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One-hour observation at Hovedbanegård.

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Social Anthropology

One-hour observation at Hovedbanegård. September 14th, 2002.

I arrive at the station at around 12.05 and my first glimpse of the station is the main entrance, next to the bus stops. Before actually going into the building itself, I decide to observe a group of people sitting on cases of beer. For the most, they are dressed very much alike; leather vests, old trousers, badges stuck to their shirts, etc. I’m not sure, but they resemble what Danish people call “Landavejsrider” or “Knights of the road” and are normally characterised by heavy drinking and being surrounded by “junk”, like in this case they had a baby stroller and dozens of ornaments decorated it. Except for one man, who appeared to come from Greenland, they were all Danish. Blonde and blue eyed.

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Not much conversation is exchanged until one gets up and mutters something to the rest of them. I imagine he says “I’m going after more beer” as after 10 minutes he returns with yet another crate of beer. From which they continue to drink even more beer, as well as the occasional cigarette. Stimulating activity for a Saturday afternoon. While they were waiting for him, a man with a long, greyish, beard stands up and starts asking random passer-by’ers for money. For the most, people ignored him but there were a few who gave him a few coins. He must’ve gotten tired of standing up as he sat down again and simply just asked people for money.

The six

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Personally I don’t believe they purposely chose to live this way and that some forces, whether lack of education, lack of effort or just bad luck, played with their fate. Or maybe it’s just they way they chose to live, to make a culture outside of the mainstream Danish culture, much like the “free-state” Christiania.

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