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Thread: Ask a Norwegian!

  1. #1
    Heroic Warrior Dina M's Avatar
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    Ask a Norwegian!

    Well... this may just be a stupid idea, and it's highly possible nobody is going to be interested at all, but since I and a couple of others ended up hijacking like one page of
    one of the Revelation Talkback threads with questions and answers about Norway, I jokingly asked if I should just start an "ask a Norwegian" thread... I'm not 100% sure if the answer I got meant yes, but... eh, I figure it can't do any harm. Call it a quirky idea.

    So then: My name is Dina, and I live in Oslo, Norway. I'm not affiliated with Mattel, MOTU or anything you've probably heard of, but I was born and raised in Norway, and have lived in Norway all my life. If you have any questions about that, or any subjects you for whatever reason really want a Norwegian's opinion on, feel free to ask. I'll do my best to answer!
    Don't think, that'll only confuse you.

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    Heroic Warrior davelove81's Avatar
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    As a Beatles fan , id like to know if " Norwegian wood " is better than other kinds of wood ?

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    Heroic Warrior Dina M's Avatar
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    Only if it's pine, I believe.

    Actually, we do have some pretty neat forests. I live close to one.
    Don't think, that'll only confuse you.

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    Heroic Warrior davelove81's Avatar
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    Okay , more of a genuine question , I'm really into folklore , norse and Greek and Egyptian mythology and All that kind of stuff , what are some Norwegian fairytales, mythical creatures/ heroes , monsters etc that you might have grown up hearing about ?

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    Heroic Warrior Rikki Roxx's Avatar
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    Do most people in Norway not know who Billy Zane is, or is it mostly just you and a few other people?
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    Heroic Warrior Dina M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davelove81 View Post
    Okay , more of a genuine question , I'm really into folklore , norse and Greek and Egyptian mythology and All that kind of stuff , what are some Norwegian fairytales, mythical creatures/ heroes , monsters etc that you might have grown up hearing about ?

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    Oh, we have plenty of those! I grew up with tales of the Norse gods... not the Marvel version, which to a Norwegian comes across as pretty ridiculous for all they get wrong... but I remember very clearly being four years old and listening to a thunderstorm and telling the other kids it was Thor hitting things with his hammer.

    There are a lot of monsters and nature spirits in Norwegian folklore. Some of them are friendly, some of them aren't... and even the friendly ones can get nasty if you upset them. Then again, even the mean ones can often be reasoned or bargained with, so it's not a total black and white thing... but it's clear most of them are essentially "here's why you don't go out in the forest/down to the water/up in the mountains alone, kids!"

    One of the recurring theme is that with a few exceptions, you can't physically fight these beings... they're all MUCH stronger and tougher than any human. But they can be dealt with with cleverness, trickery or just being REALLY polite. Or, if all else fails, they have their weaknesses that can be exploited.

    Some of my faves:

    Trolls are everywhere in nature, but particularly in the forest and in the mountains. They can be any size, from smaller than humans to the size of a mountain. Usually they're fiendishly strong, and very dangerous, but they're also rather stupid and easily tricked. Sometimes they turn into stone, or outright explode, when the sun shines on them, but that's not universal and there are plenty of trolls who don't mind the sun at all.

    The Nix (Nøkk or Nykk in Norwegian) is a monster who lives at the bottom of a lake and lures people to their watery deaths... either by transforming into a beautiful horse who, if you try to ride it, takes you out in the water and drags you under, or by playing music that's so beautiful that you get hypnotized and walk into the lake. Women and children are especially susceptible to the music, and pregnant women the most susceptible of all. However, he has one exploitable weakness... call out his name, and his powers fail and his spells are broken. It's just that it can be difficult to gather your thoughts enough to remember the name, much less speak it, when you're being hypnotized...

    The Nix isn't ALWAYS malevolent, though. Sometimes he just wants people to listen to his music. In Sweden especially he tends to be portrayed as a lot more good-natured, and at the midsummer's night parties in the forest, he's the one who provides the music.

