Source: "The Social Guidebook to Norway"
In many places around the world
You try to establish eye contact with others when you enter a place
A coffee shop, a restaurant, a meeting, a conference
You acknowledge people
You nod, you smile and you may even say "hi"
To people you do not know
People you probably won't see again
You do this for many reasons
To indicated that you "see them"
That you are welcoming and nice
To create a nice atmosphere where further contact is easy to initiate
In Norway it works differently
*"Why is he talking to me?"
Norwegians need a reason to speak to others
Politeness in Norway is a lot about not disturbing others
If you greet for no apparent reason
Norwegians will try to figure out how they know you
what you want to sell them
why you are talking to them
Norwegians are not cold, rude or uneducated
They are shy, polite and do not want to disturb
Norwegians are special
It is easy to misinterpret their behaviours
Read more about our amazing Norwegian friends in Our Social Guidebooks to Norway