Constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy
Prime minister: Erna Solberg
We voted against EU membership (twice)
We have a multiparty system
The largest political parties
The Labour Party (DNA): The biggest political party in Norway. Founded by the working class.
The Red Electoral Alliance (RV) : a new revolutionary political party who works for equality of income, labour rights, and controlled economy and feminism.
The Socialist Left Party (SV)Concerned with enviromental issues and education. Want to be perceived as unprejudiced people. but you'll probably only feel their acceptance and tolerance if you represent a minority group, otherwise they’re far from unprejudiced.
The Centre Party (SP) for farmers. They are mostly popular in the country side and other rural areas.
The Liberals (V):. they belong to the center-right side of Norwegian politics.They are very easy people do deal with!, they're either very up for it, or not very up for it! And they like public transport !
The Christian Democratic Party (KrF): Christian values, family values. is (we don't know how) currently in government with Høyre, FRP and Vestre.
•The Conservative Party (H) represented by our new prime minister Erna Solberg. they represent the flagship in the vest side of Oslo. They won the government and county elections this year. They work for free market, liberal rights and equality of opportunities.
•The Progress Party (FrP) Right-side part and works for stronger immigration laws, a free market and tough penalties for crimes. they want to remove the sales tax on alcohol and drugs. Are well known for their scandals and pedophile youth leaders who make porn. is currently in government with Høyre, OMG!
We also have a sametingsvalg (Sami parliment), I have never really understood what kind of madat they have, or what they actually do there.
(872 A.D The battle of Hafrsfjord.), resulted in small kingdoms becoming one, larger kingdom, ruled by Harald the First.
1349 half of the Norwegian people died, getting sick from the bubonic plague. The last of the Norwegian kings died in 1387.
1397 Norway joined the other Nordic countries in the Kalmar union and after it was dissolved in 1450, Norway and Denmark where the only countries left in the union.
1814:The Norwegian constitution was written and signed on May 17th that year.Denmark had to let go of us, but Norway could not escape the much greater military force of Sweden and ended up in a new union. The new union functioned as a double monarchy.
June 7th, 1905 Norway finally became a separate nation again. In 1905 our new king was elected .his name was Prince Carl of Denmark, and he took the name “king HaakonV11 and with him, a whole new royal family. Their gene pool is very limited, so all the Scandinavian royal members are closely related. We even have some members in Brazil, but the Media has never been very interested in them. Our king does not have any real power and just functions as a symbol and ambassador.
In World War I Norway was neutral and served as a trading nation. Norway tried to stay neutral in World War II, but was occupied by German forces from 9 April 1940 to 8 May 1945 .
We had an ambitious plan to create peace in the middle east, with the Oslo agreement in 1993 , but it didn’t work.
When it comes to public transport, we're quite uncivilized people. We follow the “first come first served” philosophy*. We don't wait in line to enter the bus, metro or train. We don't give up our seats to the elderly, pregnant and/or disabled people.*. We give a damn in all the other passengers; we have loud cell phone conversation, and don’t always keep our feet on the floor. So that's why this campaign has started to educate us-with some discreet hints. We’re still in training, so please be patient with us! I have tried to teach my dog to wait in line numerous times, but I have almost given up on this project.I have finally realized it would be unreasonable to expect anything more!
So if you think you can help us, seriously we need help!!
* Just make sure they are really old/pregnant/disabled before making this offer
Some information about our juridical system.
first instanse is the district court (tingretten). District court judgment can be appealed to
Court of Appeal (lagmannsretten)
The Norwegian Supreme court, called "Høyesterett" is the highest court of law in Norway. It is composed of a Chief justice and seventeen permanent justices. in individual cases the Supreme court sits with a chairman and four judges.
Most cases never gets as far as the Supreme court, but are instead settled in one of the lower law courts.
In Norway dealing with drugs can give you up to ten years in jail. If you rape a kid or something, you probably get two years . Many foreigners from outside of Scandinavia see Norwegian prisons as luxury hotels. One prisoner said that Norwegian prisons were like being in preschool with some very strict nursery aunts
We don’t practice death penalty in Norway, no life time penalty either, but we might consider it after the terror attacks in Oslo performed by ABB.
Instead of life time penalty, we practice forvaring (Involuntary commitment), it practically means that the person can be locked in jail for a long time, if s/he is considered a threat to the society. Nobody has been in “forvaring” for more than 21 years yet, prisoners who serve long time sentenced can be realised after being in served 2/3 of the year in jail, with good manners.