    The Nix has a cousin called the Fossegrim, who lives in waterfalls and is a master fiddler. He's not quite as malevolent... well, he too lures people with hypnotic music (hypnotic music is a bit of a running theme for a lot of these beings), but he's not as eager to drown them. In fact, if you approach him the right way, and pay him with a choice cut of meat (a leg of lamb is the fave), he'll not only let you go, but he'll teach you how to be as good a fiddler as he is... or almost, at least. The better quality the meat, the better he'll teach you. The story goes that no man can TRULY become a master fiddler unless he's been taught by the Fossegrim.

    The Huldra is one of my faves. She's a beautiful woman who lives in the forest, and like the Nix, can use music to hypnotize and lure people towards her... though in her case it's an enchanting song. She looks like a normal, if extremely pretty, human... except for the fact that she has a cow tail. Her Danish incarnation has a hollow back and her Swedish cousin, the skogsrå, has the tail of a fox... but the effect is the same: If you see her from behind, you see that she ain't human. The Huldra's song is most alluring to men, though she can go after women and children too. What she DOES with the people she lures to her isn't told in detail, but tends to involve being kept in her underground cave for years, and since this is a family-friendly forum I'll let your imagination do the rest.

    The Huldra can be friendly too, though; if you're polite to her she can be downright sweet and helpful. And if you throw steel at her, all her spells are broken and instead she's the one in your power. One interesting detail is that if she marries a human man, she'll lose her tail and become human herself... except she keeps her superhuman strength, and any children she bears will also be supernaturally strong. If her husband mistreats her, she'll demonstrate her strength by taking a horseshoe and straighten it to a metal rod with her bare hands, and say something like "I could do this to your spine, but I won't becaure I love you."

    The Marmennil is a curious and very cute one. He's like a merman, except he looks like a little child... sources vary how big he is; sometimes he's the size of a normal human child, sometimes he's so small he can fit in a human-sized glove. The Marmennil is almost completely benevolent; the worst he does is that he sometimes teases fishermen by eating their bait. But if you're out fishing and happen to hook a Marmennil, and you lend him some warm clothes (because he gets cold when he gets out of the water) and let him sit in your boat, you can ask him any question you want, about anything... the Marmennil is so clever that he knows the answer to every question, and he answers willingly.

    From the stories, it kind of seems like he views this as a fun game he plays with the fishermen. At least he can get annoyed if he doesn't get clothes or questions ("No clothes and no questions -- what am I even doing up here then?!"), and if he thinks you ask him a stupid question he'll get annoyed too and call you an idiot. The only danger involved, though, is if you ask him "when am I going to die?" Because the answer will always be "tomorrow," and it always comes true.

    And then there's the Nisse, who is probably the most beloved Norwegian creature. He's like a Norwegian gnome or brownie, and he's also completely benevolent... even if he can be mischievous and vengeful. The Nisse tends to live close to humans, though mostly on farms. Usually you don't see him, but he'll do small chores, he'll make sure the crops grow properly, and he'll look after the animals. The payment for this is modest... every Christmas Eve, he wants a bowl of porridge. Preferably rice porridge with lots of sugar and butter. and the farmers are to put out the bowl in the barn so that he can come and help himself.

    The Nisse prides himself on taking good care of the farm, but sometimes he plays pranks on the people who live there. If he doesn't get his porridge, or if he feels disrespected, he can take vengeance by making sure the crops fail or the animals get sick. He also gets cranky of people are noisy late at night, because he believes in going to bed early and getting up early. But for the most part having a Nisse at your farm means good fortune, and the Nisse has probably the most positive relationship with humans.

    So that's a small example of the monsters you might encounter in Norwegian folklore. When it comes to heroes... well, they tend to be more humble. Usually they're nameless farmers or people who encountered these creatures and managed to survive.

