Source: "The Social Guidebook to Norway"
Norwegians are very nice people
They will help you if you need help
They will invite you to activities if they have a reason to
They will lend you their belongings if they are sure you will not feel like you owe them something
If a Norwegian lends you something
Like his "hytte" for example
He will try to make the exchange fair
It is uncomfortable for Norwegians to owe to others
So he may ask you to
Take care of the garden, cut the lane, clear the leaves, cut wood, paint, etc.
While in many places around the world such contribution could come naturally from those
borrowing the hytte
To thank their host
To show appreciation
To show gratitude
In Norway, it may well be stated as a condition to get access to the property
This is not rude – it is Norwegian
Norwegians are polite
They are direct and pragmatic
They are making sure you do not feel like you owe them something for using their hytte
You won’t because you will have
Taken care of the garden, cut the lane, cleared the leaves, cut wood, painted, etc.
TIPS: Norwegians like things to be equal and in equilibrium
Friends often pay independently
Or if someone contributes in a friendships
Such as the example above
Equilibrium will be quickly re-established
Like this no one feel like they owe something to someone
Learn more about how to navigate socially in Norway in "The Social Guidebook to Norway"
By Julien S. Bourrelle
Watch him on TED