Where did the time go? Cannot believe it has been one year since I packed up and moved way up north to be with the vikings! It has been one helluva roller coaster year for me buuuut this post is not going to be about that no! I have had a number of people ask me via social media ‘What is it like living in Norway?’ What is Norway like? I have considered to moving to Norway but do not know where/how to begin?…Well I hope to be answering some of those questions with this post.
Let me begin by saying Norway is PARADISE.
It is tops on Forbes list of richest countries in the world. The quality of life here is superb, it is no wonder her immigration laws are stringent. The system is dependable and we are only over 5million people in the country. (notice I wrote ‘we’..hahaha) She has breathtaking nature and nice people. The thing though is Norway is not just difficult to come to but difficult to come into after you have arrived..
Norwegian weather is not unpredictable. You can expect sunshine and warmth in the summer, the leaves to fall in autumn, some spring showers and of course lots and lots and lotssssss and lotsssssss of snow and darkness in the winter! Before moving to Norway, ‘I love winter’ was my thing to say in discussions with weather as the topic… This has not been repeated once since moving. Luckily we have ‘grey daylight’ in Oslo till 3pm and then it gets dark (note sunrise is between 8am-9am). I am thankful though as some towns up north get between one to three hours of daylight.- I fell ill last winter and went to the doctor who said to me; ‘ You need to take Vitamin tablets every day in the winter! There is not much sun in Norway!
As their popular saying goes; ‘Det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlig klær’ ‘There is nothing like bad weather, only bad clothes’.
If you are considering moving here for any reason think well, the temperatures in the winter drop to very low minus degrees (-20) down in Oslo and fall much lower in northern towns. This is no country to move to without a plan.
Norwegian society values freedom, individuality, working together, gender equality (female prime minister hello!), equality, justice, honesty. Norway has none and has never had a colony. Apart from building some slave ships and selling them off to slave traders (guilty by association) they were not involved in slavery (i stand to be corrected). In my opinion Norwegians are not racist. They really do not care where you come from as long as you are contributing to society and not free loading! They do need to be better informed about countries outside of Europe, not every african is poor and comes from a village (I blame the media!). Worth mentioning is that Norway used to be a poor poor country…until they found oil! They mind their business mostly and are peacekeepers.
Norway is a christian country like Britain is a christian country. It is all tradition. It is for the most a secular society.
Norway is ahead in this! The women are empowered here and you will find a good number of ‘house husbands’ here. Couples work as equal partners and men are very much involved… If you know me well you know how I feel about this.
Boring Boring Boring. (Wonder why I made space for this?)
Yea you will have to learn Norsk here. Norsk; the norwegian name for norwegian 😀 is the official and only language for Norway. Depending on how you immigrate you may be required to take 550hours of language by the government. Almost all Norwegians speak english but they choose to speak their native language first. Whilst I think it is absolutely brilliant for them It is difficult for me and other newcomers! I got lost so many times trying to find places in town (oh i cried) and finding a job is DIFFICULT once you cannot norsk. Look at it this way; the Norwegian society is a closed door and learning the language is a key.
Think before you pack that bag!
Oh Norwegians love their nature! Hikes (proper hikes), swimming, running, canoeing, cabin trips, hunting, fishing, skiing, snowboarding, winter olympics, hockey, mountain climbing…name it! I remember my first ever cabin trip… I did not understand the purpose of it…??? Travelling to a cabin in the mountains just to watch tv, play games, eat junk food, go for hikes in the nature and then go home….??? Now I look forward to cabin trips and hikes.
Norwegians are an absolute joy…when they are drunk! For me I find norwegians conservative and into themselves. They are very polite but not in a pretentious way like the British. Norwegians are very direct! They will not hesitate to tell you off when you are being silly. Norwegians believe in equality and respect. A measure of a man here is not in how much money he/she has in the bank. No one respects your wealth here or even cares ( the average man can afford the good things of life). They respect the value you bring.
Norwegians are difficult to get to know. They stick to themselves but as I have heard once you are friends with a Norwegian you have that friend for life.
Norwegians are also very very verrrry patriotic! They are very proud to be Norwegian! Every May 17, Norwegians deck up in their traditional attire (bunad) go in a train to the Royal Palace to salut the King and other members of the royal family all in celebration of their constitution day.
Worth mentioning here again is there are not many people in Norway. If you are used to packed streets, heavy traffic and noise, hmm…hmmm….this kind of silence might not be gold for you.
Education to a large part is free. You pay little to nothing for health and your payments get capped annually once you have spent an amount of money on health. The government takes over. Parents get 9-10 months paid parental leave when the family starts to expand…(This law or whatever better still be in play if/when we decide to expand our family!)
It has been a year of learning to embrace a new culture for me and whilst I miss the sun, the hustle noise and bustle of my hometown Lagos, my family and friends… I am happy to be here in Norway.
It is difficult and can be overwhelming trying to find yourself in a new country! Especially one with a different language and culture… but heeeey… we have to stay absolutely positive and push!
Norway! Thank you for a year xxx