More Weird Things Norwegians Do

Three years ago I wrote a blog post entitled “Weird Things Norwegians Do“, where I described 15 strange things I had noticed here. Now that I have been here a little longer, a few things have been added to the list. As before, “weird” does not necessarily mean “negative”. Some of these awkwardness should be adopted elsewhere in this world (but not the grilldress, hopefully). … Continue reading More Weird Things Norwegians Do

The Endless Norwegian Search for Perfection and Conformity

A few weeks ago, as the darkest of the winter was creeping in, I decided to start indoor group training in my gym (one of the ways to survive winter depression). I would rather run outside in the forest, where no silly music invades my personal space, alongside people looking at themselves in the mirror while tensing their muscles. Pytt, pytt. I signed up for a basic … Continue reading The Endless Norwegian Search for Perfection and Conformity

Norwegian skiers are never guilty. Whatever they do.

The media madness surrounding Johaug’s positive doping results reminds me of the lessons I learned during the Sotchi Winter Olympic games in February 2014. I had never been interested in cross country skiing on television, but during those games I understood the seriousness of this sport to Norwegians. I had not been in Norway for that long when the games started, and was not aware of the high sensitiveness … Continue reading Norwegian skiers are never guilty. Whatever they do.

Signs you’ve been Living in Norway for too Long

A few weeks ago, I was watching the football game France-Iceland on television in Oslo. For the first time, my heart was torn apart between two choices: supporting France, my home country, or Iceland, the almost Scandinavian and underdog of the competition? I could never tell my French friends that I wish Iceland won. But I felt so close to the Icelanders who are like Norwegians in … Continue reading Signs you’ve been Living in Norway for too Long

Everything you didn’t know you needed for a successful 17th of May

After many celebrations of Norway’s National day here, I have shortlisted things you will need on this day, or to prepare this day. If you don’t know what is happening on the 17th of May, you can check online, many articles talk about it. For a short reminder, the 17th of May in Norway isa celebration of the day when the Norwegian Constitution was signed on … Continue reading Everything you didn’t know you needed for a successful 17th of May

New Year’s Resolutions: Norwegians vs. Immigrants

So, which promises did you make to yourself for 2016? Be a better spouse, a better parent, a better son/daughter? Stop eating peanut butter at night while you’re on a diet during day time? Eat more greens, hit the gym every second day. Become tall and beautiful. Try to keep a girlfriend. Wait. Try to find a girlfriend. Spend less time on Facebook. Spend more … Continue reading New Year’s Resolutions: Norwegians vs. Immigrants

Norway is the best country to live in. Really?

In the last weeks of 2015, I saw my Norwegian friends and colleagues happier than usual. Did a Norwegian skier just win a competition? Is the price of the Christmas ribbe cheaper this year? Almost better: the United Nations had just published its yearly report, showing that, once again, Norway is the best country to live in. For the 7th year in a row. Can you … Continue reading Norway is the best country to live in. Really?

Quiz: How Well Do You Know The Norwegians?

You have been living in Norway for a while, or have been reading this blog. In any case, now is time to get your knowledge of this society tested on these 30 questions. Do not use the internet to find the answers, but you can use your Norwegian partner or friends. I thought at first this would be easy for Norwegians but it turns out it … Continue reading Quiz: How Well Do You Know The Norwegians?

Want to integrate in Norway? Participate in the world’s biggest dugnad

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

On the cross: (Norwegian) People's Church. Illustration Ole Johnny Hansen for afroginthefjord.com

Strange things Norwegians do with (and in) their Church

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