Greeting a Norwegian

Source: "The Social Guidebook to Norway"

In many places around the world

You look for eye contact when you enter a place

A coffee shop, a restaurant, a meeting, a conference

You acknowledge people 

You nod, you smile and you even say "hi"


You do this to people you do not know

People you will probably won't see again

You do it 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

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 skeptical

Norwegians are special

Many wants to understand them better 

This is why I wrote the book series The Social Guidebooks to Norway 

It shares my findings on who nice Norwegians are

And how easy it is to misinterpret their behaviours


And if you really need to know everything about Norwegians, get our Norwegian toolkit!



By Julien S. Bourrelle

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