive of activity featuring agricultural machinery from bygone days working hard in the fields. I grew up in the countryside in the north of Scotland among ‘old crofter manny’ types and the sight of folk working together in the fields bringing in the harvest made me feel quite homesick, the absence of rain notwithstanding.

However, despite the throng of visitors, there were still many places where tranquility was to be found. It was rather pleasant to sit alone and consider the lillies in the glorious August sunshine or when the sun became too much, seek out a shady nook.

I am quite a nosey person and once my inner calm was restored I spent a while poking about in the different houses, looking at all the knick-knacks and peering into pantries and store-cupboards.

My absolute favourite thing about DFL, though, is the animals and specifically the horses. They have three generations of Frederiksborg horses: granny, mother and daughter. It is a breed I had never heard of before moving to Denmark but it is very old and, I might add, extremely beautiful… although not always dignified!

As well as the Frederiksborgs they have a lovely Belgian horse, who is just the sweetest thing.

Among all the tractors it was fantastic to see the real olden days way of doing things.

The day culminated in the bringing home of the harvest.

As is traditional, on the final load was a doll made from corn (høstkællingen) with whom a man danced before everyone had something to eat and drink. As we are in Denmark there was of course singing, but since we’d all had a wee dram of snaps, this was carried out with gusto.

So with my batteries fully recharged, I cycled home along the river in the  golden summer sun, and arrived home as probably the mellowest Scot in Denmark.

Den Fynske Landsby

Når man flytter til et fremmed land, er der mange udfordringer, og der er tider, da prøvelser og besværligheder ser ud til at overskygge alt. Når alle følelsesmæssige advarselslamper begynder at blinke rødt, er der et særligt sted, hvor jeg godt kan lide at gå hen for at genoprette ‘factory settings’ – Den Fynske Landsby.

 Tilsyneladende er DFL et museum. Det er en samling af gamle bygninger, der kommer fra hele Fyn. Bygningerne blev bragt sammen og genopbygget som en gammeldags landsby, hvor historien om livet fra H.C. Andersens tid bliver fortalt.

 For mig er det menneskerne som arbejder der, som inkluderer de mange frivillige, hvilket gør det specielt. Mere end et museum er det et levende væsen. At landsbyen ligger inden for grænsen af Danmarks tredjestørste by forøger bare følelsen af, at man er trådt ind i en anden tid. Atmosfæren er ekstraordinær, og det er derfor, at jeg kommer der fast.

I lørdags holdt de høstdag, og fordi alle lamperne lyste rødt, tog jeg derhen.

Stedet summede af aktivitet, og på programmet var gammeldags landsbrugsmaskiner, som arbejdede hårdt i markerne. Jeg voksede op på landet i det nordlige Skotland blandt gamle husmandstyper, og at se de mennesker, der arbejdede sammen i markerne ved høsten, fik mig til at føle hjemve — selv om der ikke var nogen regn.

Til trods for vrimlen af gæster var der stadigvæk mange steder, hvor man kunne finde fred og ro. Det var ganske behageligt at sidde alene og forundres over liljerne i det fantastiske augustsolskin, eller når solskinnet blev alt for meget at opsøge et skyggefuldt hjørne.

Jeg er et nysgerrigt menneske. Da min indre ro blev genetableret, tilbragte jeg et stykke tid med at snuse i de forskellige huse og kikke på alle nipstingerne og stirre på spisekamre og skabe.

Den allerbedste ting i DFL er dog dyrene — og hestene specifikt. De har 3 generationer Frederiksborgheste: mormor, mor og datter. Det er en race, som jeg aldrig havde hørt om, før jeg flyttede til Danmark. Den er meget gammel og meget smuk.

Ud over Frederiksborgerne har de en dejlig Belgier, som er bare den sødeste.

Imellem alle traktorerne var det fantastisk at se den rigtig gammeldags måde at gøre tingene på.

Dagen kulminerede i hjemtageningen af høsten. Som det  traditionelt er på det sidste læs, sad der en dukke, som var lavet af korn (høstkællingen). En lokal mand dansede med dukken, og bagefter fik alle sammen noget at spise og drikke. Da vi er i Danmark, var der selvfølgelig sang, men fordi vi allerede havde fået en lille smule snaps, blev den udført med veloplagthed.

Så derfor, med mine batterier fuldstændigt genopladede, cyklede jeg hjem langs åen i det gyldne sommersolskin. Da jeg endelig kom hjem, var jeg sandsynligvis den mest afklarede skotte i Danmark.

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3 Responses to “The Funen Village”

  1. Anne-Grethe Jepsen August 21, 2012 at 7:46 am #

    dejligt at læse om det sted, vi allesammen holder så meget af.

    Like

  2. Sheena Gordon August 16, 2012 at 11:34 pm #

    Love this blog!

    Like

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