Norwegian Personal Space


Illustrations from "The Social Guidebook to Norway"

This is when you know that a Norwegian bus stop is full

And that you need to stand

Actually this is just part of the picture

It looks a little bit more like this 

 

Norwegians need space

A lot of Space

When I first moved to Norway

I noticed that Norwegians would move away from me when i sat too close to them 

I am Canadian, white and lived in five countries before moving to Scandinavia

The easiest explanation for me was that Norwegians needed more space

NORWEGAIN PERSONAL SPACE - Picture: Facebook / Credits: Alexander Jones, Oslo 9th March 2016

But what if I looked different

Wear religious symbols

And had never lived in another culture before

How easy would it be for me to believe

That people moved away from me

Because of the color of my skin

Or my religion

This is the type of misunderstanding that brings people apart in society

It is a typical example of a cultural difference which is rather easy to pick up if someone makes you aware of it

But if no one ever tells you about it

It is easy to misinterpret

You may spend years feeling unwelcome

We all see the world through our own cultural glasses

I help people see the world through Norwegian cultural classes

And help Norwegians to realize how their behaviors may be perceived.

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

Sean Percival and Egil Aslak A. Hagerup also provide great insights into the Norwegian culture

By Julien S. Bourrelle

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