Denmark on the Prairie

Located in Iowa, USA, the town of Elk Horn houses a small society of 662 people. Unlike any other city or town in USA, however, Elk Horn prides themselves in being some of the last remnants of Danish descendents in America.

Honouring their ancestral past, the entire towns inhabitants tend to lead a Danish cultural way of life. This way of living entails eating Danish food, doing Danish festivities and even going as far as talking pure Danish to each other.

Although their strong heritage and traditions have roots in Danish culture, Elk Horn is still situated in USA. Because of this, both cultures have become mixed along the years.

The roots of Danish traditions, Danish food are Danish language are all very evident in Elk Horn. The Danish and American flags wave in the wind on the streets and Danish food like medisterpølse and æbleskiver are a stable food in the town.

Yet, you can still hear the heavy accent of American English in the Danish language being spoken. Furthermore, the values of a heavy American patriotism is cultivated and inserted into that of being Danish – something seen less extravagantly in Denmark.

To investigate Elk Horn’s culture and their inhabitants, a Danish documentary crew sets out to understand more about the town and their history.

Since the Documentary aired

Since the documentary aired in 2013, Elk Horn Danes were surprised at the attention the film gave them. Some of the locals and the mayor were flown out to Denmark as it premiered and were interviewed by several of the countries biggest media.

Denmark on the Prairie proved to be a very entertaining film for Danish citizens. This was mostly due to the surprise that Elk Horn even existed, how proud they were of their heritage and how Elk Horn Danes worked to save their age old world traditions.

To celebrate the popularity of the documentary, the filmmakers decided to follow up Denmark on the Prairie with a sequel: Denmark on the Prairie – Back to Elk Horn.

Denmark on the Prairie
  • Info
  • Release date2013
  • Full runtime
  • Director(s)Anders Birch, Jakob Vølver
  • Also known asDanmark på Prærien
  • Production companyDR 1