Category: Norwegian culture

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The culture of Norway is closely linked to the country's history and geography. The unique Norwegian farm culturesustained to this day, has resulted not only from scarce resources and a harsh climate but also from ancient property laws. In the 19th century, it brought about a strong romantic nationalistic movement, which is still visible in the Norwegian language and media.

In the 19th century, Norwegian culture blossomed as efforts continued to achieve an independent identity in the areas of literatureart and music. This continues today in the performing arts and as a result of government support for exhibitions, cultural projects and artwork. Norway's food traditions show the influence of sea farming and farming the land, traditions with salmonherringtroutcodand other sea food, balanced by cheese, dairy products and breads.

Lefse is a common Norwegian wheat or potato flatbread, eaten around Christmas. Though he was not awarded a Nobel Prize for his plays, as the first of these were awarded after he published his last play inplaywright Henrik Ibsen is probably the most famous figure in Norwegian literature.

Norwegian literature attained international acclaim in the s with Jostein Gaarder 's novel Sophie's World Sofies verdenwhich was translated into 40 languages. Norway has always had a tradition of building in wood. Indeed, many of today's most interesting new buildings are made of wood, reflecting the strong appeal that this material continues to hold for Norwegian designers and builders.

In the early Middle Ages, stave churches were constructed throughout Norway. Many of them remain to this day and represent Norway's most important contribution to architectural history. Another notable example of wooden architecture is Bryggen the wharf in Bergen, consisting of a row of narrow wooden structures along the quayside. After Norway's union with Denmark was dissolved inOslo became the capital. Architect Christian H. Grosch designed the oldest parts of the University of Oslothe Oslo Stock Exchangeand many other buildings and churches.

The s, when functionalism dominated, became a strong period for Norwegian architecture, but it is only in recent decades that Norwegian architects have truly achieved international renown. Its debating chamber is an abstract timber version of a Lavvo, the traditional tent used by the nomadic Sami people. For an extended period, the Norwegian art scene was dominated by artwork from Germany and Holland as well as by the influence of Copenhagen.

It was in the 19th century that a truly Norwegian era began, first with portraits, later with even more impressive landscapes. Johan Christian Dahl —originally from the Dresden school, eventually returned to paint the landscapes of west Norway, defining Norwegian painting for the first time. Norway's new-found independence from Denmark encouraged painters to develop their Norwegian identity, especially with landscape painting by artists such as Kitty Kielland —an early female painter who studied under Gude: Harriet Backer —another pioneer among female artists, influenced by impressionism.

Frits Thaulow —an impressionist, was influenced by the art scene in Paris as was Christian Krohg —a realist painter, famous for his paintings of prostitutes. Marcus Selmer is considered to be the first dedicated landscape photographer but Knud Knudsen and the Swede Axel Lindahl are remembered for their extensive travels aimed at capturing landscapes.Prepare to see scores of determined Norwegians powering up and down hilly roads!

In Norway, reading or watching modern or classic detective series has become an integral part of the holidays. The tradition is said to have started rather sensationally in the s.

Brown cheese is a Norwegian institution in itself. To become a fully fledged Norwegian, try this unusual-yet-delicious topping on a soft waffle.

Norway is a huge country with only five million inhabitants. Perhaps this sparse population density is why Norwegians love their personal space.

This is particularly true while riding public transportation — where Norwegians will only sit down next to or directly opposite someone else if there are no other options available — or while waiting for the bus or train. The taco became a regular Friday-night guest in Norwegian homes in the s. Now, the consensus seems to be the more tacos, the better.

The beautiful suits and dresses are often worn with accessories specific to a particular region. Many non-Norwegians who live here experience the confusing moment when a Norwegian friend runs into someone they know and proceeds to have a chat without introducing you.

This leaves the odd person out to shuffle around awkwardly while the other two discuss the weather, the political situation and the meaning of life. This is not meant as an offence; it is just a facet of Norwegian social customs of not wishing to impose themselves or situations on others.

