• Sweden's news in English

Fast food freebie features swastika tattoo

TT/Rebecca Martin · 11 Aug 2011, 11:40

Published: 11 Aug 2011 11:40 GMT+02:00

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“We couldn’t believe our eyes. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry,” said Eddie’s mother Malin Hägglund to local paper Västerbottenskuriren.

Earlier this week the family had decided to have lunch at Swedish fast food chain Frasses in the Ersboda district of Umeå.

When Eddie opened his box to look for the regulation toy included in the meal he was happy to discover a sheet of temporary tattoos. It was when looking through these his parents were shocked to find a swastika among the tattoos.

“Eddie is a huge fan of tattoos, but we thought this was a very strange tattoo for a child and that it was wrong of the shop to buy in this product,” said Malin Hägglund to the paper.

According to news agency TT, the owners of Frasses have expressed regret over the incident and say that they believed the product had been imported from China and that the swastika had thus been included by mistake.

The swastika, an equilateral cross with its arms bent at right angles, is most commonly associated as a symbol of the Nazi party in Germany and was adopted as the state flag of Germany in the 1930s. It is now outlawed in the country if used as a symbol for neo-Nazism.

Story continues below…

In eastern culture however the symbol features in a number of Asian languages and the word originally came from the Sanskrit word svastika, meaning any lucky or auspicious object.

The Local’s attempts to reach the CEO and press spokesperson for Frasses have so far proved unsuccessful.

TT/Rebecca Martin (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

11:31 August 11, 2011 by Lemon1987
WHat was the intention to put swastika tatoo as a freebie ? who knows...
11:36 August 11, 2011 by mamegoma
Quick! Interview the company that made the tattoo! And while you are at it, find the person who actually printed it! How did such a thing get through quality control?! LE GASP.
11:39 August 11, 2011 by gh2008
Chinese are neo-Nazis! i knew it!!!
11:58 August 11, 2011 by Osk
Never bothered the Swedes much in world war two so why bother them now
12:14 August 11, 2011 by Strongbow
So technically she is committing a hate crime by saying the sticker in her possession is a nazi symbol. Frasses had no such association.
12:33 August 11, 2011 by jacquelinee
Lovely, simply lovely. No womder kids grow up Nazis and racists. They should get fined like hell! Total hate propaganda aimed at children. That is disgusting!
14:01 August 11, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
Let us find out which one of the Nazis pullulating around the schools in Sweden, printed the Nazi tatoo. Now, I wonder if the mother saying ""We couldn't believe our eyes. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry," did imply that her 8-year old boy really know what a Nazi symbol is. Was it a swastika? A real swastika? I am wondering because the Nazi symbol is drawn with the points pointing to the right, Pointing to the left is completely another symbol.

The swastika is an extremely powerful symbol. The Nazis used it to murder millions of people, but for centuries it had positive meanings.

The swastika is an ancient symbol that has been used for over 3,000 years. (That even predates the ancient Egyptian symbol, the Ankh!) Artifacts such as pottery and coins from ancient Troy show that the swastika was a commonly used symbol as far back as 1000 BCE.

During the following thousand years, the image of the swastika was used by many cultures around the world, including in China, Japan, India, and southern Europe. By the Middle Ages, the swastika was a well known, if not commonly used, symbol but was called by many different names:

•China - wan

•England - fylfot

•Germany - Hakenkreuz

•Greece - tetraskelion and gammadion

•India - swastika

Though it is not known for exactly how long, Native Americans also have long used the symbol of the swastika.

The Original Meaning

The word "swastika" comes from the Sanskrit svastika - "su" meaning "good," "asti" meaning "to be," and "ka" as a suffix.

So, Mrs. Malin Hägglund, let your child enjoy his junk food and if you want to cry, cry for the hungry children in the world that have no possibilities to go to Frasses to eat junk food.
14:27 August 11, 2011 by nolikegohome
no need for panis it will soon pass and be in the past
14:30 August 11, 2011 by Central European
What´d I imagine if i read fast food outlet ? :D

Yesterdays hamburgers ?

