Danish ice cream maker drops ‘pejorative’ ‘Eskimo’ lolly name

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Danish ice cream maker drops ‘Eskimo’ lolly name after Greenland politician said ‘pejorative’ term was offensive to Arctic people

  • Hansens Is said on Wednesday it decided to choose a more suitable name 
  • The term Eskimo is used to refer to indigenous people from all over the Arctic 
  • It has been criticised as a ‘pejorative’ and offensive term since the 1970s 

A Danish ice cream maker has announced it would remove the name ‘Eskimo’ from one of its products in case it offended Inuit and other Arctic people.   

Hansens Floedeis said on Wednesday it had opposed changing the name of its Eskimo ice lolly but after careful consideration had decided to choose a more suitable name.

The firm said there was now more information and debate ‘around the derogatory treatment and inequality towards minorities and indigenous people’.

The term Eskimo, used to refer to indigenous people from all over the Arctic, started being criticised by some of the 140,000 indigenous people of the Arctic region in 1970s.

An Eskimo icecream on sale at Hansens Floedeis dairy in Jaegerspris, Denmark, on June 15. The ice cream maker announced it would remove the name ‘Eskimo’ from one of its products in case it offended Inuit and other Arctic people

A view of commerical signs of Eskimo icecream at Hansens Floedeis dairy in Jaegerspris, Denmark. . In the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, Hansens Floedeis has announced a name change for the Eskimo icecream

A view of commerical signs of Eskimo icecream at Hansens Floedeis dairy in Jaegerspris, Denmark. . In the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, Hansens Floedeis has announced a name change for the Eskimo icecream

The firm said there was now more information and debate 'around the derogatory treatment and inequality towards minorities and indigenous people'. Ice cream pictured above

The firm said there was now more information and debate ‘around the derogatory treatment and inequality towards minorities and indigenous people’. Ice cream pictured above 

Aaja Chemnitz Larsen, one of two politicians representing Greenland in the Danish Parliament, pointed out that the term meant ‘eater of raw meat’ – although this theory is the subject of debate.

‘Eskimo has a pejorative meaning for many Greenlanders. So I think it is only natural to show this level of respect for us,’ she told Danish news agency Ritzau.

‘After dialogue and examination, it was clear to us that people feel that the name Eskimo reminds of a time of degradation and unjust treatment – which we haven’t considered before,’ Hansens wrote on their Facebook page.

Aaja Chemnitz Larsen, one of two politicians representing Greenland in the Danish Parliament, pointed out that the term meant 'eater of raw meat' - although this theory is the subject of debate. Above, Eskimo ice cream on sale in Jaegerspris, Denmark

Aaja Chemnitz Larsen, one of two politicians representing Greenland in the Danish Parliament, pointed out that the term meant ‘eater of raw meat’ – although this theory is the subject of debate. Above, Eskimo ice cream on sale in Jaegerspris, Denmark 

'Eskimo has a pejorative meaning for many Greenlanders. So I think it is only natural to show this level of respect for us,' Aaja Chemnitz Larsen told Danish news agency Ritzau

‘Eskimo has a pejorative meaning for many Greenlanders. So I think it is only natural to show this level of respect for us,’ Aaja Chemnitz Larsen told Danish news agency Ritzau

Chemnitz Larsen welcomed the move and encouraged other brands to follow suit.

But Danish ice cream maker Premier Is said it intended to keep the name ‘Kaempe Eskimo’ (‘Giant Eskimo’) for its chocolate-covered ice cream stick, according to media reports.

Greenland, with roughly 55,000 mostly Inuit inhabitants, became a Danish colony in the 18th century and remained so until 1953, when it became a Danish province.

In 1979, home rule was established and in 2009 it increased its autonomy through a referendum.

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