The hallowed halls of provincial gymnastics
The Vingstedcenteret complex outside Vejle houses the headquarters of DGI - the Danish Gymnastics and Sports Associations. The complex contains conference halls to seat 800, plenary meeting rooms for up to 300 participants, 30 meeting and group rooms, 163 accommodation…
Gymnastics for rural emancipation
In the country, gymnastics were prominent in the movement for spiritual and national enlightenment led by the clergyman and educational ideologist N.F.S. Grundtvig in circa 1900. Gymnastics were held to rouse intense enthusiasm and a spirit of human fellowship, which were promoted not least at gymnastics displays. At these events, men's and women's teams sang patriotic songs during their entry and exit march in a procession led by a gymnast bearing a large Danish flag. This form of gymnastics is referred to as Lingian or Swedish gymnastics after the Swede Pehr Henrik Ling (1776-1839). From the 1880s, Danish farmers began to challenge the image of the 'humble peasant'. The white-clad gymnast, standing tall so the light would fall upon him, came to symbolise all the assertive countrymen who were making the transition from peasantry to cooperative movement and parliamentarianism.
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