Sunday, May 11, 2014

Norwegian traditions

In Norway are many customs that may be different compared to visitor's home country, and here you may find some hints about:

Manners
- Norwegians tend to be egalitarian, private, and noncompetitive, and treat genders equally,
- Keeping calm and not displaying strong emotions in public are common virtues in Norway,
- Norwegians are not impressed by titles and formal positions, and are famously direct (getting straight to the point) and informal,
- Authoritarian manners and boasting are disliked and will cause disrespect,
- Personal space is respected,
- Being punctual is a matter of showing respect and is very important for business and private meetings,
- Norwegians generally have a reserved body language and may appear as cold or aloof,
- Competition is downplayed in most settings,
- Work and leisure is kept strictly apart,
- Norwegians are generally modest and easy-going, and don't adhere to strict codes of politeness, but table manners are important,
- Words like "sorry" and "please" are not used frequently but once used, polite remarks are sincere,
- Norwegians greet and give sincere thanks with a firm handshake, and formal business meetings are often introduced and concluded with short handshakes,
- Cheek-kissing is uncommon except among very close friends (then more like a gentle hug),
- Norwegians are reserved, informal and can be surprisingly direct,
- Norwegians take great pride in being sporty and fit. 
Trondheim - "active sunset" (Photo Sven-Erik Knoff)
Trondheim - "active sunset" (Photo Sven-Erik Knoff)
Dress codes
- Norwegians are notoriously informal, particularly in clothing, and they don't usually dress smart for work, going casually most of the time,
- Norwegians find it perfectly natural to wear sport clothes and rucksack anywhere.

Food, meals and alcohol
- Bread and potatoes are basic food stuff in most homes,
- Open sandwiches (slices of dark bread with meat, jam or whatever spread) is a the most common way of eating,
-  There is a tradition of not drinking on week days, and the regular consumption consists in coffee or tea,
- Wine, strong beers and spirits can be purchased by the bottle only at the state liquor store (Vinmonopolet).

Info sources: TripAdvisor and Culture of Norway