Know the people

To blend in you need to know the people. Here is what you need to understand the Osloite better.

The stereotype may be familiar to you – the Scandinavian Viking, freezing and shaking, squeezed in the middle of giant mountains. As a result of harsh climate – the stereotype claims – Norwegians are direct, rude, often shy and sometimes unfriendly.

This is not true. Yes, we define our personal space as more “sacred” than say the Italians, and we will not strike a conversation with you just to kill time on the bus. But we are opening up as a people. Smile, be friendly and seem interested, and you will be surprised by the warmth and generosity you will receive in return.

Be sure that the timid norwegians turn around during party hours though. We are known to be “uptight” when sober and “go wild” when drunk. Slightly exaggerated, though you will find 40 year old accountants with their tie wrapped around their forehead to fight their surpressed creativity.

When bumping into a norwegian, have this quick check-list in mind, and know that he or she has at least one of the following characteristics, probably several.

– We are cross-country skiers in the winter, and park-animals in the summer.

– Norwegians are mostly rich (or may seem so) due to the oil industry, and you’ll see iPhones on every corner.

– There is nothing your average norwegian cares more about than beating the Swedes in whatever sport or event. The mentality is mutual.

– We love the outdoors and spend our holidays in the mountain, the weekend in the forest at our hytte (cabin) and everyday dreaming of the sea.

– One of our favourite past-times is a stroll – you can see Norwegians wandering around, sometimes for hours, with no other purpose than being out and about. Especially when the weather is good.

– 7 out of 10 Norwegians work out at least once a week (young people in Oslo even more), and there are over a 100 crowded gyms in the city.

– As a people we are fashion-oriented, technologically equipped, and with plenty of time to indulge in cultural activities.


Last modified: 3.8.2015