Pre-arrival stereotypes about Norway

A Month Ago Today!

Yes, it has been one month since we arrived. Time does flies. So what have we been up to? Other than trying to sort out the paperwork to be a legal immigrants here; we have been house hunting, cracking our head up at grocery shopping (not having the language skill) and the fun bit, exploring Gjøvik city.

Pre-arrival stereotypes (mostly mine)

Stereotype 01: Norway’s administration system is highly efficient. 

Not really. The Norway’s government departments seems bureaucratic yet at times, very informal. Nonetheless, there is a whole heaps of rigid rules, the departments appeared incompetence (at times), long waiting period and endless delays. Oddly enough sometimes it felt like there’s a lack of common sense.  Each departments have their own way of doing things and they don’t seem to talk to each other on their procedures (making it really hard for foreigners).

Stereotype 02: Norway is just darkness, cold and rain.

Nope. This depends entirely on which part of Norway you are in. We are currently living in the central (Oppland) and we had the best summer in a long time. We are loving the constant temperature. Yes, the winter is coming but it will not be slushy, windy and wet like Dunedin, New Zealand.

Stereotype 03: Norwegians are all tall, fair, blond and blue eyed.

I know, I know! I have no idea where and how I got that into my head. It’s not true. There are non-blond Norwegians too and they are not all that tall.

Stereotype 04: Equality for all.

I guess on a global level, they do emphasize and practice more equality than others. However, I am still not entirely convinced that the system are equal. I will probably discuss more on this when I have a better understanding.

Stereotype 05: There’s only one Norwegian language.

Nope! What fun when we found out that every region have their own distinctive dialects. Officially there’s three written languages: Bokmål, Nynorsk and Sami. Bokmål is derived from Danish, while Nynorsk was developed by the linguist Ivar Aasen in the 1850s. It is said to be a fusion of various West-Norwegian dialects.

Stereotype 06: Norway is all about being Green!

Having only been here for a month, there’s some contradiction about Norway being all green. I mean it’s great to see Norway pledging to be climate-neutral by 2030 and seen as a green role model internationally. There’s also a huge emphasis of electric cars/e-vehicles. However, when one walks into the supermarket – what baffled me is how much plastic are used in all context. Individual wrapped capsicums and all those unnecessary use of packaging. Shopper actually pay premium for the those individual wrapped veges. Yet, on the other hand, there’s like 5 different bins for recycling in each household of all kind of material. So I am currently confused. They are green but not that green (not just yet).

So there you are, my short blabber about my stereotypes.


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