Forvaring is not ordinary punishment, it’s an option, if he’s a danger to the society. Forvaring differs from ordinary prison, there’s more educated people working there and more facilities, The longest minimum time is 10 years. After that they have to let him go, if he shows good manners, but it’s difficult to predict future actions.
So a person being in forvaring can benefit from it , cause of the minimum time. An ordinary 21 year sentence, will mean at least 14 years in jail. .
Other sanctions are:
suspended jail sentence there’s no sentence as long as the person don’t repeat his wrong actions.
Tvungen psykisk helsevern , an instance is forced to treat a mentally disturbed person for his wrong action.
Dom til tvungen omsorg, a sanction for the mentally retarded.
The forensic psychiatrists are appointed by the court, and their reports have to be approved by rettsmedisinsk kommisjon (Norwegian Board of Forensic Medicine. Their mandate is to ensure the quality of the reports, and give feedback regarding approval or not.
In Norwegian forensic psychiatry, we follow the medical principle.
A criminal can’t be punished if he was insane (psychotic) or high-grade retarded when he committed his crime.
In the middle of the 1970’s we were introduced to skate boards. The politicians were in panic when hearing about the entire damage statistic in countries, which didn’t have any restrictions.So Miljødepartementet the (Ministry of Environment) ruled against in in 1976, the restriction included import industry, advertisement, everything that could be used in order to produce a skate board.
The restriction lasted for 12 years. The police had no longer the authority and capacity to keep track with the influence from other countries and they had to re-legalize it.
But not everyone agreed that the ban had been wasted.
Like one reporter in BBC announced in the TV program “the unbelievable truth”: it’s annoying and they were right, and I don’t know what madness came over them in 1989 for them to re-legalize it.
Britain and BBC has always been our role model. In 1967 when they introduced their TV viewers to colors, our television company NRK ruled against it frightening of the consequences to our viewers if they thought that all saw on TV would represent reality.
So the programs produced in colors where converted to black and white by NRK. So in 72, as a trial colors were introduced.
You’re only allowed to buy alcohol from 0800 to 18PM, every day. The days before Sundays and other bank holidays, there will be no sale after 3PM, but there are no restrictions the day before Ascension Day.
So in order to fix this problem, most people just buy some more beer.
you are not allowed to smoke in other places than outdoors and private companies. You can buy tobacco in your local grocery store, but the store is not allowed to show of the goods. So you have to ask for it yourself and reveal your bad habits to everybody in the store.
When you reach the age of 70 you are no longer allowed to be a bus driver. You can still drive a car, or take foreign assignments.’
You are not allowed to compete in Taekwondo when you turn 35.
Buying sexual services is considered a crime, but selling sex doesn’t make you a criminal.
You are not allowed to sell tickets on the black marked, ( so please don't do that), But if you breake that rule you shouldn't worry about sanctions-we have none.
If you don’t find a job or get disabled, hey this is your new day care!
670 000 Norwegians receive social benefits.
NAV is well known for their nativity. There are a lot of examples on people scamming the social system with fake diseases, fictive children and fake mental retardation. On big family were able to receive maternity benefit) for 30 fictive children. Finally someone at NAV reacted to all those twin births, it just couldn’t be possible?
Other people have faked being autistic, and schizophrenic, psychotic and they all received benefits
"Å nave" to nave, a new Norwegian expression referred to young people who have completed high school and want to receive benefits from Nav while they’re taking some time off.
In spite of all the criticism, Nav also received a prize for being the only computer program in the world to search for retirement pension and receive their response-on the net. With the program “Din pensjon”, your pension, Norwegians can use it to apply for benefits online-with just two clicks.
welcome to "Nydalen tunnel of light", financed with my tax money!
This is one of the things supported with our tax money, an escalator with 1800 flashing lights,and 44 speakers installed behind a layer of glass. I feel a bit dizzy after the ride with the escalator.
I hate this station!!! it gives me a headache!
Our tax system is based on the principle that everyone should pay taxes according to their means and receive services according to their means.
direct taxes consists of income, taxes, i.e. deducted from our earrings from employment or business activities, interests on bank deposits etc., and wealth tax. 37% of my earnings goes to taxes.
indirect taxes, are used to reduce our consumption of products that are hazardous to our health and or the environment.
So my tax contributions includes Nydalen light house, our new ski jump (1,8 billion NK), and some incompetent doctors with their expensive education, but except from this I hope my tax contribution will make a difference to the society.
