In a rather silly video with a clear political agenda, Scandinavian Airlines attempts to answer the above question with “absolutely nothing”. The video then enumerates all of the cuisine, technology, and ideas that the Scandinavians have borrowed from elsewhere throughout the centuries.
That argument is fair, so far as it goes. All peoples—from the Greeks to the Chinese to the British–have borrowed from other cultures. But it’s very clear, when you watch the video, that the ideologues at Scandinavian Airlines aren’t merely trying to remind us that the Chinese invented gunpowder, and the Ancient Greeks first conceived of democracy.
This entire video is tied into the European immigration debate (especially within Sweden). The Scandinavian countries are famously well-ordered and prosperous. In recent decades, leftwing ideologues in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark have forced the citizens of these countries to accept more immigrants from Africa and the Muslim Middle East than they could ever hope to assimilate.
The results have been predictable. Crime rates have spiked, especially assaults on women. Stockholm is now known as the “rape capital of Europe”. Whether or not that label really fits, it is undeniable that the Swedish city has experienced a sharp increase in sexual assaults carried out by unattached Islamic males.
The video from Scandinavian Airlines is attempting to imply that “No one can really claim to be Scandinavian, so Scandinavia belongs to everyone.”
No one, of course, claims that China belongs to everyone, or that Nigeria belongs to everyone. (The Chinese and the Nigerians might have something to say about that.)
Likewise, the above video hits a nadir of foolishness when a young man of obvious African descent talks about “our Viking ancestors”. This is just dumb, and one wonders how the actor managed to utter that line with a straight face.
Now, before you get on your high horse about race being a cultural construct, consider how foolish it would be if a blond-haired, blue-eyed man were to get before a camera and proclaim his “Zulu ancestors”.
What if I—a man whose ancestors come from the British Isles—were to claim Chinese or Vietnamese heritage, just because I want to? (Perhaps I could say that I “identify” as a Vietnamese.)
True diversity is about respecting other peoples and cultures, including their differences. But in order to do that, we must first acknowledge that there are such differences.
Update: Scandinavian Airlines pulled this goofy commercial after much understandable backlash.