JOPOL 3(2020)

The Danish Survival Manual in the Wilderness

The Danish language and the hybrid rituals of Danish-Argentine culture have been maintained in Argentina some 175 years after the arrival of the first Danish settlers. The motivation for this maintenance cannot only be attributed to the migrants’ effort of preserving their original identity even in the new country. It also seems to reflect a specific form of self-esteem and belief in the Danish (unlike the Argentine) efficiency and work productivity. Yet,when the migrants eventually revisited Denmark, it appeared to them to be ineffective and alien, which prompted them to reformulate their hybrid identity once more.Based on a primary study of literary production among the Danish immigrant community in Argentina and using theoretical tools from postcolonial studies, the article discusses the process of formulating one’s identity during the migration and integration process, in this specific case,when the migrants feel spiritually and morally superior to the majority society they are expected to integrate into.

Key words: Migration, Denmark,Argentina, linguistic vitality, (ethnic) institutions, literature as a contact zone, hybridity, identity