Many don their bunadsenjoy a champagne breakfast, and then head to the town centre to watch a tear-inducingly cute parade of local schoolchildren waving flags and banners. In Oslothis takes place in front of the royal family at the castle. The tradition then dictates spending the rest of the day in revelry consuming lots of alcohol and inhaling as many hot-dog sausages, ice lollies, waffles and pieces of cake as possible.

You can, of course, buy alcohol in bars, clubs and restaurants, but the only way to buy it for home consumption means going to a state-run vinmonopolet. These shops shut their doors in the early evening and stay closed on Sundays.

norwegian culture

Supermarkets can now sell some beer brands but those sales stop earlier than the rest of the shop. Graduating students also wear the same pair of red dungarees during the entire month of festivities and are not supposed to wash them. The whole thing climaxes on Norwegian Constitution Day, when the red russe -students often walk in the parade looking suspiciously worn out. However, Norwegians are also paid some of the highest average wages in the world, so it sort of evens out.

It also has the nice added benefit of making almost everywhere else seem pleasantly inexpensive. Select currency. Norwegian Constitution Day is celebrated on 17 May. A bit of blood and gore at Easter.Norway and Norwegians have a number of customs that may differ notably from the visitor's home country. Here's a preliminary list:.

A guide to Norway – etiquette, customs, clothing and more…

Log in to get trip updates and message other travelers. Norway Traveler Article: Norway: Traditions and customs. This article contains a discussion by Tripadvisor members concerning the above topic. Please note that the discussion was closed to any additional postings as of Nov 1, and, as such, some of the information contained herein may be outdated and cannot be commented on by travelers at this time.

Please take this into account when making your travel plans. 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. Many Norwegians eat whale and find that perfectly OK. Avoid the topic unless you want a heated discussion.

Most people eat dinner at home around or Late dinners like in Spain is unusual. In the country side, some people eat dinner at noon and go back to work after a good nap. Danes can drink in the morning, Norwegians don't.

There is a tradition of not drinking on week days. Don't expect to be offered wine or other alcohol in private homes, coffee or tea is standard. A lot of Norwegians get rather drunk on fridays and saturdays, but alcohol consumption is on average modest.

norwegian culture

Beer is the only alcohol available in shops at restricted times. Ask any Norwegian they know how to find them. First time visitors are often shocked by Norway's alcohol price structure. Manners Keeping calm and not displaying strong emotions in public are common virtues in Norway.

norwegian culture

Despite the emphasis on modesty, Norway mostly has a low-context style of communication. Although the feeling of being one nation is strong, there are strong individualistic and egalitarian attitudes, being self-reliant and equal is highly regarded.

Norwegians are not impressed by titles and formal positions, and are famously direct getting straigth to the point and informal. Authoritarian manners are disliked and will cause disrespect. Boasting is disliked.

Being punctual is a matter of showing respect. Very important for business meetings better arrive 5 min too earlygenerally important even for private appointments, for formal dinners it is acceptable and even customery to arrive some 10 min after the given time. While informal, Norwegians generally have a reserved body language and may appear as cold or aloof.

It is not customery to bring children to social gatherings in the evening. Bringing children to cafe late at evening can be perceived as child abuse or neglect. Work and leisure is kept strictly apart. Business partners are rarely invited to private homes.

Norway: Traditions and customs

Norwegians are generally modest and easy-going, and don't adhere to strict codes of politeness.Norway is a Scandinavian nation with a population of around 5 million. Ethnic Norwegians constitute the largest ethnic group in the country and account for Other European ethnic groups and others comprise 8. Roman Catholics account for 2. The rest of the population comprises of followers of other Christian denominations, Islam, Hinduism, etc.

Traditional Norwegian cuisine is based primarily on the raw materials that are available in the mountains, wilderness, and coasts of the country. Fish and game are the most important constituents of this cuisine. Modern cuisine of the country is, however, largely influenced by international cuisines and includes pizzas, tacos, pasta, etc.

