27 February 2012

Swedish pedestrians receive secret message from God

In my earlier posting, titled "The Religion of Kopimism", I made the following observation:
I still haven't figured out Swedes' attitude to religion. On one hand, Sweden is supposed to be one of the least religious places on the planet. On the other hand, however, I think that a lot of Swedes behave as if they were religious. 
Strangely enough, my recent posting on "Swedish pedestrian crossing signs", and a bit of googling, has only strengthened my hunch on religiosity in Sweden.

In August 2008, an article published in the Local revealed that the following image, located at pedestrian crossings in countries all over the world, is designed to spread the word of god!

No, I am not joking. Voilà:
Prisma Teknik AB, the Swedish company behind the pedestrian signals, has now admitted that the hand is meant as a hidden symbol for God. In fact, the company says it has never made any secret of the fact.
"We want to show that there is only one way to reach God and that is up and through Jesus", CEO Jan Lund told The Local.
Though Sweden is not particularly religious, with church attendances consistently low, the country still contains some pockets of religious fervour. One of these appears to be located at Prisma Teknik, a company that supplies pedestrian signals and other technical devices to 60 markets around the world.
For a direct exhibition on the hand of god, via the site of Prisma Teknik AB, click here. (The sound is a bit annoying.) A second click, under "contact" in the English Version of Prisma Teknik shows their beliefs in full glory:
It is also thanks to the care from God that we have developed to be the successful company we are today. We want to have Jesus as a part in everything we do. Christian values and God's guidance is the foundation of Prisma Teknik. [English version of Prisma Teknik Personel page]
However, the Swedish version of the same page says:
--- --- ---   N O T H I N G   --- --- ---  [Swedish version of Prisma Teknik Personel page]
Now, clearly, this hand is the hand of a particular god. The god of the religion of the Personel of Prima Teknik. However, Prisma Teknik makes money by selling their hand-of-god boxes to Saudi Arabia. It turns out that Muslims took notice (more than Christians) that the hand depicted is not the hand of their god. And so,
[Muslims in Saudi Arabia] promptly cover up the hand [of god] when it arrives in the Arab state.
 So, next time you are at a pedestrian crossing in Uppsala, you have a choice:

Either to look slightly down and see the hand of god

Or look up and see satan herself:

Your choice.


  1. Thanks for this eye-opener. I hadn't noticed the
    obvious religious symbolism before.

    The municipality of Uppsala is now selling off the rogue Ms Pedestrian signs, with autographs of local politicians. The proceeds of the auction goes
    to charity.


  2. Neither had I. And I think neither had the majority of people around. (Maybe the company thinks that the subliminal message is good enough. Or they consider this as one of their good deeds.)

    Maybe we should buy some of these signs. They could be of high value in the future :-)



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