Meeting your Norwegian family-in-law for Christmas?

Source: "The Social Guidebook to Norway"

I was invited to the family of my first Norwegian girlfriend for Christmas

She came from a place so remote that the Sun did not rise from November to January

She was from Nord-Norge

Northern Norwegians are special Norwegians

I was looking forward to connecting with the family with long conversations around the fireplace, making food and enjoying long dinners

The first morning at 7AM

The father knocks on our door

it was time to eat breakfast

When we were done eating we were asked to put the leftovers in small bags

The father said

"Let us go Cross-country skiing"

I looked at him for a moment

and I thought that he was joking so I said

"But it is dark outside..."

He looked at me surprised

"This is no problem, we have headlamps.”

And for seven hours we went over valleys and mountains

in a snow storm

It was impossible to talk neither with the person in front nor the person behind

We only stopped to eat the frozen "matpakke"

No one managed to speak really as it was very cold and windy

We just exchanged some words about the practicalities of skiing

Should we change wax?

Should we take this valley or the other?

When we finally got home late during the afternoon

Everyone was so exhausted that we prepared simple food

Ate quickly

Having simple conversations


This lasted for three days

After these three days

I had built up trust with the family

Norwegian build trust through physical pain an suffering

And that was just the begining

I was yet totally trusted

There was one more physical test remaining...

Read the rest of the story in"The Social Guidebook to Norway" before you give it away as a Christmas gift this year!


You can also buy our whole Norwegian Toolkit



By Julien S. Bourrelle

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