Norwegians come on time. Almost always.

When Norwegians are invited to an event, a meal or a meeting

They will show up exactly on time

If they happen to be more than 3 minutes late

They will call or send an SMS to inform about the situation

They also expect that events, meal and meetings start at the time they are supposed to start

This leads to funny situations abroad

Together with my Norwegian girlfriend Elise

I was invited to a wedding ceremony on the Indonesian island of Lombok last weekend

In the invitation it was written that the ceremony started at 11h00

We were aware that time is more flexible in Indonesia then it is in Norway so we asked two Indonesian guests when we should arrive

They both said at 11h00 or a little before

We ran late and arrive at 11h05 nervous to be interrupting the ceremony

When we arrived the room looked like this with Elise sitting in the middle

This situation is interesting

First the invitation stated a specific time which was not respected by any of the guests or the couple to be married

The couple arrived around 30 minutes later

And the first guest one hour later

That means that everyone knew that it was not expected to be there at 11h00

Yet the people we asked both confirmed that we should be there at 11h00 or a little before

That in turns means it was desirable that guests arrive at 11h00 or a little before

But that in reality everyone knew that no one would show up at 11h.00

In Norway when you receive an invitation it is desirable and expected that you arrive on time

The only exceptions are when alcohol is involved

At a vorspiel, parties or late at night in a bar for example

Where time is more flexible


Read more about how special Norwegians are in Books about Norwegians 


By Julien S. Bourrelle

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