Those weird Norwegians… – Cultural differences from a Brazilian perspective

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What are the cultural differences between Norway and the rest of the world? Fernanda from Brazil gave us 16 hilarious observations during her stay in Norway:

16 curiosities about Norway after 6 months living here:

1. The Norwegian lunch is very often bread / sandwich, while for breakfast it is normal to eat salad, beet, tomato, cucumber, salmon etc.

2. Dinner is served around 4:30 p.m.

3. If you have a dog, there is a law that says you should walk with him at least 3 times a day.

4. Abortion is legalized up to 3 months, and you just need to go to the gynecologist and ask for a pill.

5. The buses are extremely punctual, and if a bus is delayed for more than 15 minutes you can take a taxi and send the receipt to the bus company for a refund. Moreover, there are no gates, obstructions or bariers in buses, trains, stations or metros. You can just walk straight in, and people trust that you have bought your ticket on beforehand.

6. When someone dies, after the funeral, everyone joins to eat together somewhere and it’s kind of a party.

7. Before discovering oil, some 50 years ago, there was much poverty here.

8. Gender equality is so great here that most Norwegian girls would find it rude if a guy opened the door for them. Kind of “I can open the door myself”.

9. Yawning is considered extremely rude, but seeing a person on the street with whom you have already slept with and not greeting is normal.

10. You can only buy alcohol (with more than 5%) in a specific store, called Vinmonopolet, which is run by the government, has specific opening hours and is very expensive. And drinking in public places is forbidden.

11. The minimum age to enter a bar is 18, but if this bar sells liquor (vodka, whiskey etc.) the minimum age is 21, and in some places it may be 23 or 25.

12. In kindergarten the babies are placed in the cart outside to “adapt” to the cold, or get some fresh air. They are only on the inside if the temperature is -10 ° C or less.

13. There is a “rivalry” between Norway and Sweden that is equal Brazil vs Argentina.

14. The streets / roads have a specific technology to be able to dilate / contract during winter and summer and so do not break apart.

15. It is not usual to say “I love you”, as it is considered very intense. The Norwegians prefer to use an expression that means “I’m happy with you” or “I care for you deeply” haha.

16. In the winter they will fish in the frozen lake, and make a hole in the ice to put the hook through (same as in the Woody Woodpecker cartoon).

BONUS: The original Santa Claus (St. Nicholas) is from a region called Lapland, northern Norway. In winter the temperature there can reach -45 / -50 degrees.

Welcome to Norway!

Fernanda Tenorio participates in an exchange project between HI Norway and HI Brazil. The project is funded by FK Norway.


photo: by Les Haines

(picture top by Kristoffer Trolle)

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