Customs and traditions

According to Abbreviationfinder, Norwegians’ love for the country’s magnificent nature is usually strong, and mountain hikes and winter sports are important elements of the lifestyle. Norwegian society is relatively equal between different social groups and the equality between men and women, especially in working life, has come comparatively far.


Flexible attitudes rather than strict conventions prevail in the business and business world. However, it is important to keep scheduled times, as meetings start at the agreed time. A formal introduction is rarely needed, the negotiations are essential.

  • Countryaah: Overview of the capital city of Norway, including information about its population, economy, geography, history and map.

The meetings are often effective, where results are more important than discussions. The decisions can be made faster than in Swedish business meetings, but in return they can be open for review. An oral agreement can suffice, where Swedish businessmen want written agreements. Delivery times and other deadlines are respected.

Know and label

In Norway you greet each other as in Sweden, ie by shaking hands or with a hug if you know each other before. The social life works largely like the Swedish one. Family ties are often strong, while openness to visitors is common. Business partners can be invited to a restaurant, while colleagues often have lunch at work with the same type of lunch pack (lunch bag) as on the mountain trip, usually containing sandwiches.

Upholstery and food

The attire is largely the same as in Sweden with a suit for men and a dress for ladies in more formal contexts. The everyday attire is relaxed, even in the workplaces.

Fish (perhaps especially cod, salmon and trout) and seafood are symbols of Norwegian cuisine. Boiled cod with butter and eggs or mustard sauce is a classic. Liver, rum and tongue from cod are considered delicacies. Other traditional foods are mutton and game meat that are rip and clean. Sheep in cabbage is almost a national dish. Dairy products are common. Brown goat cheese on flatbread, as well as rømmegrøt (cooked on sour cream and served with cinnamon and sugar) are typical Norwegian dishes that are popular today. The forest’s wealth of berries, not least molts (cloudberries), often becomes dessert. Recent decades of immigration have contributed to the food culture in Norway now being internationally characterized.

National Day

According to Countryaah, the Norwegians National Day on May 17 is a festival of festive celebrations all over the country. Many dress up in national costume, and everywhere you see the red-white-blue Norwegian flag at the same time as the national song “Yes, we love this country” is heard. The rest is mainly celebrated New Year, Easter (when many go to mountain and cabin) and Christmas.


The Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard consists of Spetsbergen, Björnön, Vitön and several nearby islands in the Northern Arctic Ocean. The area covers 61,022 square kilometers. The climate is arctic and more than half the land area of ​​the mountainous islands is covered by inland ice.

The average temperature is between –14 °C in winter and 6 °C in summer. More than 2,100 Norwegians live in the center of Longyearbyen and nearly 500 Russians and Ukrainians in Barentsburg.

According to the 1920 Svalbard Treaty, the archipelago belongs to Norway. However, other nations, including Sweden, who have signed the agreement have access to the islands and have the right to conduct business there. Norwegian legislation applies and the administration of Svalbard is governed by the Norwegian Ministry of Justice. The local administration is led by the Governor of Longyearbyen on the main island of Spetsbergen.

According to the treaty, Norway may only levy the taxes and fees needed to meet the local needs of Svalbard. This has made the archipelago a tax haven. Coal mining is an important industry, but profitability is poor and the future uncertain. The Norwegian coal business is state-owned and subsidized through the state budget. Russia also carries out coal mining in the archipelago. In the past two decades, tourism has become increasingly important and tens of thousands of tourists visit Svalbard annually.

Svalbard is demilitarized and may not be used for war purposes. However, due to the Russian military facilities on the Kola Peninsula, the Arctic areas around Svalbard are considered to have great military strategic importance. The opportunities to extract oil in the Barents Sea also contribute to a great international interest in the area (see Natural Resources and Energy).

The waters around Svalbard are very fishy and the Norwegian government has established special zones to protect the fishery. There are also protection zones for the island’s rich flora and fauna. In an international seed vault in Svalbard’s permafrost, millions of seed samples are stored from the world’s most important crops.

Norway Immigration Statistics



Breivik is considered to be “accountable”

In a first forensic psychiatric examination, Breivik is diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic, which would probably mean he is sentenced to care. The public reacts upset, demanding that he be forced out of life. However, a later investigation finds that Breivik is “accountable” and can be sentenced to prison, which he himself wants.

Shortcomings in police work – Justice Minister resigns

More information appears on communication problems and mistakes in police work in connection with the massacre at Utøya. Minister of Justice Knut Storberget resigns and is replaced by Defense Minister Grete Faremo. New Minister of Defense becomes Espen Barth Eide.


The Progress Party backs in local elections

In the municipal and county elections, the Progress Party loses around a third of its voters compared to the local elections in 2007. Høyre wins big and increases its share of votes by 50 percent. The Labor Party is progressing somewhat and remains the largest party.


Criticism against police for slow actions

Police receive criticism for taking about an hour from the alarm to the cessation of firing at Utøya (see July 2011). The government appoints a commission to investigate what happened in connection with the terrorist act, how the authorities acted and what lessons society can draw.


Strong support for the Labor Party

Prime Minister Stoltenberg is praised in all camps for firmness and compassion in the crisis that has arisen. One week after the terrorist attack, the Labor Party receives its highest public opinion support in twelve years – 40.5 percent.

Norway is shocked by two acts of terror

On July 22, Islamist right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik kills eight people in a bombing raid in the government headquarters in Oslo. Almost two hours later, he kills 69 people, most of them young people, in a massacre on the island of Utøya, where the Labor Party’s youth association gathered for summer camps. In the attack, 242 people were injured, some very difficult. The deed is directed at the Labor Party, which the 32-year-old perpetrator believes has harmed Norway by allowing immigration of Muslims. The perpetrator, who was previously a member of the Progress Party, confesses to guilty and is placed in custody by the police.


The right continues to grow

In an opinion poll, Høyre gets 32 percent of the vote, while the Labor Party gets 30 percent and the Progress Party backs back to 14 percent. The bourgeoisie now have an upper hand over the red-green according to the survey.

Norway Culture and Traditions
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