In Australia and New Zealand, tall poppy syndrome refers to successful people being criticised. This occurs when their peers believe they are too successful, or are bragging about their success.[1][2] Intense scrutiny and criticism of such a person is termed as "cutting down the tall poppy".[3]

Tarquinius Superbus by Lawrence Alma-Tadema, depicting the king sweeping the tallest heads from a patch of poppies

Australia and New Zealand edit

In Australia and New Zealand, "cutting down the tall poppy" is sometimes used by business entrepreneurs to describe those who deliberately criticise other people for their success and achievements.[1][4][5] It has been described as being the by-product of the Australian and New Zealand cultural value of egalitarianism.[1][6]

Related phenomena edit

In Japan, a similar common expression is "the nail that sticks up gets hammered down".[7][8][9] In the Netherlands, this expression is "don't put your head above ground level" (boven het maaiveld uitsteken), with the cultural phenomenon being named maaiveldcultuur.[citation needed]

In Chile, this expression is known as chaquetear ('pull the jacket').[10] In Scandinavia, this expression is known as the Law of Jante. The Law of Jante originates from a 1933 novel by Aksel Sandemose. It contains rules and stipulations such as "you're not to think you are anything special" and "perhaps you don't think we know a few things about you?".[11][12]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b c Peeters, Bert (2004). "Tall poppies and egalitarianism in Australian discourse: From key word to cultural value". English World-Wide. 25 (1): 1–25. doi:10.1075/eww.25.1.02pee.
  2. ^ "Opinion | Tall poppies flourish Down Under". The New York Times. 26 February 2007. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 12 May 2023.
  3. ^ Billan, Rumeet (31 December 2018). "The Tallest Poppy TM". Women of Influence. Retrieved 30 March 2023.
  4. ^ Kennedy, Jeffrey (2007). "Leadership and Culture in New Zealand". In Chhokar, Jagdeep; Brodbeck, Felix; House, Robert (eds.). Culture and Leadership Across the World: The GLOBE Book of In-Depth Studies of 25 Societies. United States: Psychology Press. p. 399. ISBN 978-0-8058-5997-3.
  5. ^ Holmes, Janet; Marra, Meredith; Lazzaro-Salazar, Mariana (28 March 2017). "Negotiating the tall poppy syndrome in New Zealand workplaces: women leaders managing the challenge". Gender and Language. 11 (1): 1–29. doi:10.1558/genl.31236. ISSN 1747-633X.
  6. ^ Levine, Stephen (20 June 2012). "Political values - Political values and the 'Kiwi' way of life". Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 30 January 2023.
  7. ^ ことわざを知る辞典,デジタル大辞泉. "出る杭は打たれるとは". コトバンク (in Japanese). Retrieved 12 February 2022.
  8. ^ "The nail that sticks up gets hammered down". The Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs. Oxford University Press. 2008. ISBN 978-0-19-953953-6.
  9. ^ "WWWJDIC: Word Display".
  10. ^ "chaquetear". Diccionario de la lengua española (in Spanish). Retrieved 21 August 2022.
  11. ^ Cappelen, Cornelius; Dahlberg, Stefan (August 2017). "The Law of Jante and generalized trust". Acta Sociologica. 61 (4): 419–440. doi:10.1177/0001699317717319. ISSN 0001-6993. S2CID 149143718.
  12. ^ Sandemose, Aksel (1966). En flyktning krysser sitt spor (in Norwegian). Aschehoug.

Further reading edit

External links edit