For people that are new to living in Norway, culture shock is very common. So we wanted to share a very important lesson that was graciously imparted to us by a Norwegian – it gives excellent insight into how things are done in Norway, and what the cultural expectations are. Because the ability to understand and adapt to “the Norwegian way” is the only approach to living here “easily.” Otherwise, the number of misunderstandings about important issues (for example “what is racism?”) will cause untold problems for any foreigner.
This lesson was given by a Norwegian father at the Birralee International School Trondheim, to a group of parents there (full disclosure: this lesson was likely directed at a particular “difficult foreign parent” that was present at this gathering). This Norwegian parent is an active volunteer at the school, proudly and dedicatedly representing the families there in several different capacities. And to be very clear – this man is definitely not a racist. He’s so NOT racist, that he doesn’t even know what racism is. If this isn’t proof of his definitely-not-racist-ness, then I don’t know what is.
We hope you enjoy this word-for-word transcription of the enlightening “lesson in Norwegian culture.”
Note: for those wondering why an image of a slug was used to represent the lesson-teacher in this post, it’s to represent the “slow” and “unhurried” way of Norwegian culture as described. And also because slugs are spineless.