Source: "The Social Guidebook to Norway"
Today is Birkebeinerrennet. The popular 54 km Norwegian cross-country ski race is back after being cancelled two years in a row due to covid-restrictions.
All is back to normal in Norway now and thousands of Norwegians are eager to ski for 4-7 hours in the cold.
They will pay 1500 NOK (170 USD) and the most motivated will be proud of their "seeding".
Foreigners may wonder why Norwegians pay so much to ski in the cold for so many hours.
This is actually one of the best opportunities for Norwegians to show their friends and colleagues how good they are at suffering, something that is highly value in the Norwegian society.
Physical sufferance is an important part of the Norwegian culture. People event die during that race.
But if they manage to get to the finish line, Norwegians will get a great feeling of accomplishment
Do well at Birken and the largest national business newspaper will publish your name and race time
Together with the name of the company you work for and your position there
By showing publicly that you have great physical abilities
That you are in good shape
That you endure pain under the cold for several hours in silence
You will increase your credibility, trust and respect
In the eyes of your Norwegian bosses, employees and clients
It is also one of the few opportunities Norwegians have to boost their social status
Even the royals take part in this competition
This is beautiful
Where else in the world would it be safe enough
for a future King to ski in public for 54 km?
Today Elise and I are taking part in the race for the first time.
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Read more about our amazing Norwegian friends in Our Social Guidebooks to Norway