Jantelagen – the unwritten Swedish rule of life

Ever heard of the Swedish Jantelag? You probably haven’t, so let us tell you all about it.

Jantelagen, or the law of Jante as it would be called in English, is not a law per se. It’s more of a set of unwritten rules which kind of dictates how Swedes (should?) live their lives. It’s the Swedish way of life, one could say.

Swedes loves the word LAGOM. Lagom can be defined as something not being too much, but also not too little. It’s something that is just right. And Jantelagen kind of takes off from this word. Or maybe the word lagom took off from Jantelagen? Anyways, the unwritten Jantelag is best described as Swedes being just LAGOM. This means that Swedes don’t think too much of themselves. They don’t think they’re smarter, better, quicker or anything more than any other person. Quickly summarised, it’s a quite negative view on individuality and success.

Alexander Skarsgård summarised Jantelagen pretty good in this clip. Watch him dance a traditional Swedish dance here.