Welcome to Norway! A small but passionate nation with
and a well preserved landscape, lightly tread upon by hikers and hardy campers.
While I documented much of my ten days, I had help from many new friends and one old one to help
explain simple Norwegian quirks as I came across them, but also to help me interpret the culture and other
powerful symbols such as the holocaust monuments in Norway’s statue park. However, not everything I came across had meaning,
sometimes pieces of Norway were simply peculiar.
My friend Dyveke served as my guide and provided explanations to all of my questions. I say explanations, because I feel like there are no answers to cultural questions
Traffic lights are a good example, the yellow light shines not only from green to red, but also from red to green. The explanation I received was “so you know you’re about to go.” But to me, why should there be a yellow light when it could just shine green? I may just be used to American lights.
Once I started focusing on the more important things, my trip improved drastically. Dyveke introduced me to many of her friends and
I began to feel at home in no time
It was remarkable how everyone I met spoke English fluently, but they also loved to fuss over English, because there are too many words.
The Norwegian language is much simpler, with fewer descriptive words, the only exception is concerning love, different forms pertain to family, friends, or significant others,
They describe their relationships with one another in much more depth that cannot be translated easily into English.
Every Norwegian I talked to gave me the impression that they care about the other over themselves, but in some instances it seems that they don’t have a choice.
To illustrate my point, one day we attended a birthday on a sailboat. It was a large gathering, and everyone brought the birthday girl a
gift. Which I thought was a little odd, since she was turning 20. Then the “birthday game” was explained. Even though anyone throwing theparty will normally include a message saying
please do not bring gifts! It is expected for everyone to bring one anyway,
in order to show you really care about the person.This sort of social expectation made me suspiciousof genuine gift giving but maybe its just because I am
Whatever their intentions, what remained clear throughout the trip was the love Norwegians have for their country, and their traditions
For their national holiday, nearly all of the roughly 4.3 million Norwegians head to the capital to celebrate and parade past
The royal family
Being apart of a people so enthusiastically in support of their country and government was a refreshing spin on national holidays.
Experiencing the pride of Norway’s citizens erased many of the doubts I had about the way they function as a society.