6 Beautiful things I’ve learned in Norway

Free Water

Water in Norway is free for everybody! The land of the fjords does have a lot of rain and amazing glaciers. The quality of the water is so high that I come to miss its flavour when I travel. Water is life so being in a country where the water is free is something that had always made me feel deeply Grateful every single day!

There’s actually a small fee associated with the electricity price, however anywhere you go you can get to drink high quality water for free and there you are never invoiced for a water bill.

Gratitude

Norwegians have several expressions for thank you! It’s a Language that in its use is very thankful for everything. And that is a beautiful feeling to Express and enhance: gratitude. Here are some examples:

  • Takk for i dag! – Thanks for today – Usually after being with friends or after being at a course or any type of event.

  • Takk for i går! – Thanks for yesterday! – Similar to the previous one.

  • Takk for nå! – Thanks for now! – Usually after someone has talked or demonstrated something for example during a class, but that may soon intervene again. Or sometimes if you’re saying goodbye to someone that you don’t know yet when will you see again.

  • Takk for sist! – Thanks for the last time – You usually say this to someone when you see the person again, for example friends of friends or other acquaintances.

  • Takk for meg! – Thanks for myself – When you og to Someone’s Place for dinner or any other event, you may finish the Meeting by using this expression.

  • Takk for besøken! – Thanks for the visit! – This is what the hostess may reply!

  • Takk for maten! – This one is very common, Norwegians may use it in the canteen or any other Place where Food is served. It’s not just thank you, it’s thank you for the Food!

  • Takk for alt! – Literally this one would be “thank you for everything” something that you could say during a farewell. However Norwegians only use it to thank someone once they’ve passed away so this is the typical expression that one would use when someone’s life is coming to an end or during funeral arrangements.

 – Expressions 

There are two expressions that I love and I wanted to adopt forever:

–  Gleder meg!

The equivalent to I’m looking forward to it! It’s shorter and it has emphasis on the feeling (glad = happy) which means something like i am happy to the upcoming event or situation or for seeing you. In short: I’m looking forward to it with fewer words. My favourite Norwegian Expression!

Kos deg!

The equivalent to enjoy yourself; but in Norwegian the adjectiv and adverb “koselig” expresses cosy. So when you say “enjoy yourself” in Norway you are also saying to that person to kind of get cosy during that timeframe or event you’re referring to. I find it a beautiful expression where the root of the language clearly had inspiration on the type of weather that you may find around here.

– Comfort First

One of my favourite things in the world is to walk around barefooted. In Norway everybody takes their shoes off when their enter in any house: it’s the first thing people do! It’s not only more hygienic as it preserves the house better (especially in a country where it’s winter for a long time and one has to take big fat boots everywhere). It’s also more comfortable and casual. It’s very common for people to take their shoes off at work too, depending on the type of job and office you work on.

– Sunshine

Here further north, when the sun shines, you really appreciate it and feel thankful for it! You go outside and you enjoy every single ray of sun as much as you can, because you don’t know when will it be there again. Nevertheless Norwegians live a lot outdoors and do a lot of activities outside, because as they say “there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear.” I guess you just come to understand that the sun lives inside yourself! Just like António Alçada Baptista described in a book called “God’s Laugh”:

“When I arrived she said:

“What a pity, today there’s no sun…” I looked at her, from feet to eyes and I replied smiling: “No. I have the sun…” She was surprised and said: “But, you are a poet!…”

I was no poet. They, up there, didn’t know how to say to each other that they were each other’s sun.”

As for the beautiful Aurora Borealis phenomenon (or as I like to call it “when the sunshine shines through the night”), I ended up watching it in Iceland and not in Norway.

Tolerance

A country that has at the core of its social system the Abundance Mindset, probably the closest to the ideals of the French Revolution. The sense of Tolerance in the social system is quite high which we can beautifully summarize with the inspiring Speech from King Harald!

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