I recently wrote about the language of IKEA and how the global furniture giant names all of its products. If you remember, many pieces of furniture, like sofas, wardrobes and bookshelves, are named after places in Norway and Sweden. Denmark on the other hand gets stuck with doormats and carpets. Apparently this has caused a recent Danish uproar, blaming IKEA for naming products of lesser value after places in Denmark as a way to spite it.
“It [IKEA’s naming system] is too systematic for this to be random because IKEA is a very professional company. This can only be a way of teasing Denmark,” stated Nyhedsavisen, a free daily Danish newspaper, on Valentine’s Day.
This may all seem like a joke, but some Danes are taking it very seriously, as pointed out by Assistant Political Communication Professor at the University of Copenhagen, Klaus Kjøller, “It seems to be an example of cultural imperialism. IKEA has chosen the objects with the lowest value and given them Danish names.”
Cultural imperialism you say? I didn’t realize IKEA could be such a touchy subject. But then again, would you want a carpet named after you when other countries get the flashier items like beds and coffee tables?