Talking with a Norwegian

Source: "The Social Guidebook to Norway"

In many places around the world

You look for eye contact when you enter a place

A coffee shop, a restaurant, a meeting, a conference

You acknowledge people 

You nod, you smile and you even say "hi"

To people you do not know

That you will probably won't see again

You do it for many reasons

To indicated that you "see them"

That you are welcoming and nice

To create a nice atmosphere where further contact is easy to initiate

Try that in Norway and you may be surprised


Norwegians are not cold, rude or uneducated

They are shy, polite and skeptical

Politeness in Norway is a lot about not disturbing others

Why would a stranger say hi for no other reason than to say hi?

It does not make sense

If you do it Norwegians will try to figure out

how they know you

what you want to sell them

why you are talking to them

You find Norwegian special?

I do to, this is why I wrote the The Social Guidebooks to Norway 

It shares my findings on who nice Norwegians are

And how easy it is to misinterpret their behaviours



By Julien S. Bourrelle


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