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!