Norwegian culture

Animals of the seasons.

Darkness is falling upon us. I hear the wind sing its agony while ripping the shades of reds from the trees. Death has arrived and it’s taking its time while transforming nature into a higher state of beauty before seizing it away from us.

It’s my favourite time of year. The colours. The freshness of the air. The end of a cycle and the start of a new. It’s Fall.

A true Norwegian at heart, fall is the definition of “koselig”. We are tired. Tired of summer. Tired of spending all time and energy outside. The pressure of being high energy levelled all the time. Of the heat. The long summer evenings. We are ready for the howling of the wind, the rain raging upwards from the pavement, the warmth of candles, blankets and loved ones within the four walls of our homes. For our wool sweaters and grandmas home knitted socks. For crime shows on the telly. It’s time to retreat from the extroverted to the introverted.

Norwegians are like the seasons themselves. We follow the cycles. As much as we don’t like to admit it, or realise even, we long for the constant change.

We are animals of the season.

Autumn shows us how beautiful it is to let things go.

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Norwegian culture, Travel

Storbo Adventure Camp

This weekend I got invited by my good friend Martine to join her and a group of friends at Storbo Adventure Camp for this years pike fishing competition. With all intentions to fish we packed the car full of stuff and left Friday morning. We didn’t need half the stuff and we never got around to the fishing, but I assure you that the whole experience was absolutely great!

The Camp is owned and operated by Martines friends Tina and Christian. They create amazing adventures for groups of people all year around – but mostly wintertime because of Norwegians hunger for snowmobiling – which is illegal in Norway. The Camp is based right a cross the Norwegian-Swedish boarder a little trip from Trysil. I think we were about thirty people who enjoyed each other’s company. The surroundings are beautiful and the Camp itself magnificent! We stayed in the main house, but there are apartments for let and enough beds to fill. I’m not a very outdoorsy person, but this was definitely the place to be to have a great experience. I’ll link the website -> HERE.

Friday was a day of celebration and we had a barbecue and drinks. Which resulted in a little bit of a hangover the next day, so Martine and I pretty much just watched the hardcore ones go out in boats. Upon their return we had a huge dinner in Gildhallen and kept going into the nightly hours.

I did a little collage from the few pics I took:

I also wanted to leave you a video of our trip up there, because the landscape is so beautiful. It’s doesn’t get more Scandinavian than this, mountain speaking (fjords excluded – that’s a Norwegian thing). And some highs from the Camp itself. I hope you enjoy:

The song used in the video is M.A.L.O – Purpose. Link to Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/track/652RhE5VNCChpGqaVLnQUC?si=WAjPHx9wTK6Cpxn496r8Ag

I am ADDICTED to this song and it couldn’t have come in to my life at any better time. #searchingForAPurpose – also the artist is Norwegian and it’s his very first single! I guess it was meant to be.

Now I’m left with this years first cold and I feel very, very sorry for myself – so I’m gonna go back to doing that. Thank you for stopping by.

x

Norwegian culture, Personal, Travel

Norwegian in Los Angeles

Being Norwegian in Los Angeles is nothing but exceptional. I’m sure there are Norwegians who beg to differ, but for me and my fellow travel partner it’s our favorite place to visit. Even though the reasons are complex, I will try to break it down for you.

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First off our love comes from a cultural perspective. We have both spent our youth years in small remote places in Norway where Norwegian culture stand strong. With that I particular mean what we call “Janteloven”. It’s a norm that have grown strong roots into our culture since 1933. The law of Jante comes from a text of Axel Sandmose’s book “En flyktning krysser sitt spor” and goes like this:

  1. You’re not to think you are anything special.
  2. You’re not to think you are as good as we are.
  3. You’re not to think you are smarter than we are.
  4. You’re not to imagine yourself better than we are.
  5. You’re not to think you know more than we do.
  6. You’re not to think you are more important than we are.
  7. You’re not to think you are good at anything.
  8. You’re not to laugh at us.
  9. You’re not to think anyone cares about you.
  10. You’re not to think you can teach us anything.

After more thorough research I realized that this actually is a Scandinavian phenomenon. I’m not sure how well rooted this phenomenon is with our neighbors, but it sure is a reality in Norway. In other words put beautifully by a unknown source in Wikipedia:

The description of a pattern of group behavior towards individuals within Nordic countries that negatively portrays and criticizes individual success and achievement as unworthy and inappropriate.

When in Los Angeles we are free of this. People simply do what they want, they pursue their ideas and desires no matter what and I find it so inspiring. Being around individuals like this also gives me a feeling of freedom I rarely experience at home. Don’t get me wrong, I do feel like a free individual in Norway and i pursue what ever I want, it’s just that it’s usually frowned upon and that can be hard sometimes. Norwegians are in a very spoiled position where we have room to frown upon others: we have a safety net others only can dream about. This also makes entrepreneurship rare here. Why take a risk when everything is handed to you?  On the other hand I always return home with lots of inspiration and creativity! I find it super inspiring and interesting to see how Americans go about their life, because I am so used to the safety net and the clock in/clock out mindset we have in Norway. Here work is just work, not a passion (even if they try to convince you otherwise). It’s lovely to see the passion in people and how excited they are about what they do – and all the hours they put in it – without the judgement of our fellow humans.

