Can a Danish 9. grade pass a Chinese exam? Can the Chinese solve a Danish exam? In a TV-experiment that has been aired in four installments the past weeks on Danish television channel DR1, we follow a Chinese and a Danish 9. grade and their schooling in order to create an insight in what Denmark and Scandinavian countries in general are competing with.
One of the things the documentary focuses on is sexual education and it seems that there are big cultural differences in how sex is viewed by Danes and the Chinese. During the taping of the documentary authorities were summoned when the TV-crew wanted to ask the question “what is contraception?”
“A person from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was summoned because the question was too controversial. For us it is pretty basic but the school was probably a bit concerned that the question might have been too controversial,” says Lisbeth Dilling from DR.
However, the decision was not to censor the TV-crew and the students answered the question. Most of the students knew very little of contraception because they had received no education in the subject.
”Many Chinese wait till university before they start dating. The mother of one of the students said that she had talked to her daughter about contraception. When it comes to dating she was hoping that her daughter did not bring home a boyfriend till she was 30,” Lisbeth Dilling said.
In general it seems that the Danes have a more liberal attitude when it comes to this area. In a creativity test created with Christian Byrge from the University of Aalborg who does research in creativity, the students were handed to half circles that theyhad to use as part of a drawing and the difference in ideas was big.
“I was surprised that there was a group of ideas in the Danish drawings that were not created in the Chinese. Mainly about anatomic things like penises, breasts, bums and semen,” Christian Byrge explains.
If he had to guess why the Danish youths drew body parts he thinks it might be connected to the Danish culture where sex is not that kind of taboo.
“Maybe Denmark is more liberal, which is why we can have these ideas. Maybe the students from China just have another focus,” Christian Byrge adds.