Source: "The Social Guidebook to Norway"
In many places around the world
When you enter a room
You will try to get eye contact with others
acknowledging their presence
You may also use eye contact to flirt with the opposite sex
People will acknowledge you back
It does not mean that they want to speak with you
But they acknowledge that you are there
In Norway, looking at unknown people is just weird
Norwegians will wonder what you are after
And may easily feel uncomfortable
It is usually not a mean to flirt
Except if it is late at night in a bar
While looking at others is a way to acknowledge their presence in many places around the world
Norwegians will prefer to respect "other people's privacy"
And try not to look at others unless they have a reason to
While Norwegians are polite doing so
It may easily be interpreted as cold or rejecting by foreigners not used to Scandinavian politeness
Norwegians can often be seen in "Syden" entering coffee shops and restaurants without looking at anyone nor acknowledging the other guests in the room
This is surprising for many cultures
Learn more about your own Norwegian social culture and how it may be perceived in the new edition of "The Social Guidebook to Norway 2"
More about our amazing Norwegian friends in Our Social Guidebooks to Norway