The second thing is networking and friendships. Because of the lack of The law of Jante, coming into contact with people is really easy. I hear the Norwegian Troll in the back of my mind at this moment go “ooh – but it’s all superficial. True relations take time” – hah. Yes, they do, but how the heck are you arrive at this point if saying “hi” to someone new puts you in a mental hospital? Say “hi” to someone on the bus here and they will look at you like they think you escaped from a mental institution. I swear,  I’m not trying to paint Norway in a bad way – I love my country, but it really is the reality of things and a reason why I sincerely love Los Angeles. In the short amount of time I have spent there I already have several beautiful relationships blooming and I am so grateful to have these people in my life – both family and friends.

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Then there is the food. I love how simple it is to stay healthy. I mean, I usually don’t because I’m on a holiday, but to be unhealthy in Los Angeles is seriously a conscious choice. No matter what your diet is, there are endless possibilities. And don’t get me started on all the freshness and tastes. I’m drooling right now, thinking about just booking my next ticket. I mean, I would move for Wholefoods as a single reason.

There are some cons though:

  1. My hair gets really, really thirsty. It seriously goes from softness itself to a broomstick. Wtf?
  2. The lack of sleep. There is to much fun everywhere!
  3. The endless sunshine. I mean, I love it, but it can drive me a little bit insane at times. I’m used to seasons and not having that is mentally challenging for some reason.

Coming home this time was like going from a rock concert to a meditation room. I’m dead tired. All I do is eat, sleep and dwell. I dwell a lot because I’ve actually come to the conclusion that I want to move over. I have no idea how I will make that happen practically, but I’m dwelling on it. I’m young, I don’t have children and it’s kind of now or never -ish. I mean, I have things to put in order in my life over here first, but I am seriously thinking about this day and night. It might be the best decision of my life, or the worst.. But how would I know if I don’t try? *Waiting for Norwegians to go all apeshit-Jante*

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I hope that gave you some insight into my/our love for this city. I would like to do a “10 things to do in LA”-post, but I’m always blown out of my mind with all that is happening so I never get around to documenting anything. Maybe next time. Now I’m off to the gym and then I have a eating-date with my travel soulmate at her house – while walking down memory lane from our last trip. Enjoy your weekend – wish you all the best!

x

 

How does it work, Norwegian culture, Norwegian logic

Norwegian weathersickness

Norway is a seasonal country by every means of the word. We have harsh winters, rainy fall and if we’re lucky: warm summers. As a product of this Norwegians have a very schizophrenic relationship with weather and we feel entitled to complain no matter what – almost. The exception arises when the sun is out and temperatures goes up. 2018 has been a rough year with everyday snowfall during winter and hot, hot, hot summer days! We’ve haven’t had this kind of dry and hot summer weather since 1947 and now it’s taking a toll. You see, we just can’t handle it. We feel guilty complaining about something so rare and good, but in the end we’re not made for this. Neither is our country. Air conditioning? Say what? Do you even know how cold it is during winter? Our houses has more heaters than rooms.

Most posted picture on Facebook today:

Reason? It’s 35 Celsius/95 Fahrenheit.

I can’t believe I’m writing this, but I am super excited about this weekends thunderstorm. I hope Sweden gets some as well.. they aren’t doing to well with all their fires and now shits about to hit the fan over here as well.

…so from both the Norwegian people and our forests: thank you universe for sending some rain tomorrow!

ps. Reason we don’t complain about heat in other countries is that is expected and we know we’re gonna return home. Yes, we’re weird like that.

I hope you have beautiful summer weather AND air conditioning wherever you are.

x

Norwegian culture, Personal

Making a home.

A home is more than a house. Or apartment for that matter. Yes, we need walls and doors, but a home – to me – is a reflection of the individual. Some like colours, some are creative, some like minimalism, some are classical, some are trendy, some are messy and some are super clean. A home can tell you a million things about a individual. Their character, their priorities, their habits. An American familymember told me that Norwegian homes looks like catalogue material and in all honesty there is a reason for that. I’m not saying all Norwegians are super clean and high levelled interior designers, believe me we are not, but in all fairness we do spend a good amount of time indoors during winter. We like it cozy, we’re pretty much stuck in there. It’s a home, not a house.

As you know I recently bought an apartment and I am super excited to make it my home – once all the mess is over (I’ll get back to that later, when the mess is over). I went a little overboard meeting some obstacles and took comfort shopping to a whole new level. I bought furniture! With nowhere to put it. Buuut.. I’m super happy to share with you some of the stuff I got – to give you an idea about how it will look in the end.

