Absalon: Copenhagen Community House

Photo Aug 01, 4 50 51 PM

At a first glance, you would not expect that this old church was reconstructed into such a modern and unique concept.  Absalon is a self-proclaimed “community house” where you can meet locals in new and interesting ways.  Some of the activities and events that take place in Absalon include ping pong tournaments, yoga classes, bingo, backgammon, friday parties  and so much more.  Throughout my summer in Copenhagen, I have gone to this place, so many times!

Photo Aug 01, 4 48 53 PM

My Absalon Experiences

1. Skam Party

For those of you who have not watched Skam, it is a Norwegian tv show that is huge in Scandinavia.  Skam is made up of four seasons, and each season follows a different character from a group of friends in high school.  With so much drama and love interests, Skam is such an addicting series.  Mads found all the episodes in English, so for a few weeks, we watched an episode every night!

It was through Skam that we actually found Absalon.  Mads found Absalon’s “Skam Party” event on facebook, and since we were obsessed with the show, we decided to show up and see what it was all about!  First, we shared dinner (I’ll get more to Absalon’s community dinners later), and the food that was served to us was food that was eaten on the show.  Next, we heard some poems in Norwegian.  Mads and our other friends that were there who were Danish could understand about half of the poems, since some words are similar in Danish and Norwegian, but I understood absolutely nothing haha.  It was still cool to hear! 🙂

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After that, we participated in Skam Bingo.  It was really, really difficult.  We heard lines from the show, and had to match it with a character from our bingo boards.  I’m used to reading the lines as subtitles in English, so I was doomed from the beginning.  For the people that tied in bingo, there was a tie-breaker game which consisted of throwing a sock into a lampshade when Snoop Dogg sings, “Smoke weed everyday” (if you don’t watch Skam, you won’t get this reference).  It was a really funny game, but of course, I didn’t win anything. 😦

After bingo, we all sat and talked for a while.  Eventually, they started moving tables around, and Absalon turned into a club!  They started playing music that was played on the show, and people got up and started dancing.  It was such a fun night.  Here are some more slightly blurry pictures from the Skam Party.

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After dinner, Absalon turned into a Skam club!

2. Ping Pong Tournament

I found this event when I was researching things to do for when our friends from Germany, Susi and Felix, came to visit us in Copenhagen.  Absalon’s ping pong tournament seemed like the perfect event, because we’ve played a lot of ping pong together on our kitchen table back when we all shared an apartment.  The ping pong tournaments happen every Monday after dinner, and by the description, the event seemed like a friendly, noncompetitive, low skill level tournament that anyone could join.  Boy, was I way off!  Ok, so, it is true that everyone can join, buuut unless you practice ping pong everyday of your life, you have no chance.  The people in the tournament are practically professional!  When we arrived, we played board games until the start of the tournament.  While we were playing games, people were very serious about practicing for this tournament.  At first, it was pretty daunting, but we all gave it our best shot and had fun!  I didn’t win, but I made at least one point in every game!

Ping_pong_tournamentAbsalon_gamesAbsalon_ping_pong

3. Øl og Opera (Beer and Opera)

This was a special event that occurred three times over this summer.  I am not sure if “Øl og Opera” happens every summer, or just this year, but it’s definitely something to check out.  Mads and I had seen Opera before, and we saw this event and thought it would be fun, so for our anniversary, I surprised him with tickets!  Øl og Opera is exactly how it sounds.  We drank beer and watched an opera performance.  The performance lasted one hour, and it was sung in Italian, but the actors were so theatrical that I could definitely follow the story line without having to know what they were singing.  Also, before the performance started, a little synopsis was given to us about the opera so that no one was totally lost on what was happening.  It was a really interesting to watch, and even better with a good beer from the bar!

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Unfortunately, I have no pictures of the Opera to commemorate the night. 😦

4. Community Dinners

This is definitely the event that we go to most often.  Almost every night, dinner is served at Absalon.  The doors open at 5 pm, and the food is served at 6 pm.  This is a very different dining experience then anything that I’ve ever experienced before.  The tables are lined in long rows, so that everyone can sit together and share the food.

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Each of the colorful tables seat 8.  Unless you are in a group of 8, you are sat next to people that you may not know, so that you can meet someone knew from the community.  At 6 pm, two people from each table go to retrieve the platters of food.  The plates and bowls are then passed around each table so that everyone can get a serving.  Eating dinner in this style is so cozy, and the food is always so good! You can buy a dinner ticket for just 50 Kr (~$7-8)!

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Things I Want to Try:

1. Bingo-Banko

Every Thursday, Absalon holds bingo!  I’ve always thought of bingo as a game for either the really young or really old, but at Absalon, it’s for all ages.  It has been so long since I’ve played bingo, I think sometime soon I should give it another go!

2. Pin Up Fit

Absalon has some really cool exercise classes.  One of my friends once showed me this class, and it just seems like a blast.  This class teaches you very unique exercises like the hip-shimmy and the bump n’ grind.  You spend an hour tightening your whole body, and you even learn some classic pin up poses on the way.  What more could I want??

3. Loppemarked (Flea Market)

I always love going to these types of events and seeing what little trinkets and vintage pieces people are selling.  Every once in a while, I see that Absalon is holding a flea market, and I always want to go, but I always have plans set already.  One day, I will go check this out!

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For more information:

Absalon Website


5 Happy Things

  1. I got to Skype one of my best friends who lives in Sweden, and it was sooooo nice to see him again!
  2. I was happy when Mads accidentally brought the laundry key with him to work, because then I didn’t have to do the laundry by myself hehe.  We did it together after dinner.
  3. I was sooo happy when I got my food at Absalon, because I was so hungry, and it was just so delicious!
  4. I was happy that Mads’ sisters came to dinner with us, because then I got to see them before I left to the US.
  5. At the end of the night, Mads and I talked about how we changed each other for the better, and that made me really, really happy.
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