Norwegians in "Syden"

"SYDEN" is where Norwegians loose control

It is a general term to describe all place abroad where it is warm and there is Sun

Norwegians do crazy things in Syden

They start to smile

They acknowledge others

They talk to each other

And even talk with strangers

For no practical reason 

I was in Croatia 

Enjoying some days in the Sun

Like many Norwegians do in Syden

Including one of my neighbors

The type neighbor that waits behind her door not to see others in the hallway

Or pretend not to have seen you in the garden


That neighbor came to me and started speaking for no reason

She was suddenly excited to have a conversation

After years living in the same building and avoiding any occasion to speak with others

It seemed like being at the same place in Syden was a perfect occasion to speak together for the first time

I was rather suspicious that she now wanted to speak with me

That because we were far away from home

It was expected that we would spend time speaking to each other

Despite her passing next to me at home

days after days

without looking at me and barely answering if I would greet 

My neighbor was not the only one around

A day later I heard other people speak Norwegian on the beach

I turned around and smiled

A mother and her daughter smiled back and we started to talk


Without any Norwegian awkwardness

We ended up talking for about 20 minutes

Some of their friends and family joined in

They included me in the conversation and we ended up spending several hours together

Enjoying the Sun and discussing all sorts or things

It seems like being outside Norway

Somehow provides a framework for socialization

"Syden" is another type of "Framed Activities"

Just like when going to the mountains

Norwegians have a reason to talk

(We are abroad at the same time)

And it is easy to escape

Furthermore, they are certain not to disturb others

They know everyone is on vacation and have time to speak

At home they could be disturbing their busy neighbors by saying "hei" and having a short chat

The moral is

Talk to Norwegians when you are sure that

(1) You have a reason to

(2) They can easily escape

(3) You are sure that they have time to speak

Abroad or in the mountains works really well

Have a great summer enjoying Norwegians! :)



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



By Julien S. Bourrelle

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