This is the Danelaw:*

 

1. Do not think you are a Dane because you were born in Denmark.

2. Do not think you are a Dane because you speak fluent Danish.

3. Do not think you are a Dane because you are a Danish citizen.

4. Do not think you are a Dane because you live in Denmark.

5. Do not think you are a Dane because you respect the laws of Denmark.

6. Do not think you are a Dane because your grandparents think you are.

7. Do not think you are a Dane because you fly the Danish flag in your garden.

8. Do not think you are a Dane because you call some people New Danes.

9. Do not think you are a Dane because you would die for Denmark.

10. Do not think you are a Dane because you feel Danish.

 

*The ’Danelaw’ refers to the Jante Law which is a commonly used expression in Scandinavia. The Jante Law was invented by the Danish-Norwegian author Aksel Sandemose. In his novel ’A fugitive crosses his tracks’ from 1933 he states ten commands that describe the Scandinavian smalltown mentality where everyone tries to keep each other down. Those who stand out from the crowd are treated with suspicion and coldness. 

From the collection Finding Holger Dane; translated from the Danish by Barbara J. Haveland