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Sometimes it takes an outsiders perspective to make you realize what you got, and who you are. Take the city of Aarhus as an example – the birthplace of Kaospilot and home to our Danish school. Some locals can often be rough to their own home-turf and call it provincial, (too) small, out of touch and even sleepy. Aarhus does have a feeling of waking up these days after some years of slumber. The city used to struggle a bit with letting go of an image as a cultural dynamo of the 80’s beaten severely by the fast-growing big-brother, Copenhagen, in the race to be the “hippest” place in Denmark. Copenhagen is cool but Aarhus can easily hold its own.

 

 

The title of cultural capital coming up in 2017 has given a boost to the cultural sector and the city developments are apparently so fresh and dynamic that the acclaimed Dutch magazine “Mark” took serious notice in its latest edition. To many of our foreign guest-lectures the qualities of the place is very obvious. They often comment on their love of the tight and cozy city-center, the clean (to their standards) streets and the friendly and secure vibe they get from the citizens.

 

 

Kaospilot Team 20’s Daniel Christiansen definitely agrees. His name might sound as danish as “smørrebrød” but in fact he grew up down south near the sunny beaches of Australia rather than in the cool climate of the north. There is however a logical explanation to the Scandinavian roots of his name: ”My connection to the city of Aarhus is a very strong one I guess. Its a cool way of tying this whole life-story in; Actually all my family is from Aarhus. My mum and dad are high-school sweethearts from the town of Åbyhøj just outside of Aarhus. So both side of my family is born and breed “Aarhusianere”.  My parents got the travel-bug but choose to settle in Australia where they got me, so that is where I grew up. But it has been an incredible opportunity to go here – not only do I get to study at one of the greatest schools ,I think, in the world, but I also get back in touch with my family-roots.”
Even though he hasn’t been here long Daniel has a sharp eye for the qualities of the home of his ancestors: “I was super excited to move to Aarhus. I guess it was a bit hard at first, but since I moved here I have come to love the city. Its a very creative city. It got the benefits of a small cozy town, but also the benefits of a large city in terms of events and social life  – the chance to do a lot of the things you want to do.”
When asked to point out something he finds striking about the place he is fast to answer:
”There is a strong initiative to do things here – if you have an idea it is very easy to get support for it – at least amongst your peers and the people within the city – its a very free-spirited city”. And he is not alone with this perception:

 

 

“I had a lot of friends that also travelled through Europe from Australia and they couch-surfed at my place, and actually everyone of them has said that Aarhus is like one of the best cities in Europe, because it hasn’t got the intensity of a huge tourist-city where its just like a “come-and-go” kind of thing,  but you still got this international flair here thanks to all the students.”

 

 

All in all Daniel is truly happy about his newfound base – to such an extend that he has taken up a tradition that is often associated with the tough vikings that used to rule the area. When asked what special place he always has to show visitors from back home he mentions something that must be literally very cool to an Australian:
“My secret spot would properly be the winter-bathing place at “Den Permanente”. It is something that you don’t experience in sunny Australia. Its definitely an experience.”