Veronica is a Latvian woman who has lived in Norway for seven years.
According to her, during this period many aspects of her life have changed – from clothes to New Year’s celebrations.
After almost a decade in Norway, she is still amazed at the culture of the Norwegians, so she decided to share the strangest and most interesting things she noticed.
Norwegians love nature
Norway has a law that allows all citizens to have free access to nature. In other words, in Norway you are free to set up a tent away from the camping areas and you can walk, ride a bike and swim wherever you want.
Norwegians love nature so much that they have a word for it – friluftsliv, or “life outdoors”.
At the same time, they are careful and no one throws waste and does not hunt protected animals.
Curtains are almost never used
Norwegians want to emphasize that they have nothing to hide. This is most evident in the decision not to put curtains on the windows.
After all, if you walk in the evening, you can easily see what’s going on in other people’s homes, and they enjoy the view.
Plants on the roofs of houses
This “trend” looks wonderful and natural and perfectly matches the Norwegian environment.
The trend began in the early 19th century. Covering the roofs with plants is usually to keep the heat in the house in winter, but also to cool the house in summer.
At the same time, the plants offer sound insulation, and these green roofs survive almost every storm.
Roofs weigh a lot, especially after rains. Interestingly, they must be constantly moist, so they are a great design for rainy Norway.
In July, all Norwegians are on vacation
In July, 90% of Norwegians use their vacation. In fact, this is stated in their employment contract – out of a 5-week vacation, 3 must be in July.
Kindergartens and schools are closed during this period, and the streets are completely empty.
Norwegians usually spend their summers in southern Europe or in their cottages.
You will have the feeling of working less than usual
Veronica says that when she arrived in Norway, she did not understand why they worked less.
Kindergartens closed after 4:30 p.m., but all children were left by 4 p.m. At 15:30 there was the biggest congestion, and already at 17:00 the streets were empty.
So what does a working day in Norway look like?
The working day lasts 7.5 hours, but in reality most workers work 6-7 hours a day.
Almost everyone starts working at 7 or 8 o’clock.
-The lunch break is 30 minutes, but every hour, Norwegians can take a coffee break.
– If you do not feel well and need to go to the doctor, you can take 3 free paid days. During the year, anyone can take 12 of these days. Most Norwegians combine them with vacation.
Children love to sleep outdoors, no matter how is the weather
In Norwegian kindergartens, children are allowed to sleep outside, whether it is windy, rainy or -10 degrees.
The educators put the children in a stroller after lunch and let them sleep outside.
There are many benefits of this:
– Children who breathe fresh air have a lower risk of disease
– Children sleep better in the fresh air
– Immunity is strengthened
In Norway, children learn through game, especially in the first grades.
For example, in math class, children play “shop” and calculate bills. In English they dress like various characters and act out scenes in English.
If the child lives far from school, he or she will be provided with a taxi or bus.
At least once a week, children go for a walk in the mountains or in the woods. These trips last several hours, and often the whole day.
Probably the biggest problem with Norwegian schools is the lack of food, so children have to bring food from home.
Tradition for packing lunches
Every morning, Norwegian families start packing lunch. Parents pack food for their children, and for them, they pack food for work.
These boxes often contain sandwiches, vegetables, fruits, and sometimes yogurt and pasta.
When they go for a long walk, all Norwegians take a lunch box. They also have an interesting ritual – when they climb a mountain, take a break, eat from the boxes and just enjoy the view.
You will surely be surprised by the vitality of Norwegian retirees. They are physically active at the age of 80, follow technology and are up to date with everything.
In fact, they are different from any retirees you have ever met.
Here are some facts:
– Norwegian retirees travel about 3-4 times a year.
– 95% of them have cars and can drive.
– They lead a very active life – skiing, hiking and are part of all kinds of groups and clubs.
– The average pension in Norway for 2019 was 2,200 dollars.
A visit to the doctor usually costs $ 22, and then, if needed, he will send you to a specialist. Consulting a specialist, on the other hand, can cost from $ 30 to $ 40.
Given the high salaries and pensions, this amount is not large at all.
The only negative thing is that here you can not call a doctor at home, even if your child has a really strong fever. In this case, you will need to go to the hospital or ambulance.
Norway is an expensive country and people often spend $ 200 without buying anything special.
The services, on the other hand, are even more expensive, but the average salary here is $ 4,000-7,000 a month.
Despite the high salary, the Norwegians save a lot:
– In winter, the temperature in the homes is not higher than 18 degrees. When they are at work, most turn off the heating, and when they are at home they wear thicker clothes. This helps them save a lot.
– They use as much water as they need.
– They care how much toilet paper is spend.
– They make a weekly menu and buy only the necessary food products.
– Sometimes they buy things from Sweden, because it is cheaper.
How to save money as a tourist?
– If you have a limited budget, buy food from the First Price brand – the quality of the products is the same as the more expensive ones.
– Fuel prices are lowest on Sunday morning and Monday or Thursday afternoon.
– In Norway, if you eat in a restaurant, you will pay for the table. Therefore, it is best to bring food home or cook.
When is the best time to visit Norway?
– January is a great month to go north and admire the polar light. This period is the best chance to see her.
– February and March are the best months for skiing. The weather is great, the snow is clear, the days are long and there is a lot of sun.
– April, especially the beginning, is a perfect time to visit the Lofoten Islands. If you love fishing, this will be an unforgettable experience.
– May is the month when Norway’s independence is celebrated. On the 17th you can see a lot of Norwegians with traditional costumes, colorful parades and all kinds of events.
– June is suitable for a walk through the big cities in Norway.
– July is a time when you have to travel through the fjords.
– August is the best time to explore the mountains and historical sights.
– September is perfect if you want to enjoy the golden autumn and ride a bike.
– October and November are not recommended for visiting Norway. These months the weather is bad, it’s dark, it’s raining a lot, there’s no snow, and there’s no sun.
– December marks the opening of the ski season.