24 Ways To Be More Norwegian

Posted by Martina Wade | Fun stuff, Scandi Life
ikke sant

24 ways to be more Norwegian

  1. If someone asks you how you are, be honest. Having a rubbish time? Elaborate in great detail – and do not under any circumstances try to make it less awkward.

    Anyway awkward reaction
  2. When having a conversation, about anything, make sure to say ‘ikke sant’ a lot. It is a bit like the English use ‘right’. Depending on your intonation, ‘ikke sant’ can mean a range of different things (most on a spectre 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

    ikke sant

    illustration by Jenny Blake


  3. Always bring a matpakke (packed lunch) – yes you could be more adventurous and stop having those 4 slices of bread with sweaty cheese or smelly salami, but why would you?
    Norwegian packed lunch
  4. In autumn, winter and Easter time, never ever go hiking without a kvikk lunsj in your bag.
    kvikk lunsj
  5. Avoid looking directly at your fellow citizens in all urban areas. That includes pavements, public transport and inside shops.

    avoid eyecontact norwegians
  6. But remember to say Hei hei to everyone when hiking or on a Sunday stroll (manners!).
  7. Every spring, make an excuse not to partake in Dugnad (where everyone living in a block of flats, for example, get together to tidy up the communal areas).
    avoiding dugnad
  8. Eat tacos every Friday. It’s the national dish of Norway, didn’t you know?
    tacofredag norway
  9. If you live close to the Swedish border, drive across the border on meat-safari (fleskesafari).
    nordmenn svenskehandel fleskesafari
  10. Never, ever, admit to a Swede being better than a Norwegian at anything. Especially not skiing.
  11. If a Swede beats a Norwegian at skiing it is always because of ‘Smørekrise’ (the way the skis are prepped, depending on conditions). It has nothing to do with the athletes themselves you see. Blame the kit.
    norway vs sweden skiing

    Best friends


  12. Own at least one hi tech brightly coloured coat to protect you from the elements. Wear this every day, in any weather – in Norwegian it is called All Weather Jacket (allværsjakke).
    allvaersjakke norwegian
  13. Make sure to stare at people who go hiking in jeans. They are usually tourists and are not informed of the hiking dress-code.
  14. Every summer, travel to Syden and get a sunburn. Syden = anywhere south of your home town (but usually excludes Scandinavia).
    sunburn norway
  15. Do not be alarmed if someone starts begging you to let them jump in front of you in the supermarket queue – this is completely normal and usually occurs at five to no-more-alcohol-today (no alcohol can be bought in shops after 8pm ever).

    please let me queue jump norwegian
  16. Never, ever, ask someone to pass you something at the table. Just stretch your arms and lean across. One does not bother people by asking them to pass anything.
    reaching across table
  17. Always say Takk for maten (thanks for the food), or mamma will be most upset.
    happy mum
  18. Go to your cabin – Dra på hytta – every weekend. Sure, you’ll spend 4 hours in your car each way but on hytta you must.
    norwegian hytte
  19. Own at least one Norwegian flag.
    norwegian flag
  20. Remember to ‘kose deg’! Literally – cosy you – enjoy and indulge in whatever. A bun with your coffee, an ice cream in the sun, all the sweets on a Friday night.
    kose seg fredagskos
  21. As soon as the sun comes out, run outside and smile yourself silly. Have utepils. Do not, under any circumstances, stay inside on a sunny day.
    enjoying the sunshine
  22. Say Yes in English (but spell it jess).
  23. Drink a lot of coffee. And milk. A glass of milk with every meal.
    mr melk norway
  24. Eat a lot of pølse. Travelling by train? Have a pølse. In the airport? Have a pølse. Watching the footy? Have a pølse. Celebrating the day Norway got its own constitution? Pølse it is.
    polse i brod

    Anything else you can do to be more Norwegian? Let us know in the comments!Wish you were Norwegian? There’s a T-shirt for that. Enter code ‘scandilife10’ at checkout to get 10% off!


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