What is most common to know about Norway is that it has the capital in Oslo, that sometime ago on that territory were living the Vikings and probably that Norwegians eat a lot of fish.
For years and years this country, which is rather huge in comparison with the European territories, has been dominated by Sweden and Denmark; when Norway finally had gain its independence from the others, they found themselves in a small number on a huge territory that needed to be populated.
This pictures illustrates how long Norway is in comparison with Unites States, in European comparison, it is long enough to arrive to Sicily(South of Italy) without leaving the Scandinavian Peninsula. And at the time of their liberation from Sweden and Denmark the population was of 5.000.000.
Years passes and Norway nowadays is one of the best economical positioned country in the world, has had a neutral position in most conflicts and even though is not an official member in many international organizations, it managed to earn a top position in many fields.
Is this history of Norway what has influenced people’s behavior and mentality? Probably yes. Because of the low density, people have learned to keep distance from strangers and not allow anybody invade their territories ever again. So this restrained social behavior has been developed by the inhabitants of this country. They have the desire like all of us, but somehow their culture inhibit them and do not permit them to be that open at first sign. Culture is what defined a country, and most of the population generally is following the normality established by the society. If its normal not to say hello to a stranger, then don’t do it, otherwise you will be seen as a disgrace for the society. Follow the normality and you’ll be safe.
The apparent distance these Norwegian people keep is not because they do not have social skill; they have them and they are really interesting individuals, high intellect, pleasant company and beautiful people. You just need to be the one to approach them and make them want to get out from their normality and you’ll see what a wonderful person you’ll know; Be the one to open to conversation and they would love it and be glad to socialize. Many times is not so easy approaching somebody from another culture than yours, because you will never know what to expect from their reactions over your actions; you know what is normal for you, but you cannot know for sure what’s normal for another person and especially if that person has a totally different background than yours.
The country’s high results were thanks to their high dedication and ambition to prove themselves not slaves for others; they started as farmers and now the social system in Norway is the best in the world. They fought for their identity and now they are respected world wide. They seem one of the most capitalist countries in the world, but actually they are more socialists and do not show so many differences between social classes even though they exist, they prefer treating each individual equally. That’s admirable for the Norwegians, because in other cultures individuals are showing more power distance.
Norway has a lot of immigrants that have managed to adapt and integrate to its culture, their mixes are accepted; this gives them the curiosity to also know the unknown and open to new cultures. Religion plays an important role in their culture as well, they even have some provinces where people are absolutely dedicated to the Bible, and as it seems all the Norwegian “devils” are coming from those area; devils as intended to people who do not follow the normality, but their own will.
Each culture has its own personality, it is nice to have a little idea about each culture and just try to see if these characteristics actually match a person from that specific culture.
I wouldn’t be able to have this information without the help of a Norwegian buddy. Thank you, Bastiaan! 🙂