Thursday, April 8, 2010

Norwegian Notes

Norway became an independent nation 105 years ago when is separated from Sweden. It wanted to have a royal family so they asked the Danish Crown Prince's little brother if he would leave Denmark to be the King of Norway. And he did.

Norway has their own native people who live in the northern part of the country. My cousin's dad is from one of these native tribes and he has set up a reindeer herd for her. As a reindeer herder she gets some sort of government scholarship. Wish I had a reindeer herd...

During World War II, the Nazis bombed Norway and tried to kill the king. There is a park in Trysil called "The King's Garden" and it is the woods where the king was hiding to escape being captured. I think he eventually fled to the US. Although they were bombed pretty heavily, the only Norwegian casualty was a single pig.

Swedes, Danes, and Norwegians seem to have a very sibling-like relationship. They make fun of each other often. I've met people from all 3 countries now and at least one person from each has said that people from the other don't know how to drive and made some sort of remark basically that the others are idiots. But they will still cheer for each other in sports and such as long as they are not competing against their home country. My Swedish cousins:

They are very curious as to why an American would come to Norway.

I was the first American that this one Norwegian fellow had ever met. He was very surprised I drank alcohol. He thought of Americans as very strictly religious and not liking to have fun, at least with booze. He also thought that all American guys were cowboys. He hasn't traveled much outside of Norway. Bonanza was on TV everyday I was there.

They are VERY into crime scene, who-dunnit, problem solving games. This is especially popular around Easter and Christmas. They send out fliers in the mail, magazines and newspapers each publish their own crime mystery scenarios, even the TV news reporters will report on these made up murder mysteries. The suspests include royal family members, politicians, CEO's, Norwegian singers, etc. People will call in, write in, e-mail in who the think is the culprit and how they think the murder went down and win prizes. They even have these crime scene scenarios printed on milk cartons. General trivia quizzes are also popular and are also broadcasted on TV, and published in magazines and newspapers around the holidays.

Also around Easter and Christmas, the TV networks will not play any commercial advertisements. They will only play advertisements for charity organizations: feed the poor, help the blind, are you depressed?, stop domestic violence, living with AIDS, etc. etc. It is pretty depressing.

Norwegians call the Friday before Easter "Long Friday." They think it is ridiculously cruel that we call it "Good Friday."

Norwegians LOVE Ace of Base. I think they are from Scandinavia. They also claim that the band, Aqua, is Norwegian (the singers of "Barbie Girl"), although I have heard a Dane claim that Aqua is Danish.

There is an illegal drink in Norway called "The Coffee Doctor." It is made of coffee and moonshine. Moonshine is illegal because of reports it causes permanent blindness in consumers.

In an effort to achieve their maximum energy potential, Norwegian athletes will drink a 50:50 mixture of coffee and coca cola.

I'd say 90% of the people I met in Norway are on a moose hunting team. Young, old, male and female, everyone has a 5-10 person team. They apply for a moose license and then each year are allowed to shoot a certain number of male, female, or baby moose between September to December. They sell or freeze the meat for the winter. They pile up the skins & furs and have a garbage disposal service burn them. All those wasted moose rugs and coats! I had moose soup while I was there and it was delicious.

They go ice fishing. When I caught that one little fish that day, I got a little excited in my celebration. When I started hooting and hollering and jumping around, the little 3 year old Norwegian girl yelled: "Jeg skal til Amerika!" which is Norwegian for: "I am going to America!"

Everyone has a hobby: ice fishing, moose hunting, knitting, spinning thread from wool or fur, dying thread with mushrooms or flowers, painting, drawing, melting glass into anything. There is always something creative and useful to do to keep busy. They keep bunnies as pets, also for food, and also for the fur to spin into angora sweaters!



Came from this...

They also have their own version of reality talent shows...


Colleen said...

hahaha, maybe that is why i like cold case files and 48 hours...its in my blood!

Miguel said...

Ace of base is Swedish from what I understand. The female in Aqua is Norwegian but I believe the bald guy is a Dane.
Aqua and Ace of base, probably my two most favorite bands ever!

Trevor said...

Does anybody else find that picture of the Angora rabbit kinda terrifying? Looking forward to when that faceless beast is haunting my dreams...

Nancy said...

Hahahaha. I like this post. Sounds like an adventure!

eLizaBeth said...

Julie, you are awesome. So is Norwegian X factor. And Norwegian bunnies. Which I think are half dog.

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