The Law of Jante - Nykøbing Mors

Kai Bonsaksen | Live the World

November 23, 2022

The law of Jante is notorious throughout Scandinavia. Denmark is also known for ''Hygge'' which means to make things cosy and has a more dark concept that is lightly appreciated by the folks in the country of red hot dogs and a great social system. Let's get to the origin place of the law and find out how the town is doing today.

During your trip throughout Denmark, make sure to check out the Northmost point called Grenen, the Aalborg Carnival, and how Søren Kierkegaard viewed Copenhagen

The Meaning of the law

You are not encouraged to be extraordinary and should not be above anyone else. The law is presenting the Scandinavian capacity to push others down and the existing evil within. The law was presented in Aksel Sandemose's book ''A refugee crosses his track''.

Aksel Sandemose wrote the Jante law and says Jante and Nykøbing are the same city. When it comes to the people, he says Jante might as well be the Norwegian towns of Arendal, Kristiansund, Tromsø and the Danish town Viborg. The mentality of the people of not encouraging yourself or others to stand out and being exceptional is the same in these cities, he claims.

Picture © Credits to Wikipedia/Hubertus4555

The law goes like this:

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 imagine yourself 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 law is showing how the town where the main character lives is tyrannical and is pushing down the individual. Aksel Sandemose wrote the book describing his hometown. A similar tale is Harrison Bergeron by Knut Vonnegut about equalizing people's abilities by pushing down the talented

The 11th rule comes later in the book and it goes like this:

11. You may think I don't know anything about you?

Egalitarianism and other sweets

Even though the rules seem pretty harsh it must be noted how they shape Scandinavian egalitarianism. The Scandinavian way is to sugar coat the rude and unacceptable statements and explain how it helps the community to follow them. Aksel Sandemose is more straightforward in his satirical book.

Picture © Credits to Wikipedia/JoostJBakker

Nykøbing Mors

The city stands like it is today because of the amazing opportunities for harvesting, fishing, and the ships that were here. The island is in the ideal spot for that and has existed at least since 1299. Throughout the city, I found these peculiar sculptures that were really attention-grabbing. The sculptures are often inspired by Janteloven (The Law of Jante) itself.

Nykøbing Kirke

Picture © credits to Google Maps

When you visit Nykøbing Mors, you'll get to see an original New Gothic style church from the 1800's. The church is the central object for the town and the water-drinking horse statue is right next to it. They got the amazing August Jerndorf to make the interior art and paintings in 1892. He tried to make a representation of Jesus who takes care of you and shows you compassion. I asked 3 people and they were quick to respond that he did a really good job and the title matches the painting. The title is ''Jesus Comforts''.

Morsø Kunstforening

Since Aksel Sandemose was an artist of thoughts and struggle, I wanted to find out how today's art scene is in Nykøbing Mors. Turns out they made a place where the workers come voluntarily and the goal is to inform about the local situation and daily struggles like Aksel did previously! Art from contemporary days will be shown and promoted. Local Danish artists from the area are giving you their view of the world inside this magnificent building.

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