Keeping kosher or not keeping kosher in contemporary Denmark

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Abstract

The Hebrew term kosher means ‘fit’ or ‘proper’ and it traditionally signifies foods that conform to Jewish dietary law (kashrut). This article explores how kosher is understood, practised and contested in contemporary Denmark. In recent years, the rules regulating kosher consumption have been supplemented by elaborate rules concerning globalised mass production, which have had an impact on the way people handle questions of kashrut. During the same period, global markets for kosher have proliferated; this article explores the everyday kosher consumption among Jews in Denmark in the light of these transformations. Everyday kosher consumption among a minority group such as Jews in Denmark is not well understood, and I argue that globalised forms of regulation increasingly condition this type of consumption. Even though Denmark is a small and relatively secular country and Jews comprise only about 7,000 individuals, kosher production and regulation have national economic significance. Methodologically, I build on ethnographic data from contemporary Denmark, that is, participant observation and interviews.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNordisk Judaistik
Volume30
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)46-61
Number of pages16
ISSN0348-1646
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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