Personal Space in Norway

Source: "The Social Guidebook to Norway"

Norwegians need space

A lot of Space

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

And that you need to stand

When i first came to Norway

I would go and sit in the middle

Very often

One of the person would stand up

and take a step aside

After a little while

I realised that you cannot sit on such a bench

It is a full bench!

I grew up in Canada

I am white

I lived in numerous countries before moving to Norway

The easiest explanation for me

Was that Norwegians felt uncomfortable having a stranger sitting so close

That they needed more space 

But what if you look different

Or wear religious symbols

How easy would it be for you to believe

That people go away from you

Because of the color of your skin

Or your religion?


This is the type of cultural misunderstandings that brings people apart in societies

People from different cultures have different expectations

And difference unwritten social norms

We all see the world through cultural glasses

Welcome to Norway

You may need a guide


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


By Julien S. Bourrelle

Book a lecture



Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published