By Swedish Lad - whimsical intro to JL in Sweden
Amanda learns about one of the aspects of Danish and Scandinavian society - Jante Law on her voyage. On this page we are going to explore more in-depth on what is Jante Law.
|Janteloven||Jantelagen||Janteloven / Jantelova||Janten laki||Jantulógin|
Jante Law for non-Scandinavians is often hard to understand. Namely, why would a culture adopt such a mode of thinking. If you have already read Quiet Freedom, perhaps you already understand how Jante Law has helped make the Scandinavian countries who they are - for better or worse. Many non-Scandinavians don't understand why Jante Law (or anything similar to it) could be a "positive influence." Even some Scandinavians dislike Jante Law.
10 Swedish Words - A whimsical introduction to Jante Law in Sweden.
MyDenmarkTV - If you want a perspective from some native Danes, here it is!
These views are useful as sometimes when you grow up with an idea, we don't think about it much (Or in different ways) until someone points it out to you. It is similar to how a new employee at a company may notice a better, perhaps obvious, way of doing things while the current employees don't because they are so used to do something an existing way.
It is important to keep in mind that Jante Law is only the codified / written interpretation of what was pre-existing behavior / disposition in Denmark when the observation was made by an author, Aksel Sandemose, for his 1936 book called - A Fugitive Crosses His Tracks. Below are links with more perspectives on Jante Law in Scandinavia / Nordic nations.
Law of Jante (Paris Review)
How a Swedish Cultural Principle drives Ikea, Ericsson, Volvo (International Business Times)
Lagom and Jante Law
Many Scandinavians emigrated to America in earlier times, they brought their culture with them - including Jante Law. In one state where there is a strong Scandinavian heritage, it has been referred to as - Minnesota Nice. Learn more below. If you know of any other examples or wish to add something, please let us know.Jante Law and Minnesota's Hostility to the Cult of Celebrity (Minnesota Post) --- Minnesota Nice (Wikipedia)
The Tall Poppy Syndrome which is prevalent in Australia and New Zealand is different but similar. It is not codified as a set of statements, but rather a cultural behavior one must notice. It is interesting to note that Australia and New Zealand are often near the top of the happiness lists too - and they both have a culture which is similar to that which came to be codified as Jante Law. See the pattern?