I’ve been drooling over this chandelier and sofa for well over a year. I knew I had to have them long before I even found a place to put them in. I’m very happy to say that these beautiful pieces of art has already arrived and I can’t wait to put them in my (hopefully soon) totally renovated apartment! I bought this piece last summer and it will be lovely with the sofa:

I like my furniture calm and settling, but magnificent. That way I can play with the details with out having the room scream at me. And change things up without having to spend money like a duke. Like these coffe mugs. And candlelight’s. And paintings. And all other stuff to decorate with. Now this isn’t my most colourful picture, but I do like to sneak in some colour here and there.

My focus these days is first of all to get things in order, but I do like to browse the internet for possible additions every now and again. Currently looking for a dining room table with some Scandinavian designed chairs to go with my soon coming black kitchen. Got any good websites I can visit? I’ll gladly take some tips!

I am really excited to create my home and I’m very excited to share my vision with you. I just can’t wait to show you the finished result in the future.

..and to be drinking my coffee, snuggling on my choice of a kitchen counter. But this will be it for now.

Thank you for stopping by. Again, if you have some good tips for websites please share in the comments. It’s much appreciated ❤

x

Norwegian culture

First came summer, then came spring.

It’s June. It’s supposed to be warm, summery and nice. Well, it’s not. May was such a wonderful and warm month. I actually went into the ocean in the Oslo Fjord – which I haven’t done for the two past years. And now.. it’s 14 Celsius and a wind that could make a grown man cry.

The weather in Norway is never stable. There is a reason why we Norwegians own wind jackets so high tech you would think their made for a new matrix movie and honestly I’m surprised no one has invented a backpack in the line of Hermine’s purse (you know the one with the tent and all in Harry Potter) – because we need to pack for every season when leaving the house! I mean, I’m grateful that we had a whole actual month of warm and sunny weather, but come on! For the last five years or so summer has been a one day deal or a myth that we’ve been told about, dreamt about and gone to bed with misbelief about. So let’s sum up a Norwegian summer:

Thinking about vacaying here? Bring everything, because you never know what you’re gonna need!

Thank you for sharing my pain with me. I hope your summer is amazing.

x

Norwegian culture

Norwegian trends: Fitness

Good Friday to you, fellow human on planet earth.

I was hovering over the smoothie blender the other day and it crossed my mind that I should let you in on some Norwegian trends: Fitness to be more specific. I mean, Norwegians has always been considered a sporty type of people in connection with skiing and other winter sports, but then something happened which resulted in a fitness wave across the country. I’m not sure what exactly, but I suspect social media – it’s always social media right? And I did let you in on this before: when something’s trending in Norway, it trends hard. Our entire country is populated in the same capacity as a small village other places, so that kind of speaks for it. Anyway, let’s get on with it.

I’ve never been the winter-sporty kind of girl myself, but in Norwegian spirit I did join in on the fitness wave that hit our country about four or five years ago. The phenomenon was actually more of a “girls who lift heavy”-thing and girls took over gyms all across the country – still owning them by the way. The trend is a fact and you are more likely to be looked at with disbelief and suspicion if you say that you do not work out than if you do. I’m pretty sure that if we measure the amount of fitness clubs against the population, that we would have more clubs per resident than any other country in the world. And everyone is educated as a personal trainer. So why is this? Well, there are three factors that comes to mind:

  1. We are a very competitive people, even if we try to hide it.
  2. Sports is a cultural value than runs in our bloodstream.
  3. We have 8 months of winter and let’s be honest: Training produces endorphins than makes life bearable.

The trend does not stop there though, the Norwegian fitness trend is complex and involves diets, food products and a business like no other. Which is why everyone is educated as a personal trainer. But let’s be honest, too many Chiefs and the lack of Indians makes that business kind of hard right? It is a very competitive business in our country, but it doesn’t stop anyone from trying. I remember when I could get a box of cottage cheese for like ten kroner, then this whole fitness-thing happened and they tripled the price. Yes, tripled. And now our stores are full of stuff like non-fat-high-protein milk, bars, high-protein ice cream, fitness yogurts and you name it. Every inch of this trend is being squiiiiized to it’s maximum. And what gets me is that it’s a trend that is supposed to radiate health, but at the same time it’s all about unhealthy products being turned into a fitness-business must. Remember that time when we ate food and that was enough? No foods for you anymore mister, eat this instead:

I must admit that I buy all of this stuff, but it’s not in my everyday diet. Hey, I like options and I’m colored by the trend too! It is hard to keep my head on at times, honestly, I do get affected. Like with fitness clothing, I used to buy a lot. The clothing industry sees a goldmine and yes, it is. I made a decision to keep it at a minimum though. Environmental reasons and of course I don’t need to spend thousands on clothing I wear once. What a waste and a bad sense of economy, right? Anyway, it paints the picture of what a trend does to little Norway and its inhabitants, myself included.

That’s the Norwegian fitness trend and all that comes with it – even if I might have forgotten something. I mean, personally I love fintess, so I don’t mind. I just think its necessary to keep your feet on the planet and don’t get carried away. Does trends like this hit your countries in the same capacity? I’m curios to know.

Thanks for stopping by! And please let me know if there’s any specific topic you want to know about. 🙂 Enjoy your Friday!