One’s first first reaction in these circumstances is to make sure one’s family members and friends are fine. The 7 areas of Paris where the attacks occurred started turning around in my head: is any of my friends likely to have attended the black metal concert at The Bataclan last night? Could any of my family members have been in the Cambodgian restaurant where people … Continue reading 2015. The Year that Traumatised France
What is a dugnad? It is another Norwegian word like koselig, tidsklemma, snus, utepils and ka farsken which are difficult to translate in other languages. At first the word dugnad confused me. “Come to the dugnad in my new home in Nesodden, we will be painting”. Why would we paint in a bunad? Isn’t it a very nice dress to paint in? You must admit those two … Continue reading Want to integrate in Norway? Participate in the world’s biggest dugnad
At first religion does not seem to have a central role in Norwegian peoples’ lives. One hears church bells ring in the background once in a while, but it is seldom anyone talks about God, faith, or even Christianity. In big cities, gyms have a higher attendance rate then churches, and Sunday mornings are used to recover from hungovers or enjoy family time in a … Continue reading Strange things Norwegians do with (and in) their Church
Now that I understand Norwegian I notice the unbelievable amount of articles coming out almost everyday on topics such as “How to design a happy child” or “Signs that you are a good mother“. Norwegian society seems completely obsessed with children, their well being, and what we, adults, do wrong. Was it like that in France when my mother was pregnant with me? Was it even like that in Norway 30 … Continue reading How to be a Bad Mother in Norway
Do you remember Dominique Strauss Kahn? Or DSK like we call him in France? He was a high profile French politician, once the Head of the International Monetary Fund, French Ministry of Finance, and one press release away from becoming a serious candidate to become France’s President in 2012. He was basically one of the most powerful men in the world, until this day of May … Continue reading Morals in Politics: What if French DSK had been Norwegian?
I am standing in the street, looking at it: at the people, the cars. I know something is different. But what? This is just another street in Oslo, like those I’ve been looking at for the past 5 years I’ve been living here. But I look closer, forgetting about my list of things to buy on my first day in my new flat in Bøler: … Continue reading Rich and Poor: Oslo is a divided city.
All of these are true, either experienced by me or some of my female friends. Okay okay, some I made up, not that many actually. Hey, no one said it was illegal to have a little imagination :-) You can try to guess which ones I made up though, a good test to know whether you know Norwegian society well, or whether you know me … Continue reading Dating in Norway: the Strangest things only Norwegian men say
“What do you mean you can’t meet me as planned today? You don’t have time? But it’s Sunday and tomorrow is a bank holiday”. “Yeah I have bad time (dårlig tid), said my friend Guro. My other friend who heard the conversation said “Classic, she is in tidsklemma“. What does tidsklemma mean? She is in WHAT? Was my first reaction. For those of you new … Continue reading Why are Norwegians always in tidsklemma?
1. Accept things and people as they are Accept that this is another country with its own culture. Sure, half of what Norwegians do is new and strange to you, but for them that is the norm. It is the same all over the world: people do things in a certain way and they are sure this is the only and best way to do … Continue reading How to be a Happy Immigrant in Norway?
After the interest of readers for the blogpost Weird things Norwegians do, I thought it might be funny to find out what’s going on with Norwegians when they are having work meetings. 1. Skiing In which other country do you see people coming to work, and therefore to meetings, with their skis on their shoulder? It doesn’t stop there: they will be cheered on their way in by all their … Continue reading Weird things Norwegians do During Work Meetings