Many Norwegians have embraced the Halloween holiday long popular in the US, along with the opportunity it presents to dress up in costumes and have a party. The costume most in demand this year turns out to be more elaborate versions of those used by kids playing Cowboys and Indians, just weeks after Norwegian Finance Minister Siv Jensen set of controversy for dressing up as Pocahontas herself.
The photo that Jensen posted of herself on social media, while on her way to a costume party at the ministry after presentation of the state budget, set off complaints and indignation. Jensen was branded as being insensitive and offensive to the culture of indigenous peoples, in this case the stereotype for Native Americans.
Jensen rode out the storm and now it appears many Norwegians are following her lead. Both of Norway’s largest stores selling costumes report they’re sold out of the type worn by Jensen. “It’s a costume that’s been in the media and then there’s always great demand,” Jan Edgar Kingell, manager of the Oslo store specializing in party goods, Standard, told state broadcaster NRK on Friday. Partyking, another costume retailer, also reports an increase of Indian costume sales in Norway.
It’s not the first time Jensen has influenced costume choice. When her conservative Progress Party won government power for the first time ever in 2013, she paraded around a stage at her party’s victory celebration wearing a tight-fitting dress adorned with photos of lipsticks. The dress she’d bought off the rack soon sold out around the country.