How to be more Norwegian

Norwegian waffles with brown cheese

If you’re feeling inspired to move to Norway, it’s a good idea to find out what the people are like before you up sticks and go.

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Bronte Aurell, author of North: How to Live Scandinavian, shares her tips on how to be more Norwegian:

  1. Go for a hike (ut på tur, literally out on tour) every weekend, ideally somewhere hilly.
  2. Always take a matpakke (packed lunch) wherever you go.
  3. Every weekend and holiday, go to a hytte (cabin). Any cabin. A garden shed can be used as a replacement. This is called hyttetur (cabin tour).
  4. Avoid looking directly at your fellow citizens in all urban areas, including pavements, public transport and shops. But remember to say ‘Hei hei’ (hello) to everyone when hiking.
  5. Every summer, go to Syden (the south) for two weeks’ vacation. Southern Scandinavian places do not count – it has to be south of the German border.
  6. Eat warm waffles with brown goat’s cheese at least once a week. When you get sick of waffles, eat a Grandiosa frozen pizza or a hotdog wrapped in a potato pancake.
    Lofoten in Norway
  7. When having a conversation about anything, make sure to say ‘ikke sant’ a lot. Depending on your intonation, ikke sant can mean a range of different things, mostly on a spectrum of ‘Yes, I agree wholeheartedly’ – including, but not limited to:
    • Ikke sant = yes, I agree
    • Ikke sant? = do you agree?
    • Ikke Sant! = YES
    • Ikke SANT? = you’re kidding
    • Ikke sant = yes, yes
    • Ikke sant?! = I hear ya
  8. Celebrate your flag every day of the year but especially on 17 May, Norway’s national day. On this day, purchase seven more flags for your collection.
  9. Norwegians are born with skis on their feet. Uncomfortable for the mothers, but useful once they learn to stand up and navigate down snow-covered mountains. If you can’t ski, don’t move to Norway.
  10. Sweden will never be better than Norway at anything. Apart from the price of everything (you shall never speak of this openly). Know that if a Swede beats a Norwegian at skiing it is always because of smørekrise (the way the skis are prepped) literally, ‘a crisis of lubrication’. It has nothing to do with the athletes themselves.
  11. Own at least one allværsjakke (all-weather jacket). A plus point if it is brightly coloured.
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Taken from North by Bronte Aurell, £20 Aurum Press. Photo credits: Anna Jacobsen and Yuriy Garnaev on Unsplash