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Danai Christopoulou

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4 mins read

10 things that are typical Norwegian

What are the first things that come to mind when you think about Norwegians? The descendants of the Vikings certainly have many personality quirks.

But perhaps their most important traits have to do with their love of nature and their propensity for exploring their beautiful country. Below we’ve gathered 10 things that are so typical Norwegian, you’ll recognize them right away!

Dressing for the weather

“There is no bad weather; only bad clothes.” Perhaps you’ve heard of this old Norwegian saying? One of the first things any Norwegian will teach you, is that if you want to explore the wonders of this land, you shouldn’t let a small thing like rain stop you. Instead, you need to dress for the weather — which in most cases means wearing a raincoat and sturdy shoes.

Making the most out of any sunlight

Norwegians do not take the sun for granted. Even in the summer, when the sun is practically out until midnight, Norwegians will make sure to milk every ounce of the golden rays by going on boat trips, camping trips or road trips. 

And during the autumn and winter months, when the sun is more of a luxury, Norwegians will wear their active gear and go out to explore at the first sign of sunlight. You’d be wise to join them!

Hiking

Hiking is such a common activity for Norwegians, many people even suggest it as a first date! And why not? From forests to mountains and from glaciers to plateaus, the diversity of hiking trails in Norway is endless — and so are the breathtaking views. Pretty romantic, if you think about it.

Foraging

Norwegian nature is abundant if you know where to look. From chanterelle mushrooms and cloudberries to blueberries and edible flowers, the forests and the fjords of Norway are brimming with produce that you can actually forage freely. 

How cool would it be to eat food you foraged yourself tonight? (Just make sure you always have a local with you, so that they can show you what to pick and what to leave alone.)

Skiing

Did you know that Norwegians practically invented skiing? And that they are said to be born with skis on their feet? In fact according to Norse mythology, the goddess Skaði and the god Ullr were the first to bring the skis to humans as a way to hunt and cross great distances faster in the winter. 

To this day, if there is a mountain slope, there will be a Norwegian to slalom it — and many people still use cross-country skiing as a means of transportation. (But don’t worry if you’re a ski novice: you can start slow, as Norway has ski resorts and slopes for all experience levels.)

Being unafraid to spend the night in nature

Have you heard of Allemannsretten? The word( which translates to "everyman's right" in Norwegian) basically means that everyone has the right to roam free on uncultivated land in Norway. That includes camping in it! 

Spending the night in nature is something every Norwegian is familiar with from a very young age, so don’t be alarmed if your Norwegian friends suggest it to you!

Fishing

Of course, Norwegians don’t have the monopoly in fishing: that’s a popular activity in almost every culture. In very few other areas of the world though are salmon and cod so abundant as they are in Norway’s rivers and fjords. 

Fishing here is not only an enjoyable pastime, but also one that yields impressive results. If you try fishing in Norway, it is very unlikely that you’ll come up empty handed. And eating fish? That’s a huge part of a balanced Norwegian diet: many people have salmon sandwiches for breakfast.

Spending time in a hytte

Of course, for every Norwegian who loves camping, there are two more who prefer spending the nights in a cosy hytte instead. A hytte is a little cabin that many Norwegians own (or co-own with friends and family) that one can use as a base to hike from during weekends and holidays. 

But there are also hytte that are free to use, strategically placed along hiking trails and within National parks, so that if you spend too long hiking and exploring, you don’t have to worry about getting back before dark. Plus, apart from utilitarian, a hytte is also part of a lifestyle. 

Once you spend some time inside a wooden cabin, sipping warm tea or coffee while looking at the wild, untamed nature outside, you’ll understand why Norwegians find it so koselig! (That means “cosy”.)

Always being prepared for moose

There are a lot of moose in Norway. And we mean, a lot. While most of them are roaming in forests and National Parks, very often some of them will make it to more populated areas — that’s why you’ll often notice signs on the road that warn of incoming moose. 

Norwegians know how important it is to drive slower in these areas, so as to avoid any accidents with these beautiful animals. After a while, you will get used to it too.

Never saying no to an outdoor adventure

Maybe it’s their Viking blood. Or maybe it’s the natural beauty of this country, with its archipelagoes, its fjords, its waterfalls and its lakes; with its ragged mountains, its stave churches and its picturesque villages; with its dancing Northern Lights in the winter and its golden Midnight Sun in the summer. 

But one thing is for sure: a Norwegian will never say no to an outdoor adventure. And you know what? Neither should you. Norway will definitely reward you for it.

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