Standing Out In Denmark: Discovering the Jante Law

#LawOfJante #Denmark

Our House in Aarhus

One of the biggest differences between Denmark and the US is also the most subtle. You won’t notice it right away, but it will start to sneak up on you as you begin your job, talk to your new Danish friends and coworkers, or send your child to daycare or school. This difference has a name: janteloven, the Law of Jante (or, more succinctly, the Jante Law).

Janteloven was created by Danish-Norwegian author Aksel Sandemose in 1933 in his novel A Fugitive Crosses His Tracks (En flyktning krysser sitt spor). {{Side note: I find it so incredibly fascinating that something with this much cultural influence came from a novel. Ah, the power of literature.}} The novel is about a small Danish town called Jante which abides by these 10 – rather harsh – laws:

  1. You’re not to think you are anything special.
  2. You’re not to think 

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