Jante Law

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Country Flag Japan

Date Shared: 8 September 2014

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Jante Law was created by Danish Norwegian author Aksei Sandemose in 1933 in a famous novel he wrote.   It is claimed that in writing these laws Sandemose was inspired by a belief that existed in ancient Norse culture .  This belief was the simple idea that to ensure happiness one should be cautious and humble.  His novel is a story about a narrow minded town called Jante who adhere to these laws. In his book the 10 Jante laws   ensure harmony and stability in the town.  Ironically this book was a criticism of small town life so it is interesting how Jante Law became the way of defining a cultural norm in Scandinavian society.  The 10 laws can be boiled down to one sentiment : you are no better than anyone else here. In Denmark today, Danes value equality and community above all else.  Democracy plays a very important part in Danish history like in America but they chose the  idea of "equality"  over the idea of "individual ifreedom". The Jante law influences much of Danish education.  There's no elite eduaction.  If your child is better than the others at a certain subject his job is the help the students who are not so good.  There is no competition in Danish education  as children     work in groups and there is no standardarized tests until students are 16 years old.We find the same idea in education in Finland.Another aspect of Danish life where we can see Jante Law's influence is that in Danish society there are no titles used like Mr. or Dr. or Prof.  Even the Prime Minister has no title.  People speak to each other in a very informal way and only in the case of the Queen is a polite form of 'you' used.

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8 September 2014

kathleenume Author Country Flag Japan

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