Bunad: a national suit used for special occasions, like the 17th of May and weddings, but newer in funerals. We have numerous different national suits, and you can't just pick a nice suit if you don't have some sort of a connection/link to a specific region. But if you like the national suit from Telemark , your cabin in Rjukan should be your necessary link..
But as a general warning you should never wear a Sami costume if you have no Sami affiliation.
17th of May: our constitution day.We celebrate our freedom after being subjected to cruel aliens for centuries. It's also a great opportunity to see all the national suits you wish you had. Other keywords are hotdogs, ice cream, Norwegian flags, marching bands and high-flying balloons.
hytte: "Cabin". A sort of a little house with fireplace usually isolated, and without a normal WC and hot water. We spend our time there in the holidays. It's a part of our national identity. But most of us DONT own a cabin, we just have access to one. Sharing a cabin with family members and friends often means trouble, so think twice before going for this solution.
Our nature plays a big role in our Norwegian identity. According to all Norwegian lifestyle magazines, the ideal of happiness is moving to a remote and isolated place engage in farming, listening to the sounds of nature and cowbells- and just forget about the rest of the world. It’s the Norwegian way of self-realization.
Gå en tur: go for a walk, from one distance to another and back, and for no special reason. In every personal ads they all like to "gå turer i skog og mark".It's a Norwegian cliché.
ski (cross country) skiing We are actually born with skis on our feet, and it's a part of the Norwegian identity.Some famous Norwegian skiers: Bjørn Dæhli, Vegard Ulvang and Thomas Alsgaard and not at least our new stars: Marit Björgen, Therese Johaug and Petter Northug.
We’re proud to have arranged the Olympic Games in Lillehammer in 1994.
We are also very proud to have beaten Brasil in football WM in 1998, (but our performances in general are not much to brag about.)
Harrytur/harryhandel: To avoid bankruptcy, we travel to the Swedish border Svinesund and empty _their_ shelves for cheap food, candy and alcohol.
Forspiel/nachspiel: it’s nothing sexual, but a private drinking party before and after the pub crawl- to avoid going bankrupt.
our word *ja* (yes) with ingressive affirmation, we don't have inhalation problems we just talk like that!
Målstrid: the never ending war between Norway’s two official written forms of Norwegian: Nynorsk and Bokmål.
kos* some kind of pleasure/kozy.
"brunost": (Brown cheese) You either like it or hate it. Its'very Norwegian, just remember to use our Norwegian invention, our cheese slicer.( I doubt it’s only a Norwegian invention, but please don't destroy our pride)
"Vaffler": We eat a lot of waffles. Eating waffles with jam and sour cream is a Norwegian tradition.
Dugnad a Norwegian term for voluntary work. Nobody can force you to participate in this, but you _should_ participate to gain more social capital.
Russefest: the crazy time before high school graduation. The whole concept starts in autumn and for most of us it ends in the middle of May ( and for some, it never ends) . It's by far NOT the most intellectual time of our life.
SOME PROVERBS AND SAYINGS
"Hvor var du når Oddvar brå brakk staven?*
Oddvar Brå: was a popular Norwegian skier than unfortunately broke his staff during VM in Oslo Februar 23th,1982. I don't really know why it's so popular to ask about this, but you have to know where you were the day this incident occurred.
"å hoppe etter Wirkola/ to jump after Wirkola" " "*
Bjørn Wirkola was one of the best ski jumpers in Norway. He was always the best so being next in line to jump was not that fun. Today we use this saying when trying to compete with someone who's totally superior. I would totally lose my motivation if I knew that the person singing before me in a song contest was a famous singer like Celine Dion.
Det er typisk norsk å være god* "It's typically Norwegian to be good "
"an expression of our" arrogance when it comes to "sports performances"
It was a very bright and sunny day and I was heading home from work at 3.20 pm when I heard a big bang. Some minutes after, all I heard was the intensive sound of sirens.On my way home,I walked past by young girl who was in some kind of panic, talking to someone on the cell phone. I picked up the words: injured people everywhere. I really didn't understand what had actually happened before I came home and a friend told me to turn on the television.
Some hours later we heard about the massacre in Utøya, and we realized that it was more than just a bomb in Oslo.
I remember walking my dog to the dog park, and for some reason went from there with no purse in my hand. My keys and wallets were all in there, and I almost started panicking, as we were told to stay inside and don’t use the cellphone that evening. With no family in town it was a very bad timing, but I was comforting myself by thinking that there were people out there that were worse off than me this day. But thankfully, another dog owner called to say she had found my purse in the dog park, and we could return home.
