The IKEA catalog – a reflection of the Swedish national soul?

Today you can read (if you are able to understand Swedish) about the new IKEA catalog on the editorial pages in Aftonbladet and how wrongly it depicts Sweden (according to the author). The editor, Joakim Jakobsson, states that it simply doesn’t represent what Sweden is today. Instead of all the white people and deal furniture, redwood, and birch he wants to have something new, something fresh – and something that represents a Sweden HE would like to see. He complains about that there are too little of colored people in the IKEA catalog and that we should rebuild the Swedish national soul … but is that what Swedish people really want? Is that democratically supported? No, I do not think so.

But IKEA is being “forced” by pundits and self-appointed experts from Swedish news papers and other medias to change their image and contain one Arab or a black man here and there in their catalog just to show that they are not the devils pawn after all. A funny thing is – this is only going on in Sweden. Sweden – the country where political correctness is a State religion and democracy is a nice word to mention but in reality it doesn’t exist! Here in Iceland – IKEA does it utmost to sell Sweden as a brand in itself with gingerbreads, real Nordic kids with blond hair playing in the kindergarten, and Swedish meatballs. You know – the whole concept. I think it is the same thing everywhere. And this is good. IKEA maybe not represent those parts of Sweden that have been destroyed by segregation and racial conflicts around Malmö and Stockholm, but it certainly represents that Sweden that real Swedes WANT Sweden to be. The IKEA catalog is therefore NOT Sweden today – Joakim Jakobsson on Aftonbladet is totally right on that point. It is just a mirror of what we wish Sweden to be. A Sweden that a lot of Swedes nowadays feel is lost – or starting to disappear and that it is fading away, slowly. I know that it is the wrong thing to write but it feels good living in a country without one single “ghetto” with integration problems and foreigners who refuse to assimilate themselves into the society. Maybe more Swedes will move here in the future? But of course, I do hope that we can see a more open Iceland as well when it comes to foreigners – but that we make it with more circumspection. Culture matters, and some cultures have proven to be non-compatible with each other.

In Arab countries – like Dubai – IKEA catalogs are looking like this one up above. This one is from Dubai. Apparently they don’t need any Arabs in the catalog to be correct! They just simply want to show the picture of Sweden that the rest of the world still think is the most suitable one. Plus it is also so that outside Swedish borders, people can talk freely about what actually really IS typical Swedish. And then, I’m sorry for this Mr. Jakobsson, it will be a lot of that old-fashioned boring Sweden that you don’t want to preserve and revere, and less of that “New Sweden”. I just wonder what will happen with the real version in the future …


About tegis

This blog belongs to Carl-Mikael A. Teglund - tegis. Swedish emigrant with a heart for languages, philosophy, history, and politics (classical liberalism in the European tradition). Go ahead and look, read, or listen. I'm sure you will find it interesting.
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One Response to The IKEA catalog – a reflection of the Swedish national soul?

  1. Andreas says:

    Hello, it’s my first time here – I think a great part of IKEA’s success is its Swedish background. As a Greek living in Spain I can tell that especially in Spain Sweden is considered a mirror, a model society, so buying Swedish is like buying ideal life at home, no matter if we live in 90 m2 flats instead than in a full-detached house in a nice Swedish village. It’s politically incorrect but the blond kids on the IKEA catalogues help sell furniture, as we have grown with the blond-ideal – no matter what my fellow Central/South-Europeans may say. Blond sells, Sweden sells. Together, Blond and Swedish is commercial dynamite. Have a nice day

    PS: You should change the CSS style in this input textarea – make the font smaller pls

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