    But there is one folktale hero that pretty much everyone knows, one of the most recurring characters in the classic fairy tales. ​He's named Askeladden, which translates to "Ash Lad" or "Cinderlad." I prefer "Cinderlad" because it sounds cooler, and because he's kind of got a Cinderella thing going on... he sits in the cinders and tends to the fire, and has to make due with the leftovers while his two older, and meaner, brothers, get all the attention and all the good stuff from their parents.

    Cinderlad has a few notable traits that Cinderella lacks though. First of all, he is NOT a hard worker -- in fact, he can be downright lazy -- and he always takes his time in doing whatever needs to be done. But because he takes his time, and is always the last one to arrive at the destination or finish a work, he's usually better prepared than his two older brothers, who rush into thing. Either he learns from their mistakes, or he notices things that they just rushed by, or he took his time to talk to people, who then agreed to help him out.

    He's also wily and a bit of a trickster, with an unusual gift of the gab; he can talk circles around most people and usually has some witty punchline lined up. He's always kind and helpful towards the little guy... probably because he's pretty much "the little guy" himself, but towards the big and powerful he's often cheeky and snarky as all get-out. See, in Norway we love our plucky underdogs, mostly because we've historically seen ourselves as the underdog. So Cinderlad, the rebel who "sticks it to the man," always starts any story he's in as the neglected youngest son, usually from a poor family. While the stories tend to end with him becoming rich and usually marrying the beautiful princess, he's always back to being the poor youngest son whenever a new story begins. But he always prevails.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Rikki Roxx View Post
    Do most people in Norway not know who Billy Zane is, or is it mostly just you and a few other people?
    I... really don't know? He does have a Norwegian Wikipedia page, so clearly SOMEONE knows who he is.
    Don't think, that'll only confuse you.

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    Heroic Warrior Rikki Roxx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dina M View Post
    I... really don't know? He does have a Norwegian Wikipedia page, so clearly SOMEONE knows who he is.
    I will sleep better tonight knowing this.
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    Heroic Warrior Dina M's Avatar
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    Well, since I didn't know who he was, I haven't talked about him with anyone else... nor has anyone I know mentioned him to me. It's possible he's really well known without me being aware of it. I couldn't say.
    Don't think, that'll only confuse you.

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    Heroic Warrior DadStrong's Avatar
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    Norwegian Black Metal is the best.
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    Heroic Warrior Dina M's Avatar
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    I'm not that big on metal, really, but yes... lots of prominent black metal bands in Norway.
    Don't think, that'll only confuse you.

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    Not my Tempo Fendi's Avatar
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    I made a thread a long time ago about affect and effect of Scandinavian Black Metal scene, I know you're not a metal but does their consequences have affect on you and your country/neighbors?

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    Heroic Warrior Dina M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fendi View Post
    I made a thread a long time ago about affect and effect of Scandinavian Black Metal scene, I know you're not a metal but does their consequences have affect on you and your country/neighbors?
    Well, not in my day to day life, no. Weeks can pass without me thinking about the black metal scene even once. I think it has a bigger effect on the fans.
    Don't think, that'll only confuse you.

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    Mer-Man Repaint Stinkor's Avatar
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    I’m glad you decided to make the thread. Is there any place in Norway that is similar to or as dangerous as Malmo, Sweden?

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    Heroic Warrior horseman1981's Avatar
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    Truly fascinating. My family came from England to the “new world” in the mid 1600s. They were always farmers, and business men. One of my relatives signed the Declaration of Independence, Lyman Hall. Other than that kind of a quiet history.

    Anyway enough on me. I love hearing of other cultures. My son is 7 and really smart, he loves space, science, history etc. He and I had a couple of questions.

    1. Do you or your country have much of a fear of Russia now that the Soviet Union is gone ?

    2. Do any people there practice any old Norse religions?

    3. What is your biggest holiday and why?

    4. What are the favorite food dishes of your people and yourself in particular?

    5. How often do you see the northern lights, and can you see the Milky Way easily there?

    6. What do you find most confusing about the United States?

    7. What is the most popular entertainment there? Favorite tv/films/music etc.

    Thank you for this thread, thanks for taking questions, really fun and interesting.

