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Cinnamon-coated millennials and the Danish party frock

Millennials, snowflakes, the "youth of today". Call them what disparaging term you wish but the underlying truth is young people are being given a disproportionately hard time of it.

Perhaps no more so than any other younger generation coming up before them - there will always be the pervasive idea that how the elders did things, how they behaved, was the right, the only, way. But what is different for the young people who are growing up now compared to those who have gone before, is the very bottom of what has kept past generations rooted to the earth has been pulled out from underneath them.

The ability to earn a steady, reliable and sufficient wage, the opportunity to buy a permanent roof to put over their heads, the chance to purchase the little fripperies and delights which ease the toil of their daily lives.

These aspects of life which past generations have enjoyed guilt free, are now being picked up and used to beat young people around the head with. The little comfort this reporter can give to young people living in the UK is at least they are not having to live out the cinnamon-coated hell of their Danish counterparts.

Step out onto a street in Denmark and you will be confronted with what appears to be a gingerbread man autopsy. A sea of spices, egg yokes and flour litter the pavement. However, the event which has gone before is not the ultimate in Great British Bake Off food fights but an ancient Danish ritual that sees young, unmarried people on their 25th birthday doused with cinnamon.

Their family and friends may even drench them with water first so the cinnamon really sticks or combine the spice with egg white. On their 30th birthday, if they are still single, the cinnamon gets upgraded to pepper.

"Why" would be the most reasonable question at this juncture. And apparently it harks back to hundreds of years ago when spice salesmen would travel around selling their wares and because of the nature of their jobs, would find it impossible to settle down and get married.

As a result, they would be referred to as "Pebersuends", which translates to mean "pepper men", whilst a single woman would be referred to as a "Pebermo" or "pepper maiden".

But never fear, the Danish are not judging young people for being unmarried apparently. The average age of men getting married in Denmark is 34 and for women it's 32. The cinnamon dousing is not seen as punishment but rather an excuse to play a prank with their friends when they reach milestone ages.

This reporter doesn't know why they don't settle for the Hydrogen dress by Cecilie Copenhagen instead. This dress, inspired by the original scarves Danish designer Cecilie Jorgensen first used to create her signature designs, is perfect for any birthday celebration. But take a coating of cinnamon instead if you like.


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