Depending on whom you ask, a new law is either intended to preserve Danish heritage or to be a slight to religious minorities. Regardless: If you love pork, Randers, Denmark, may be your new favorite city.
Earlier this week, the council in the city of about 60,000 people narrowly approved a new rule that makes it mandatory for municipal menus at places like schools and daycare centers to serve pork. According to the Associated Press, pork is the most popular meat in Denmark and continuing to recognize that tradition was the reason behind the decision, with council member Frank Noergaard declaring that pork is “a central part of Denmark's food culture.”
However, with anti-Islamic sentiment on the rise throughout Europe, opponents of the regulation believe it sends a different message. Surprisingly, though Noergaard said the measure wasn’t intended as “harassment of Muslims,” he did admit that it was directed at followers of the religion. “The signal we want to send here is that if you're a Muslim and you plan to come to Randers, don't expect you can impose eating habits on others,” he told the AP. For the record, however, he also said that halal meats and vegetarian options would still be available too.
Regardless of the intentions (though they appear to be quite obvious and offensive), making any specific food mandatory strictly for cultural reasons seems a bit odd. No matter how American apple pie is, you’d probably find it weird if the government forced schools to serve it up with lunches every single day.
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