    Last thought..my grandfather passed in 2019 at 95. One thing he told me always stood out. “You do t learn anything by talking.” I and probably many Americans have a habit of talking and not listening. I listen much more now and not only am I amazed how we are all so different but also how much alike we are.

    Thanks again.
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    Heroic Warrior Dina M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stinkor View Post
    I’m glad you decided to make the thread. Is there any place in Norway that is similar to or as dangerous as Malmo, Sweden?
    Probably not. I'll admit I haven't actually been to Malmö, but from what I understand it's just a certain part of it that's considered dangerous... and the reputation is probably exaggerated a little. Can't think of any places in Norway with a similar reputation, at least not off the top of my head.

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    Quote Originally Posted by horseman1981 View Post
    Truly fascinating. My family came from England to the “new world” in the mid 1600s. They were always farmers, and business men. One of my relatives signed the Declaration of Independence, Lyman Hall. Other than that kind of a quiet history.

    Anyway enough on me. I love hearing of other cultures. My son is 7 and really smart, he loves space, science, history etc. He and I had a couple of questions.
    That's cool! Fire away!

    1. Do you or your country have much of a fear of Russia now that the Soviet Union is gone?
    I'm not quite old enough to remember, but I think what we were most afraid of during the Cold War wasn't the Soviet Union itself so much as it was the possibility that USA and the Soviet Union would go to war against each other. Though since Norway is part of the NATO alliance and Russia isn't, there has been certain tensions. I wouldn't say we're afraid of Russia per say, but we tend to disagree on things and our relationship as countries isn't the warmest at the moment.

    2. Do any people there practice any old Norse religions?
    Yes, but not many. A small group of people practice what we call "Asatru," which loosely translated means "belief in the Aesir." The Aesir of course being the old Norse gods.

    3. What is your biggest holiday and why?
    Well, the BIGGEST holiday is probably Christmas. I'd say pretty much for the same reasons as other Christmas-celebrating country... plus, midwinter is a dark time here (the sun is only up for five hours or so here in Oslo and further North it doesn't rise at all that time of year), so Christmas is the midwinter party, with lights and warmth and presents.

    The biggest unique holiday is May 17, which is our constitution day; our version of Independence Day. It's a national holiday where everyone is off work and all children partake in the great children's parades.

    4. What are the favorite food dishes of your people and yourself in particular?
    Mmm... national pride would probably dictate that I mention some of the traditional Norwegian dishes, like "kjøttkaker" (beef patties; a larger version of the Swedish meatballs) or one of the many types of fish... but honestly? I think the most popular food in Norway is frozen pizza. Norway ears more frozen pizza than any other country; it's wild. As for me? Mmm... I don't know, I always had a fondness for anything chocolate. Norwegian chocolate is awesome.

    5. How often do you see the northern lights, and can you see the Milky Way easily there?
    Me personally, I don't see the Northern Lights at all; I live too far South. For the Northern Lights, you have to go to the North of Norway. Well, I heard rumours that there were Northern Lights over Oslo on a very rare occasion, but I never saw it.

    As for the Milky Way, well, in the large cities you don't see it that easily because there's too much light around, even at night. If you go off to the country, out in the deep forests or on the mountains, though, you can see it more easily.

    6. What do you find most confusing about the United States?
    Good question! I suppose I don't get your school system?

    7. What is the most popular entertainment there? Favorite tv/films/music etc.
    Oh, Norwegians love the Internet. We spend quite a lot of time surfing the net and getting our entertainment online, so the borders between the countries are not as solid as they once were. Netflix is really big, for example. Lots of our entertainment comes from the US, which is one reason why almost all of us are fluent in English... in Norway, we consider dubbing of movies to be strictly for children, If you're old enough to watch a movie for 12 year old kids, you're old enough to read subtitles.

