Norway, a long little land thatcountries far away hardly know about. The following quotes come from people I`ve met on some of my journeys: «Norway. Ah! Ole
gunnar Solskjær», «It’s VERY expensive there» or: «Ah! Ice-bears! ». Some also look at me with knowing glances, before they ask me in a voice ready to hear the truth:
«Isn`t it awfully cold there? You can move down here, to us!».Some also say: “Ah, you party like crazy”, if I meet people on the Turkish dance-floor. I can probably do little less than agree, since the probably of blue-eyed girls with long, blond hair dancing
on the table in front of me, will be huge. Norwegians are also known for being awfully shy, or boring, depending on the eyes of the beholder (unless we party, of course).
This might stem from the fact that many people grew up with cows as
their closest neigbors, or on a island together with a couple of fishermen that spend their time cutting fish and talking about the song they heard on a radio last week. Some have also observed that we don’t talk before we REALLY have something to say.
So, is this reality? Is this my country? Well, I have to confess that some of it has a
grain of truth to it.
Stereotypes are, and will always be, stereotypes. Many have a grain of truth, and so it is with the Norwegian. Just to he clear: I’ve
never seen a ice-bear and it’s still not cold enough for snow to fall. It’s true that many Norwegian drink too much during the
weekend, because they are to shy to ask girls out when sober. It is expensive here when it comes to certain things, and many have in fact grown up at small places. But: we’re so much more than inhibited Eskimos. True, some Norwegian must be defrosted before their body language can be labelled under ‘enthusiasm’ , but when
they first do, they can become loyal, long-term friends. Our society has always tried to make a country where everyone can have a good life. We have also given a lot of money to countries abroad, taken in many refugees, treat all humans with the same respect and help sick and elderly people. For those of you that remember 22.july at ‘Utøya’ where Anders Behring Breivik shot and killed over 100 teenagers.
You might also remember how Norwegians responded. We did not want more violence, so we came together rather than rage and demand harsh punishment. In every city people gathered to demonstrate what we stood for: Compassion, love and
pride. We didn’t want to be at the same level as the killer (then we would be no better). We showed dignity, rather than need for revenge.
I’m generally proud of my fellow Norwegians. We live in a small country, but we do accomplish big things. I hope we will continue to do that, even if we’ve gotten a new government that practice politics based more on individualism and
egotism. This individualism is still opposed by strong voices who have their freedom to speak and to influence the attitudes of our fellow citizens. Many of these left-wing parties have values based on kindness and sharing, than just thinking about ourselves.
Equity is important for us, as we think everyone deserve a good life, rather than just the lucky few who are born into luxury. So still, Norway is a good country with few worries, and we use the energy this gives on our families and sometimes on helping others. It`s also a beautiful countries, like some might now. In the post “the sound of silent beauty” I`ve posted some pictures, and here comes two more, and I will post more later.
Have a great Sunday, everyone!