This is the question I asked when LEGO was first introduced to me. It was sometime during the November 2009 (2,5 months after I landed Denmark). Me along with my Danish friend Jonas were planning a Summer Course under the banner of BEST (Board of European Students of Technology), Copenhagen. I was just going through the details of one of the previous course which was titled as, ‘LEGO: Do not mind the storm’. I have never heard of anything like this before.
When my friend told me that it was all about LEGO Mindstorm, I simply asked, ‘Lego Mindstorms: Is that a new movie series on the line of Star Wars?’ Many of the people who heard this were either laughing or smiling while looking at me. One of them asked me, ‘You dont know Lego Robotos?’ I said, ‘NO’. They thought I am joking so they again asked me at least 4 times before the final one, ‘Seriously you dont know about Lego Robotos, you did not play with them?’ Well, I just said that I have never heard of them before coming here. Later my friends have displayed some information related to it on Google Images and some videos on Youtube.
I will not ask such questions now after living 2 years here but may be that time it was quite obvious. Later, during my research I realized that it is very common (especially in Europe) as well as some countries outside Europe to use these toys as a medium of play, learning, education during childhood. But I never heard of it anytime in India. May be it is my fault 🙂 or maybe not.
Frankly speaking, I come from a small town in India. I spend most of the time playing outdoor games. As far as I know, LEGO might be a well-respected name here but it is directly not present in India (yet) and even if they are present then I never heard of them. May be they are present in big cities. But this just gave me a reason to investigate more on what can be the reasons behind its creation.
It is very simple and natural. Denmark is one of the countries which experiences extreme weather most of the time. It is no common that people, especially children spent most of the time inside. I observed the severe weather conditions myself during a visit to Western Part of Denmark (it is known as Jutland). It is quite common that under such conditions, children get intuitive to LEGO Robots, which initially were made more than 50 years before. Those were the days when there were no computer games to pass the time or video games to entertain. I think if I would be in this situation, I would have been addicted to LEGO too. Talking about my childhood, my place has sun most of the time of year offering plenty of opportunity to stay outdoor (of course not during the hot summer). So that is quite a normal reason that may be things like LEGO were not there (or may be in big cities) during my childhood. May be they are present now.
So if you are coming from a place where such things are not present, then you might be the one telling such stories to others in Denmark.