Well, as far as I do remember, the Sweden stopped its massive export of iron ore ans steel to Third Reich in November 1944 .......
15:58 August 11, 2011 by farnoxo
"We couldn't believe our eyes. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry," said Eddie's mother Malin Hägglund to local paper Västerbottenskuriren

For students of the English language this is a classic example of hyperbole: obvious or intententional exaggeration (especially for the press :-)
16:44 August 11, 2011 by occassional
Did he have the HeilBurger ?
18:26 August 11, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
16:44 August 11, 2011 by occassional

He had the "Deutschland, Deutschland, über alles" double cheeseburger. The mother paid with Heil money.
18:32 August 11, 2011 by Smokebox
Norland rules...
19:34 August 11, 2011 by Monitor Lizard
Understandably the swastika carries nasty connotations ever since andra varldskriget.

However, truth be told it's a pretty basic geometrical design that human beings have used in artwork and so forth for thousands of years.

Many cultures over the eons have adopted the use of swastika-like designs independently of one & other. Probably because it is just such a basic, simple geometrical design.

Sort of like with convergent evolution you get strikingly similar species arising on separate continents, though in similar climates. Even though genetically they are almost completely unrelated to one and other.

When viewed within such an informed context, the temporary tattoo from China might not be that big of a deal after all.
19:45 August 11, 2011 by Gamla Hälsingebock
The Swastika was also the symbol of a US Army division located in the southwest USA.

To the natives there it represented the sun.

Naturally it was changed, when, you know who, did what!

Great way to advertise!

And you can't spell it wrong either! LOL X3
22:03 August 11, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
Next time, they will find the lyrics of "The Good Comrade"

Ich hatt' einen Kameraden,

Einen bessern findst du nit.

Die Trommel schlug zum Streite,

Er ging an meiner Seite

|: In gleichem Schritt und Tritt. :|

Eine Kugel kam geflogen:

Gilt sie mir oder gilt sie dir?

Sie hat ihn weggerissen,

Er liegt zu meinen Füßen

|: Als wär's ein Stück von mir :|

Will mir die Hand noch reichen,

Derweil ich eben lad'.

"Kann dir die Hand nicht geben,

Bleib du im ew'gen Leben

|: Mein guter Kamerad!" :|

After this, Malin Hägglund will not know it to laugh, cry,

or buy a piano.
22:34 August 11, 2011 by foxpur
Some asked if a child oh 8 would know what a Swastika referred to:

The answer is yes

My own daughter was aware of the symbolism by age 6, and why it was a problem ... the reason? She asked me, at 6, because kids were drawing it and getting in trouble.
23:17 August 11, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
22:34 August 11, 2011 by foxpur

Did you ever wonder where did the kids learn to draw a Swastika, something that your 6-year old daughter saw.Who

taught them and why? Why was your daughter aware of its symbolism? Either you are making this up or your daughter is another Marylin vos Savant.

For me, it was the mother and not the child who "recognized" that the tattoo was the Swastika and she made all the fuss around it and she did not know whether to cry or laugh or buy a piano. She faced a trilemma and not a dilemma.
00:23 August 12, 2011 by sergisr
Maybe it was a Basque "lauburu".
02:47 August 12, 2011 by sparc
This is like saying that Charlie Chaplin should be baned cause his mustache reminds us of Hitler! Get a life.
05:36 August 12, 2011 by Da Goat
Belmar You rock !

well said, the stupid woman should get a life!
10:20 August 12, 2011 by Kstock
@ Sparc

Don't joke, there are many interesting findings to prove that Charlie Chaplin was actually Hitler. Notice they were never photographed together, they were about the same size, and "Hitler" did have a whimsical side that only a few in his inner circle knew about, often making fart jokes about Hermann Göring. When he made the film The Great Dictator, I think it was his way of saying, hey I'm ok with my past, let's just move on.
10:45 August 12, 2011 by farnoxo
@Kstock - LOL! Makes a change to see some genuine humour in the comments instead of the usual (boring) ranting.
13:56 August 12, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
05:36 August 12, 2011 by Da Goat

Da Goat, you roll!

