1. Friluftsliv: The Norwegian Love of the Outdoors
Nature is a very important part of the Norwegian way of life. That is not surprising in a country like Norway with so many amazing sights and beautiful, untouched nature.
With the rugged mountains, the beautiful snow, the majestic auroras and the glorious forests, it’s impossible not love spending time outside enjoying the outdoors.
2. Babies sleeping outside
This is always something that gets you to do a double-take when you first encounter it. Babies. Outside. Actual babies sleeping outside. In fact, almost everyone will put their baby pram outside for naptime while parents shop or enjoy a cup of coffee.
This is supposed to make the baby more resistant to harsh weather conditions. If you ever witness it, don’t worry, Norway is a very safe country. They even do this at kindergartens!
‘The wall of the sun’. This Norwegian saying is best translated with a description. Picture it, it’s the end of the long Norwegian winter, and then the long-awaited sun appears. As soon as there is a slight ray of sunlight, you will witness this unique phenomenon, where people make their way outside and stand with their eyes closed, facing the sun just enjoying the warmth on their faces.
You would join them too if you had just spent four months in near-complete darkness!
4. Slow TV
You may be thinking what could this be? This strange concept is actually not that strange in Norway. In fact, it’s a popular and stress-free way of enjoying time indoors. Slow TV, or in Norwegian sakte-TV, is a genre of television programme that broadcasts an event in its entirety, focusing on the natural pace of the process.
For instance, they broadcast a full seven-hour train journey without any cuts. Sceptical? You should try it!
5. Do their shopping in Sweden
It’s true that in Norway life can be quite expensive – even for Norwegians. That is why some people try to buy their groceries in Sweden. Most people who do this tend to live close to the border, which allows them to do the round trip easily.
6. “Norwegians are born with skis on their feet”
This is no overstatement! In fact, as soon as they know how to walk, children are put on skis and thus begins their lifetime passion for the outdoors. This could be a gift from their ancestors as archaeological finds show that people in Nordic countries have used skis for more than 5,000 years! Even in cities, you will no doubt see locals on skis being pulled by their equally as athletic dogs.
7. Eat really early
Here in Norway, as is the case in most Nordic countries, people eat REALLY early. It may be a bit of a culture shock for some nationalities. In fact, most Norwegians eat their dinner between 4 and 5 in the afternoon.
To be fair, they eat their other meals quite early too. So don’t invite your Norwegian friends for dinner at 8 pm unless you want to create diplomatic tensions.
8. No shoes inside
This a non-negotiable in Nordic countries, no shoes inside, end of the statement. Here in Norway, you cannot, under any circumstance, enter someone’s house with your shoes on. As a matter of fact, this could almost be seen as a criminal offence!
9. There are two versions of the language
The Norwegian language comes from the Old Norse, which was spoken during the Viking Age. But did you know it came in two versions – Bokmål and Nynorsk?
Bokmål comes from the Dano-Norwegian language that arose during the 16th and 17th centuries under the union of Denmark and Norway. However, Nynorsk was developed in the 19th century based on many spoken Norwegian dialects.
10. Cycling everywhere, no matter the weather
Here in Norway, don’t be surprised if you see people biking even during the depth of winter. The bicycles have big wheels and/or spiked tyres, and the bikers are well covered to face the harsh conditions.
As Norwegians say: there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes! Norwegians are well-known for being outdoorsy, and this is further proof of that. Besides, cycling everywhere is another testament of their eco-friendly nature.