Birken: Norwegians love to suffer

Source: "The Social Guidebook to Norway"

Birken is a 54 km yearly Norwegian ski race over mountains and valleys 

This year no one died

It was a good year

Despite temperature plunging to -25C (-13F)

Thousands of Norwegians participated

They waited patiently in the cold for the race to start

They were looking forward to the suffering that was awaiting them for the next 4 hours

Physical suffering provides Norwegian with a great feeling of accomplishment

It is one of the few opportunity they have to boost their social status

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

If you are good at skiing

Mention it in job interviews

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?



Read more about our amazing Norwegian friends in Our Social Guidebooks to Norway 


By Julien S. Bourrelle

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