Name: Natali Savochkina
Home Country: Ukraine
Previous University: Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Kyiv (Ukraine)
Previous studies: BSc in Marketing
Current programme at BI: MSc in Strategic Marketing Management
Moving to the land of winter
Inspired by the famous saying “there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing” (“Det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlige klær”), I packed my suitcase with the warmest sweaters you could only imagine just to find out that this November was actually twice colder in my hometown (Kyiv, Ukraine) than here in Oslo. While up north it does get rather cold, the capital of Norway enjoys mild winter temperatures with the amount of snow just enough to feel the Christmas vibes.
Darkness & Depression
Just as for every dark time there is the light one, for every early Norwegian winter sunset there is a summer day when the sun barely sets at all. It is all about balance. Moreover, the sunsets here are simply breathtaking. Another reservation that people hold about Norway is that the prolonged darkness makes people depressed. Still, Norway was ranked 6th among the happiest countries in the whole world in 2021. It is not about darkness after all, is it?
Eating fish even for breakfast
Not being the biggest fan of fish, I was not too excited about switching my diet to a more fish-oriented one. How surprised I was to find out that chicken is still the most preferred choice here both because it is cheaper and easier to cook. So, no culture shock in this regard as well.
Norwegians are rude
While in many countries it is popular to start a short conversation when meeting your acquaintances in the elevator or canteen, most likely Norwegians will not be the ones to initiate those small talks. The reason behind it is that they are respectful and considerate about other people’s personal space. Though this lack of small interactions does not indicate that Norwegians are rude, it just proves that they value meaningful conversations much more.
Describe a Norwegian in 5 words – rich blonde tall blue-eyed Viking
If that is your choice of words, I have some news for you – you are wrong. Partly. Of course, every stereotype has a bit of truth in it. In the case of Norwegians, yes, many are rich but that is because they are hard-working, many are blonde, but mostly during their childhood, many are blue-eyed, but there are as many brown-eyed as well. And many are tall (and many are not).
Thus, the main takeaway from this article is to take every stereotype you hear about Norway with a pinch of salt. Yet, do take some sweaters.