The folk music and dance of Norway includes a number of traditions and many indigenous musical instruments. The Hardanger fiddle, Swedish bagpipes, lur, and kari are some examples of such instruments. In the modern-day, the country is famous for black metal. Although this genre of music originated elsewhere, the musicians and bands of the country played a major role in developing the genre.

Culture of Norway

Venom, Mercyful Fate, and Bathory are some famous Norwegian black metal bands. The pop music and jazz scene in Norway are also thriving. The art scene in Norway truly began in the 19th century. Portraits and landscapes were produced as popular works of the time. Another internationally famous artist from Norway is Edvard Munch whose work The Scream, painted inis globally famous.

The cinema industry in Norway is notable for some of its excellent works. The first domestic production of the Norwegian film industry was released in It was named Fiskerlivets farer and is a story about fishermen.

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The first feature film was released in Tancred Ibsen and Leif Sinding are some of the most noted film directors of the Norwegian film industry in its early years. As ofthe industry has produced about films with about a third of them being produced in the 21st century.The name Norge "the Northern Way" originally pertained to a region of the country before political consolidation under Harald the Fair-Haired around C.

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In later use, the country's name indicates its location on the northern periphery of Europe. Some of the northerly sections of the country are home to at least two main groups coastal and mountain of an indigenous population of Sami previously called Lapps with a separate language and distinct cultural traditions. Some groups of Sami practice reindeer nomadism and range across northern Sweden and Finland. A smaller Gypsy population also was part of the otherwise homogeneous population.

For humanitarian reasons, in the late twentieth century, the country welcomed asylum seekers and immigrants from other countries. Norwegians have an acute sense of identity fostered by a nineteenth century national romantic movement and by the country's emergence in as an independent constitutional monarchy. The small scale of Norwegian society, with a population of little more than four million, also promotes cultural sharing.

Location and Geography. Norway is situated on the western side of the Scandinavian peninsula, which it shares with its eastern neighbor, Sweden. The North Sea borders the country on the west, and the Barent Sea lies to the north. Spitsbergen, a group of islands four hundred miles to the north in the Arctic Ocean, is a Norwegian dependency. The country also shares borders with Finland and Russia in its northern regions.

A long and narrow landmass, Norway extends more than 1, miles from north to south and varies in width between miles and 4 miles.

One-third of the country lies north of the Arctic Circle. The dominant feature of the topography is a backbone of mountains extending down the Scandinavian peninsula, with fjords, or long inlets of the sea, penetrating inland on the west and south. With a total area ofsquare milessquare kilometersmuch of the country is dominated by rugged mountainous or coastal landscapes that have made tourism an important industry.

Only about 3 percent of the land area is suitable for raising crops, and nearly half of that land is situated in the east, near Oslo, the capital, where broad, open valleys produce grain and root crops. The west coast traditionally has supported smaller farms perched along the fjords or nestled in mountain valleys.

Farming and fishing have always been major occupations in this region. Trondheim, a medieval cathedral city on the west coast, also has an agricultural hinterland. The northern region constitutes the largest part of the country, with 35 percent of the land area and only 12 percent of the population.

Fishing has been the major traditional occupation in this region.This will show native Norwegians that you respect their culture and way of life enough to have taken time to research it.

It will also make transition into a new way of life much easier. An average of 14 people per square kilometre makes Norway one of the most scarcely populated countries in the world. The majority of residents live in the southern half of the country. Norway has a constitutional monarchy and King Harald V is the current reigning monarch. While the Royal Family has limited powers, there is a deep respect for them among the general population.

There is also a great sense of national pride among Norwegians, with the National Holiday on 17 May one of the most highly anticipated annual celebrations. The capital city of Oslo is home to more than half a million residents and is considered an important trading and maritime centre. Norway is an extremely open and accepting country with a highly tolerant attitude towards other cultures and nationalities as well as excellent gender equality and LGBT rights.

Religion does not play an overt role in everyday life although, more than half the population are registered at baptism as being members of the Church of Norway, which is the official state religion. There are also a number of dialects throughout the country that vary slightly from the traditional language.

