The Kingdom of Norway.
Having lived abroad for most of my adult life (Italy, Norway, England, Norway, England – but that’s a whole other blog entry), I have come across people who have heard many things about us Norwegians, some true and some not so true.
So I thought I would address some of these oddities and, perhaps, misconceptions as well as truths about my native country and folk sooner rather than later.
- No, polar bears do not roam around freely in our streets.
- Surprisingly enough, Norwegians aren’t predominantly tall and blonde (*sighs, looking wishful into the air..). That would be the Swedes, and the Danes. But we do love to colour our hair to keep up appearances (bottle blonde me)!
- Yes, parts of Norway will have (almost) complete darkness during winter, and perpetual daylight during summer. That is the place I call home-home. Only 4million of the world’s population of 6.8billion live in the Arctic region, so when you meet one from there, truly treasure the moment! That goes for Norwegians too – only 4.8million of us out there!
- We are not all death/heavy metal loving church burners. Yes, some do like death/heavy metal, and yes, some also sadly torched churches. That’s what made the press and it was back in the 90s. But you can find both Hell and Paradis in Norway if you go looking!
- We are not all depressed due to the dark polar nights (see point 3).
- Nor are we all obsessed with skiing. Personally I much prefer après-ski.
- Norwegians invented the ostehøvel (cheese slicer). It goes perfectly with our brunost (brown cheese).
- Since our country is fairly cold most of the year and situated on the outskirts of Northern Europe, we do love to travel! Much like our Viking ancestors. But these days we are much more amicable when travelling.
- Our alphabet contains three more letters than the English: Æ, Ø and Å.
- We may be one of the richest countries in the world, but we can still only buy wine and liquor from special Government owned shops called Vinmonopolet (the wine monopoly). Not to be confused with Vinopolis in London.
These are only but a few of many Norwegian stereotypes out there. I would love to hear any that aren’t listed above!