    The most popular music genre is pop, though of course the Norwegian black metal scene is pretty big. When it comes to literature and to some extent TV and movies, our fave is definitely crime fiction, murder mysteries and the like. We LOVE a good mystery, with a bit of thriller and/or horror thrown in for good measure. We also like Disney comics... in fact, if you ask a Norwegian to name a comic book character, seven times out of ten that Norwegian will say "Donald Duck." Donald Duck & Co is the most-selling comic magazine here, and it's published biweekly.

    Thank you for this thread, thanks for taking questions, really fun and interesting.

    Last thought..my grandfather passed in 2019 at 95. One thing he told me always stood out. “You do t learn anything by talking.” I and probably many Americans have a habit of talking and not listening. I listen much more now and not only am I amazed how we are all so different but also how much alike we are.

    Thanks again.
    Your grandfather sounds like he'd fit in well in Norway.
    Last edited by Dina M; July 30, 2021 at 08:36am.
    Don't think, that'll only confuse you.

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    Life is good Dice's Avatar
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    What is the weather like year round?

    Also, are the borders faily open between Norway, Sweden, and Finland?
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    Heroic Warrior Iluvart's Avatar
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    1. Could you please talk a bit about the historical origins of the Norwegian language, as well as whether it's similar enough to other languages so that a Norwegian speaker can understand the speaker of the other language, and vice versa? (I think I have heard Norwegians can understand Finnish, not sure if I remember/heard right)

    2. Could you please also talk a bit more about Norwegian cuisine. I am interested to know of any recipes that are good for winter (e.g. stuff like stews). Also interested to know what types of breads, if any, Norwegians love to make and eat.

    3. What is the primary "product" or "export" of Norway?
    Last edited by Iluvart; July 30, 2021 at 10:31am.

  18. #18
    Master of New Adventures!
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    Why, in all of the world, do you think Scandinavian countries are listed as four of the top ten "happiest" counties in the world, and Norway is listed at #6? I get that being populated with drop dead gorgeous, blond and healthy Norwegian women, along with enjoying Aquavit, plays a role:

    https://www.google.com/search?rls=en...w=1815&bih=913

    But there has to be more to it than that. You're all doing something right. Clue the rest of us in on what it is.
    Last edited by Heeeere's Olesker!; July 30, 2021 at 11:15am.

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    Heroic Warrior Dina M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dice View Post
    What is the weather like year round?
    Depends heavily on where in Norway you are. really. We've got plenty of space in this country, and the southeast (where I am) is milder and more stable than the northwest. For example. But in general, winters are cold and usually with snow (less so on the coastlines), summers are warm and relatively dry... especially here in the southeast. It's always a good idea to be ready for a rain shower, though, especially during autumn. Right now, where I am, it's sunny and pleasantly warm.

    Also, are the borders faily open between Norway, Sweden, and Finland?
    Normally, you can travel freely between the countries. It's a little more controlled at the moment thanks to the pandemic. For a while the border between Norway and Sweden was closed, for the first time since 1954, but it's been opened since. Lots of Norwegians go weekend-shopping in Sweden because things are cheaper there.
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    Heroic Warrior Durendal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heeeere's Olesker! View Post
    Why, in all of the world, do you think Scandinavian countries are listed as four of the top ten "happiest" counties in the world, and Norway is listed at #6? I get that being populated with drop dead gorgeous, blond and healthy Norwegian women, along with enjoying Aquavit, plays a role:

    https://www.google.com/search?rls=en...w=1815&bih=913

    But there has to be more to it than that. You're all doing something right. Clue the rest of us in on what it is.
    I can think of numerous reasons but I feel it would invite Tar Swamp debate...

