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Danes Accuse Ikea of Cultural Imperialism

Heading to Ikea? Shopping For "Cultural Imperialism?"

I don't know too many houses that don't contain an Ikea doodad or two (hundred, in my case) but I had no idea that I was disrespecting my Danish heritage with my love of the ISERUD. So the story is this: the Danes are accusing Swedish home-furnishings giant Ikea of cultural imperialism because in the wacky Ikea naming scheme, it turns out all of the doormats, floor coverings, and less-than-glamorous items are given Danish names, while the fancy things like beds and sofas are all Swedish, Norwegian, and Finnish names.

The Danes claim Ikea is walking all over them. Literally.

After an analysis of the Ikea catalog by two university scholars led to this finding:

Doormats and runners, as well as inexpensive wall-to-wall carpeting, are third-class, if not seventh-class, items when it comes to home furnishings.

If this all sounds like a bunch of FARTYG to you,


Denmark does have a rocky past with their Nordic neighbors. A whole passel of wars, peace treaties, and diplomatic efforts have created today's Scandinavian borders. Norway belonged to Denmark until Sweden stole it and gave it independence 100 years ago. Even the land where Ikea was based used to belong to Denmark. Sigh. I guess that's the way the Danish Butter Cookie crumbles.

So . . . does Denmark have a case? Do I have to boycott Ikea now? I don't think I could. Could you?

And here's an added treat akin to those cinnamon rolls they tempt you with on the way out — the great Manhattan Ikea pilgrimage.


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