THE LAW OF JANTE. I recently came across the Law of Jante. Apparently there are ten rules which make up the Law of Jante. The rules were formulated by a Danish/Norwegian novelist in a 1933 novel. “Jante” is the name of the small Danish town that is portrayed in the novel. This wikipedia entry says that: “The Law of Jante” is “…generally used colloquially in Denmark and the rest of the Nordic countries as a sociological term to negatively describe a condescending attitude towards individuality and success….” Here are the ten rules:
1. You’re not to think you are anything special.
2. You’re not to think you are as good as we are.
3. You’re not to think you are smarter than we are.
4. You’re not to convince yourself that you are better than we are.
5. You’re not to think you know more than we do.
6. You’re not to think you are more important than we are.
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.
The novel also sets out an 11th rule which comprises the “penal code of Jante”:
“11. Perhaps you don’t think we know a few things about you?”