Are Norwegians Impolite?

Source: "The Social Guidebook to Norway"

I lived two years in Spain

In Spain when you enter a shop you say “¡Hola!”

The cashier replies “¡Hola!”

And all the other people in the shop reply “¡Hola!”

It looks a little bit like this

When I moved to Norway

I came into a grocery store and said "hei!hei!"

Norwegians wondered why I was saying hi

In Norway greetings mean something different

You greet when you have a reason to

When you have something to talk about

When you have something purposeful to say

Greetings are more pragmatic

Norwegians are not rude

They simply have codes that differs from other cultures

It is often about not disturbing others

And respecting each other’s privacy


“Politeness in Norway is about not disturbing others.”

Julien S. Bourrelle


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


By Julien S. Bourrelle

Book a lecture