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The law of Jante

This is not a written law or rule at any case, but a law from a literary work by the danish author Sandemose. I have not read the book, and I don’t know what it is about, but mostly everyone in Norway knows about it.

I think it is important for as a reader of my blog to know about this in order to understand how I think and how my life is. This law is, as I said, not a written rule, but it is highly integrated into the Norwegian culture and way of thinking.

The law goes as follows:

  1. You’re not to think you are anything special.
  2. You’re not to think you are as good as us.
  3. You’re not to think you are smarter than us.
  4. You’re not to convince yourself that you are better than us.
  5. You’re not to think you know more than us.
  6. You’re not to think you are more important than us.
  7. You’re not to think you are good at anything.
  8. You’re not to laugh at us.
  9. You’re not to think anyone cares about you.
  10. You’re not to think you can teach us anything.

Especially the first one is very much used in Norway. We don’t recite it expect in media to show how horrible it is, but in Norway you’re simply not to think you are anything special. You are not to stand out, or think diffirently. This is expacially a problem among the younger population and my generation.

Therefore, I have never really fitted in because I play the violin, listen to 70s’ rock and danced ballet when I was younger. I also wore a lot of skirts and dresses when I was a kid, and that was also wrong, apparently.


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