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    Heroic Warrior OwenMorton's Avatar
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    I've only been to Norway once, and just for a few days - I visited Haugesund, and went on the Trolltunga hike from Odda. I thought it was absolutely beautiful, and wondered if you could recommend any other great hikes in the country? (Preferably day hikes... I'm not one for camping!)
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    Master of New Adventures!
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    Easy there, big guy. We don't want to offend our Norwegian friend. I was reluctant, myself to frame the question as I did, but facts are facts, as the link to the image site shows. How the heck could a guy live in a country with those kinds of citizens and not be happy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Durendal View Post
    I can think of numerous reasons but I feel it would invite Tar Swamp debate...
    - - - Updated - - -

    'Hiking'? Hiking would be your first priority?! Really, Owen...?!

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    Quote Originally Posted by OwenMorton View Post
    I've only been to Norway once, and just for a few days - I visited Haugesund, and went on the Trolltunga hike from Odda. I thought it was absolutely beautiful, and wondered if you could recommend any other great hikes in the country? (Preferably day hikes... I'm not one for camping!)

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    Heroic Warrior Dina M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iluvart View Post
    1. Could you please talk a bit about the historical origins of the Norwegian language, as well as whether it's similar enough to other languages so that a Norwegian speaker can understand the speaker of the other language, and vice versa? (I think I have heard Norwegians can understand Finnish, not sure if I remember/heard right)
    You didn't. Norwegian and Finnish are too different. Norway is a Germanic language while Finnish is a Finno-Ugric language, closer to Estonian. However, Norwegians can understand Swedes and Danes easily enough. This is because Norway was under Danish rule for 400 years, and then Swedish rule for 100, until we got our own rule in 1904. The result is really that Norwegian as a language is kind of a mix of Swedish and Danish... closer to Swedish in pronunciation, closer to Danish in writing and actual words. This might sound like a brag, but I think Norwegians are better at understanding Swedish and Danish than vice versa... though in GENERAL we can talk freely without an interpreter, long as we talk slowly.

    The history of the Norwegian language is really a huge mess at the best of times... We started out speaking Old Norse, which is closer to how they still speak in Iceland (which isn't surprising since Iceland was populated by Vikings who emigrated from Norway), but the language changed when we came under Danish rule. Plus, with population being so sparse, dialects developed in wildly different ways. There are, and this is no joke, like seven different variants of the word "I" in Norwegian, depending on what dialect you speak. Here in Oslo we speak standard Norwegian and it's "jeg" (pronounced like "yay"), but in the southwest it's "eg" (pronouced "egg") and in the northwest it's more like "i" (pronounced "ee"). So yeah, we get used to understanding different dialects.

    That's why Norway has two written languages. The standard written language, ("bokmål," meaning "book-speak")) which is based on how we speak in Oslo and surroundings, is led from Danish because... well, we wrote Danish while under Danish rule. The second written language, Neo-Norwegian, ("nynorsk") was created by a gentleman named Ivar Aasen who went around Norway and gathered dialect words in order to create a written language based on how Norwegians actually spoke. There's been several arguments and fights between the two written languages, but in general... if you understand one, you understand the other.


    2. Could you please also talk a bit more about Norwegian cuisine. I am interested to know of any recipes that are good for winter (e.g. stuff like stews). Also interested to know what types of breads, if any, Norwegians love to make and eat.
    Traditional Norwegian cuisine is usually very simple. Not a lot of ingredients or spices, not terribly dependent on timing or being watched every moment. Traditional Norwegian cuisine is hearty, filling and either rather salty or, if you're used to a lot of spices and flavours, a little bland. Norwegian cooking often takes time... the dishes are simple, but they take a long time. The "leave to simmer on the stove over low heat for eight hours" kind of time.

    A VERY traditional Norwegian meal, as close as we'll ever have to a national dish, is "fårikål," or lamb and cabbage stew. It's very simple. You take roughly equal amounts of lamb (or mutton) and cabbage, cut into lage pieces. Put the pieces, layer by layer, in a cooking pot, pour in a cup or two of water, and season with salt and whole pepper. You can also add half a cup of flour, but that's not necessary... I usually skip the flour. Cover with a lid, bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and let the stew simmer on low heat for at LEAST two hours... but feel free to make it three or even four. There, it's done. Traditionally it's served with boiled potatoes and flatbread. It's a very filling meal, but that's okay: Lamb and cabbage stew is one of those foods that tastes even better when you reheat it the next day.

