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Friday, June 2, 2023

Experience life through someone else’s eyes: Denmark’s ‘Human library’ let’s you borrow a person

I’m not even sure if people are still doing the library thing, but, in Denmark they have something called the human library.

No, the books are not made out of human flesh and guts and it’s not as creepy as it sounds.

The idea is to have someone tell you the story from a book of your choice. The ‘human’ books share their experience, and perhaps even challenge the propaganda being fed through various media reports.

According to reports the concept behind it is to embrace the old way of knowledge sharing, through storytelling.

The human library, also known as the living library is according to the ‘Times of India’, a place where: ‘’People get to loan humans, instead of books, where ‘humans’ are referred to as the ‘books,’ and re-borrowed by readers, who are free to ask whatever question they want in order to better understand about the other person and to challenge their own prejudices.’’

A Denmark international not-for-profit organisation had been pushing to normalise the Human Library since the 2000s.


The human library

♬ Cornfield Chase – Hans Zimmer

At this library, visitors can select a book, or a person, and borrow them for 30 min. There are a variety of titles, for example, OCD, PTSD, Misophonia, Victim of Incest, Sexually Abused, Rare Handicap, High IQ, Recovered Alcoholic, Bullied, and much more.

Additionally, you get the chance to listen to the person’s story, and ask them any questions you’d like. The official website explains that the library is meant to be a safe space for dialogue; encouraging you to ask everything you want to know.

The living library aims to educate people on stigmatisation and discrimination, offering individuals the chance to let go of judgement and accept one another.

Apart from Finland being the happiest country in the world, Denmark is also considered one of the happy-go-lucky countries globally.

The country is known for its wide range of interesting myths, legends and stories.These include stunning views, clean air and beaches, culture and most importantly, immense quality of life.

While the economy is doing much better than most others, having a fancy job is not the most important thing for the Danish.

According to a ‘sandification’ report: ‘’The workers in Denmark put in the second-fewest hours globally, with an average of around 33 hours a week full-time, and fantastic holiday funds.

Read the latest issue of IOL Travel digital magazine here.


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