02:47 August 12, 2011 by sparc

Hitler is the one who should have been baned because his mustache reminds us of Chaplin. Got a life!

10:20 August 12, 2011 by Kstock

But Hitler never dreamt of having Mildred Harris, Lita Grey, Paulette Goddard and Oona O'Neils in his bed. Chaplin really kept on moving, specially in bed.

10:45 August 12, 2011 by farnoxo

Stay longer and join the club. Stories published by The Local are so funny and weird tha many times you just cannot be serious when discussing them.
15:44 August 12, 2011 by eovti
What kind of swastika was it? The nazis used the reversed (i.e. right-pointing) version. The left-pointing swastika is still an important symbol in parts of the world, with no bad connotations.
16:14 August 12, 2011 by munched
Exactly. Teh asian "Swastika" is teh mirror image of teh Third Reich's version and is a positive symbol in many cultures.
06:50 August 13, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
I got his information from www.sanskrit.org:

"In India, the Swastika is used in two forms, one with the arms moving to the right, the right-handed Swastika, and the other with the arms moving to the left, the so-called "left-handed" occult Swastika. It is commonly thought that the Nazis used the left-handed Swastika and that this is the difference between the Hindu's use of the Swastika and the Nazi's use of it. But this is not the case. In fact, the Nazis used the same right-handed Swastika that is used in modern Hinduism, but gave it a 45 degree turn. This gives it the appearance of being left-handed, even though it is not. Regardless, in India many groups have used the left-handed Swastika. One common example amongst Hindu groups is the Theosophical Society, which used it on their logo. The left-handed Swastika is also associated with esoteric tantric practices. Jains and Buddhists often use the left handed Swastika as well. Today the right-handed Swastika is mainly used in Hindu temples, homes and sacred ceremonies as a symbol or affirmation of good luck, health and prosperity. A "yes" to life!"

" In fact, the Swastika is an ancient solar symbol that has been used by many cultures going back at least 3000 years. It has been found used by the celts in northern Europe and by the Greeks as early has 1000 BCE. In India the symbol has been used since Vedic times. It is most commonly seen as an ancient Aryan symbol. Nazi Germany did not invent the symbol, but only borrowed it in order to show the "aryan" roots of their new German state. Today, unfortunately, the Swastika is most commonly known for the destruction of life rather then its affirmation."

And now? What about the freebie the poor little kid with the help of his mother found?
22:41 August 13, 2011 by DamnImmigrant
What kind of Swastika was it? - YEAH, RIGHT - as if there is a correct way to draw it.

Sorry but this "the nazis used the reverse Swastika" is nonsense. IF ANYTHING - all the nazis did was angle it at 45 degrees.

The Swastika that is bending to the right is the one commonly found throughout the human race throughout time. So please stop with this left bent Swastika is the correct one, NONSENSE.

The Swastika is one of my most holy of symbols. The fact that it is found throughout human history where-ever and when-ever we have lived is very significant to me.

I am not sure what American Indian tribe foxpur is from, but the Swastika could have had a very strong presence in his tribes culture. So yes, she should know about it but then again it sounds like she picked it up from the other kids at school. Part of my ancestry is from one of the Ojibway tribes (Chippewa). I believe that the Ojibway called the Swastika a Whirligig and it was a symbol of PEACE.

Maybe the mother who was so freaked out, should have to do a report on the symbol for showing her cultural ignorance to everyone - especially her child!

Asea (ABB) power plants were marked on maps with the Swastika before nazis stole it.
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