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As the temperature starts to drop and the classwork starts to ramp up here in Denmark, my schedule has been crazier than ever.

As everyone is now adjusted to DIS and to life in Copenhagen, my calendar only has a few open days for relaxation or exploration.

Here are some of the highlights from this month!

Bat Tour

Ever since I first looked at my schedule for the semester and saw “Bat Tour” on my agenda, I’ve been wondering what that means. As it turns out, my Urban Ecology professor, Inger, spends most of her free time researching bat populations in the city and wanted to take us along one night on her tour!

Inger in her natural habitat!

We met up at a park in the city at dusk and tracked bats using devices that amplified the sounds of the bats, so we could find the trees that are used as roosts. Here’s a picture of the kinds of trees we were looking at:

We were hoping to see a whole colony of bats leaving their roost, but ended up only seeing some flying alone, which was still very interesting as we were right in the middle of Copenhagen.

Guest Lecturer: Trine Vig

In my Politics and Ethics of Food Class, a woman named Trine Vig came in and spoke to us about the pig industry in Denmark. Compared to the 5.7 million people living in Denmark, there are about 30 million pigs, playing a massive role in the country’s economy.

She showed us what our professor called was the “5-star hotel” of pig production, which was very eye-opening for a myriad of reasons. Keeping in mind that this method of production is much better than average production around the world, check out some of the factors that this involves:

  • The sows get a week (maximum) between giving birth and becoming pregnant again through artificial insemination.
  • The pigs rarely see the light of day.
  • While the sows are pregnant, they are in a corral with 17 other pregnant pigs for the duration of their pregnancies.
  • The stalls in which the pigs grow up were compared by one of my classmates to solitary confinement in prison.

For me, it was frustrating to learn about this “welfare-focused” means of production, as I still do not believe that it provides the animals with a positive life before they are slaughtered for human consumption. But, it is important to keep in mind that one of Denmark’s main exports is pork meat and live pigs, so the production cannot necessarily be as “welfare-focused” as I wish it could be.

Nevertheless, it was very interesting to learn about this part of Denmark that is unknown to many and it inspired me to look into American production of meat that we find in our local grocery stores.

Meeting my cousin’s baby!

About 7 months ago, one of my cousins, who lives in Australia, had a beautiful baby girl! This month, I finally got to meet her:

Meet Baby Eva!

It was so wonderful to meet her and spend some time with my cousins, as I rarely get to see them. It was also a nice break from school, as it pulled me back to my family, whom I love so dearly!

Seminar: “The Reformist”

With my friends from my Muslims in the West class, I went to a seminar on the film “The Reformist” one evening. This film follows the making of the Mariam Mosque, which was the first and only all-female mosque in Denmark. It is a brave concept, as in Islam, many do not believe that women can be imams, which is a factor of an all-female mosque. Sherin Khankan, the founder and imam of the Mariam Mosque, dealt with endless criticism throughout the process of establishing the mosque, whether it was about having a woman as the imam or about her performing inter-faith marriages, but pushed through so the Mariam Mosque still exists today, even if others gave up on it.

After viewing a private screening of “The Reformist”, we met the maker of the film and a PhD student, both of whom knew a lot about the Islamic faith. We were able to ask them questions about the mosque, Sherin, Islam and the film, which was a really unique opportunity.

A Trip to PP Møbler

With my New Nordic Design class, I visited PP Møbler‘s workshop and got to see how some of the most revered furniture in Denmark is made.

We went on a tour through the showroom and the workshop, seeing the incredible amount of detail that goes into chairs that are good enough for the Queen (literally).

A stack of (partially-made) chairs for Queen Margrethe of Denmark!

After visiting the workshop, I understand why some of the furniture is so expensive. Every piece is handcrafted with the finest wood and detail and is focused on comfort. While this may sound like an advertisement for PP Møbler, it’s really just me speaking into existence that I will own a piece of their furniture one day…maybe.

The Peacock Chair…worth $10,000

This is just an idea of some of the bigger events that I was a part of in the last half of September! While it’s absolutely exhausting, I am having so much fun and am so excited for what I have planned for the rest of the semester!

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