7. Barents pride
Gunnel Norman, the first manager of IKEA in Haparanda, sums up the Barents-situation very precisely in the beginning of 2007
(The Guardian Jan 07, 2007):
IKEA gave people of the north back their self confidence.
IKEA gave the region a reason to live.
IKEA provided us with a connecting tool, a universal language that goes beyond national borders. For the first time the region had a common ground of communication, understanding and hope for a better life.
The love of IKEA was the base on which we could build a common future.
IKEA made us all equal.
But by the beginning of 2007, we had an area booming with self confidence, natural resources, warm weather, oil, fish and cheap furniture.
People were talking about Barents pride, and Ingvar Kamprad was treated like a leader of state.
The public knowledge could be summed up in what was later to become the IKEA motto:
Better furniture = Better future!
«To the people up north, who for generations have felt
greatly neglected by their capital cities, being given an
IKEA store marks a kind of recognition»
Norman here points to the very core of the self esteem of the north. Historically people of this region have felt controlled by the south, neglected by the south and dependent of the south.
«to create a better everyday life for the many people»