Around 0. The Norwegian language is very similar to Swedish and Danish. Children of expats are encouraged to learn Norwegian and the government requires any applicant for Norwegian citizenship to either be proficient in Norwegian, one of the Sami languages or another of the Scandinavian languages, or provide proof of having attended Norwegian classes for a minimum of hours.

English is the primary foreign language taught in Norwegian schools. The majority of the population is fairly fluent, although some older people have limited proficiency. Norway is renowned for its exceptional natural beauty. Its coastline stretches more than 64, miles and the region boasts aroundislands.

This makes for incredible outdoor sports opportunities and ventures into landscapes seemingly untouched by modern life. Orienteering is very popular among the local people and a good way to assimilate with them. The Norwegian lifestyle is extremely healthy and life expectancy is second best in the world, just behind Japan. Plans are currently being put in place to make downtown Oslo entirely pedestrianised, cutting car pollution significantly.

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Norway has a strictly egalitarian culture within which Jante Law is a pillar. According to Jante Law, values of humility, respect, simplicity and equality are a priority. As such, Norwegian people are not vocal about their own achievements wealth, intelligence, material goods and are generally unimpressed by those who show off about such things. People are valued for their honesty, respect and goodness without any need to judge others on their professional standing.

For anyone doing business in Norway, there is a distinct professional style. Relationships are purely transactional and you must be willing to deal with the slow burn, as Norwegians will take their time before making any business decision.

Norwegians will only do business with those they trust and transparency is crucial in order to establish this connection.

You must be willing and open to discuss all aspects of yourself, your colleagues and your business with a potential client. Norwegians appreciate those who are reliable, stick to deadlines and honour every meeting with prior research, extensive pre-prep and timely communication.Much of the culture of Norway can be traced back to the Vikings, a group of Scandinavian seafaring pirates, traders, and pioneers that settled in Northern Europe in the eighth century.

However, throughout their history, the people of this country have always identified with rural culture, which can be seen in its traditional costumes and folk music that are still celebrated today. Jante Law is an essential part of modern Norwegian culture and emphasizes humility, equality, respect, and simplicity.

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In Jante Law, wealth is not flaunted, people don't criticize others, and egalitarianism is key. May 17 is Constitution DayNorway's holiday celebrating its nationhood. On this day, Norwegians participate in parades with bands, unions, civic and volunteer groups, schools, and performers. Norway's food culture is heavy on seafood, but the most typical food is thinly sliced brown cheese eaten with bread. Other popular cornerstones are cured or smoked salmon, whale steak, and Fiskepudding. Breakfast usually includes fish, crispbread or flatbread, yogurt, cheese, coffee, and milk.

Dinner consists of root vegetables such as carrots or boiled potatoes paired with fish and meats such as whale, chicken, beef, pork, or chicken. On Constitution Day, Norwegians celebrate by eating flatbread, thinly sliced dried meats, porridge, beer, and aquavit. Learn about tipping in Norway. Norway has been inhabited by several different nomadic cultures for many centuries, so folklore is well-established and plays a big part in its modern culture and heritage.

Legends include references to trolls, elves, witches, and other non-human characters alongside human heroes and heroines. Norway's natural features have also greatly influenced its folklore. For example, many stories are told about trolls and elves that live in the forests. The folklore of Norway also tells us about a Christmas goat called julebukk.

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Many of the stories of Viking conquests still live on today as folklore, too. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. The folk music culture consists of music in vocal and instrumental pieces that are often performed by soloists. Popular folk musicians and singers include Susanne Lundeng and Odd Nordstoga. The traditional instrument for instrumental folk music in Norway is the Hardanger fiddle hardingfele followed by the harp. Typical traditional dances for Norway folk music include the Halling hallingdansenshown in Alexander Rybak's winning performance at the Eurovision Song Contest.

The traditional national costume of Norway is called bunadan elaborate costume dating back to the s with a lot of embroidery and jewelry. Both men and women own these peasant costumes. It is part of Norwegian culture to wear the bunad as the Norwegian folk dress for folk dancing at official celebrations, weddings, and especially on May 17, which is Constitution Day in Norway. Written by.