    (And if you've seen at Kim Possible cartoon where Ron is served lamb and cabbage stew for lunch at the Norwegian school... DON'T BELIEVE IT FOR A MOMENT. Nobody in Norway would eat this for LUNCH. It's a DINNER meal. In fact, lunch in Norway is very different than lunch in the US. I'll get back to that when I talk about bread.)

    Desserts are usually heavy on berries, cream or apples, or all three of them, because all three are things we have a lot of AND high quality. Seriously, Norwegian milk and cream is in a class of its own.

    And then there's the bread. In norway we LOVE bread. We have so many variants of bread. Bakeries are everywhere, the big grocery stores bake their own bread so you can buy it fresh every day, We make bread from different types of grain; we have white bread, wholemeal bread, sourdough bread, flatbread and crisp bread... so much bread. The most common bread types are made from oats, barley and wheat, but we are also inspired by international baking traditions, like the French country bread and the Italian focacci. Visit ANY supermarket or even smaller store... if they don't have at LEAST a dozen variants of bread, that means they're sold out that day.

    Bread is what we eat for breakfast and and it's what we eat for lunch. Open-faced sandwiches with cheese or sausage or fish or jam, whatever. We're a bread-loving country.

    3. What is the primary "product" or "export" of Norway?
    Fish. And oil. and nature gas, but... yeah, fish. Easily. Norwegians export fish like nobody's business, because... we have a lot of fish and a lot of QUALITY fish. It's actually purely because of Norway that salmon is common in Japanese sushi... originally the Japanese didn't think of salmon as a sushi fish because of the low-quality salmon they had over there. The Norwegian government, who were convinced that Japan might be a good market for our fish, essentially badgered the Japanese into buying some Norwegian salmon, and the rest is history.
    Don't think, that'll only confuse you.

  24. #24
    Master of New Adventures!
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    I'm being ignored. I hope I didn't offend. It wasn't my intention.

  25. #25
    Heroic Warrior Dina M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heeeere's Olesker! View Post
    Why, in all of the world, do you think Scandinavian countries are listed as four of the top ten "happiest" counties in the world, and Norway is listed at #6? I get that being populated with drop dead gorgeous, blond and healthy Norwegian women, along with enjoying Aquavit, plays a role:

    https://www.google.com/search?rls=en...w=1815&bih=913

    But there has to be more to it than that. You're all doing something right. Clue the rest of us in on what it is.
    I don't know, just lucky I guess. ^_^

    Okay, I suppose things like free education and healthcare, low crime rates and cushy social security nets has something to do with it. Plus, well. BALANCE is very important to us. A balance between work and free time, for instance. We're not aiming for all of the effort and time to becoming gazillionaires, they’re looking for a good balance of life... I've known several Americans shocked at how little time Norwegians spend AWAY from work. You don't get Norwegians working a lot of overtime or being at their employer's beck and call... we clock in our seven or eight hours, and then we're done for the day, and can spend our afternoons and evenings on more fun things. We also have a guaranteed five weeks of vacation every year, and both mother and father get paid "parent leave" for a few months when having had a baby...

    Don't get me wrong, there ARE workaholic Norwegians, and Norwegian employers that work their employees too hard, but it's not as common here as it seems to be elsewhere in the world. Of course, it means that shops aren't open 24-7, and there might be less service to be had... nobody's gonna bag your groceries for you at the store, for example, and you'd better have done your shopping by Saturday afternoon, cause there ain't nothing open on a Sunday. But in exchange, we have a lot more free time, to spend with our families or pursuing our hobbies, or whatever we feel like.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Heeeere's Olesker! View Post
    I'm being ignored. I hope I didn't offend. It wasn't my intention.
    Nah, I'm just taking some time writing the responses, and your question came while I was typing up a previous response.
    Don't think, that'll only confuse you.

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