A Mexican family opened their doors so that she could experience the Norwegian Julaften for the first time!

Every society has its own traditions, rituals and unwritten social codes

We foreigners benefit from understanding better and learning the social codes of our host society

How to greet, the distance you should keep during social interactions, the meaning of hand gestures, eye contact, the different signs of politeness, etc.

Understanding the local social codes is a first step towards making local people feel comfortable around you and wanting to create ties with you

You also need to understand the local traditions and rituals

This is truly challenging

Especially when these rituals and traditions take place in closed groups which are difficult to access for newcomers

Something that I call Social Bubbles in my books

A helping hand from a local is a great Christmas gift

I was lucky enough to be invited to the families of good Norwegian friends for Christmas from the very beginning 

I learnt many traditions and rituals

I was then able to understand Norwegians and their behaviours better

One of our translator, Maria Amelie, wrote about her experience meeting the local Norwegian Christmas traditions

It was different to mine

It took ten years for her to experience the Norwegian Christmas

Luckily a welcoming Mexican family invited her to experience Norwegian Christmas traditions in their home

It was the first time she experienced the Norwegian Christmas traditions

Thanks to Mexicans


If you cannot invite your foreign friends for Christmas

Think about giving them a copy of a Norwegian Social Guidebook so they can understand the Norwegian social bubbles better

And why they do not get invited

Norwegians are lovely people

It just works differently here


Read more about Norwegians feel comfortable in social interactions in Our Social Guidebooks to Norway 


By Julien S. Bourrelle

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