Monday, 1 February 2010
The Jante Warrior
In the paper today, it was reported that Nordmaling local authority in the north of Sweden is starting a project to deal with 'Jantelagen'.
'Jantelag' is something similar to tall poppy syndrome in the UK. It's a behaviour where members of a society oppress each other with negative attitudes such as 'don't think you're important - because you're not', and 'he's too big for his boots'.
This kind of behaviour isn't specific to the north of Sweden, or Sweden in particular, but is quite common in small, closely-knit societies where the values of the collective outweigh the freedoms of the individual.
It seems like Nordmaling has received 600 000 sek from the EU to investigate this problem. They're going to hire a project leader and call them a 'Jante warrior'. This warrior will work for 1 year with children, business people and students with a variety of activities such as stand-up comedy, theatre, discussion fora. The aim is to raise awareness for the harmful effect that Jantelagen has on the development of the region and the individual residents.
Seriously, who the hell does Nordmaling council they think they are?