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?
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?
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
“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?
When you start learning Norwegian everything looks nice and simple. 5 million inhabitants in this country you think, it can’t be that hard. You’ll learn the one language here and you will be fine. Okay, two languages actually, with nynorsk. Wait, three with the Sami language (actually there are many Sami languages but they use one in official matters such as NAV). Why are there … Continue reading How to differentiate the Norwegian Dialects?
This blogpost is inspired by an article published in The Huffington Post stating 25 reasons why Norway is the greatest place on Earth. Here are my own reasons Norway is that place. Before I tell you why I think Norway really is the best place on Earth, let’s get this straight: Norway is not the best country on Earth for everyone. Norway is the worst place … Continue reading The Real Reasons why Norway is the Best Place on Earth
“Oh my God, I am so excited that Christmas is coming!” says my flatmate. “Me too” I told her. “I love Christmas because I meet my family and we eat oysters and snails”. As I guessed from my flatmate’s disgusted face, that is not what Norwegians eat for Christmas. I started an investigation in Norwegian Christmas: What do you guys eat? What do Norwegians watch? … Continue reading All I want for Christmas is…more voices in Tre nøtter til Askepott
Norwegians, as you’ve understood through this blog, have many traditions and cultural norms they follow on regular days of the year. B during what they call “høytider”: Easter, 17th of May etc. there are even more traditions and rules. So this is not an article to give the keys to foreigners on how to offend Norwegians (although it might do that too I admit). It … Continue reading How to offend Norwegians during Christmas time