Norway: Suffer first, then enjoy!

Source: "The Social Guidebook to Norway"

Holmenkollstaffeten took place this weekend in Oslo

A fantastic example of Norwegian socialization

You create a team with your colleagues 

You spend the day running to the top of a mountain together

It is a hard run

You push your physical limits

You compete against other teams

Here it is allowed to be best


After the run, you quickly shower and prepare to meet up with all your colleagues for a dinner or a drink

There you can enjoy yourself, laugh and relax

But you need to run the exhausting race in order to be allowed to join for the drinks

If you haven't participated in the run

You cannot attend the dinner or drinks

You need to suffer first

It is easier to organize an activity first when you want to see your colleagues 

It gives a reason to meet outside work

It is even better if you suffer during that activitiy

It is then easier to enjoy a good time talk afterwards


Birken is another good example

Actually when observing Norwegians

You realise that they very often want to suffer before allowing themselves to enjoy

They see enjoyment as a reward for hardship

The fireplace at the hytte is much more comfortable after you went swimming in the nearly frozen sea on a cold spring day!

After nearly 10 years in Norway

I adapted to this perspective on life

The side effect of it is that I am much more active physically then i was before

And feel that I enjoy life more!


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


By Julien S. Bourrelle

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