But sadly I'm not surprised. Our naivety will attract terrorists to Oslo. Until recently everybody could enter the government building. My friend who has a visual impairment ended up there when she thought she had reached the library She couldn’t understand why she had to go through a security check in in order to borrow books.;). So I guess this man (whose name should be forgotten), had no difficulties fulfilling his plan.
One of the utøya victims, Bano Abobakar Rashid made a great impact on me. The television company tv2 made an interview with here just some hours before the shooting. I saw an enthusiastic girl talking about her meeting with Gro (our former prime minister) and her role model and and that she had lent her kind boots to her. Some hours later she was shot by a maniac pretending to be a policeman.
She and her family were refugees from Iraq and had settled in Norway in order to make a safe future for their kids.
What also made a great impact on we was seeing some parts of her funeral (tv2) in Nesodden church, which has a Muslim cemetory. To see a Muslim imam and a female Christian minister presided over her was a mighty image. By leading together they acted against the murders belief system
Some words that frequently spin in my head whenever I think about these tragedies are" absurd», «unbelievable","meaningless" and "unreal». The whole tragedy is just absurd, it sounds like something that could only happen in a bad horror movie on a low budget
I believe we all realize that terrorism can be performed by other than Islamic terrorists.
And as for the youth they acted as an example for all of us, by not searching revenge and hate, but heal the city with love and fight for more democracy.
On July 22nd, 2011, Anders Behring Breivik began a series of deadly attacks, killing 77, mainly young people. The right-wing extremist first set off a bomb near Parliament House in Oslo, killing 8 people, before going on a shooting rampage on the nearby Utoeya island, where the ruling Labour Party's youth wing was hosting a summer camp. He killed 69 people on the island, most of them teens.
I visited Parliament House first, and saw the flowers and notes. In front of Parliament house, were three Rose Hearts, and on the ribbon, were the names of all those who lost their lives. It was beautiful.
On I went to the Cathedral, and it was here, my heart sunk and I felt like crying. The Norwegians had out poured their grief by leaving thousands of flowers, notes and had burnt candles in memory of the dead.
I knew there would be flowers there, but I wasn't prepared for what I saw, I even feel very sad writing this.
A year has past, and "he" has been sentenced. Norwegians will always remember this dreadful time, that is now a part of their history.
Rosemaling is a Norwegian folk art which means rose or flower painting, but it represents a characteristic type of Norwegian folk painting.
I first came across this in the Norwegian Open Air Folk Museum.
A good showing of this, was in the Telemark Guest House, where the whole inside of the house had been painted with Rosemaling. Each piece of rosemaling is an original, painted in the coloring and technique of the Norse folk-artists of a century ago. It is finished with layers of lacquers, making it a very practical addition to any kitchen or room. I can understand now, why the walls were decorated this way. The people adapted colors from the fields in autumn to the decoration of their homes.
When exploring Oslo you are very likely to se some sellers with the magazine = Oslo, or erlikoslo.
the price is 50 NK and the sellers get some excess themselves. They only accept cash. The whole goal of the organization is to help the street people gain a better life and dignity by doing honest work.
The Magazine was first published in June 2005. Other countries have been doing this for quite some time already like Great Britain and ” the big issue” from the early 90’s . =Oslo is member of the international network INSP (International Network of Streetpapers
This is Knut Olav johanessen our new mascot, a salesman for =Oslo and the main person in a movie made about his life as a street seller . The film is called Selger 329 or, (salesman 329). The Director Kari Anne Moe, who worked as a volunteer in =Oslo made this movie and Knut Olav was asked who he wanted to invite. He wanted the king Harald to be present, and this wish came through. But he didn’t expect the queen wanting to to be there too . She asked for permission to to join her husband, and they were both touched by the movie.
Knut Olav grew up in Oppsal Oslo. He had a tough childhood. He was bullied and picked on. When he searched for an acceptance he ended up beting a part of a drug enviroment . After several years working in the grocery industry his only job is selling = Oslo Magazine.
This Magazine has over 700 sellers, and 8 employees working in the administration. The adress is Skippergata 14.
I met him on my way to Majorstua and he was exited to be a part of VT, and my local customs tips. So if you meet him you should say hello!
"Folk er Folk" is another concept with the aim of helping the Gypsies out of their miserable situation.
I did a lot of walking in Oslo - I wanted to see everything as I spent so much time there. On my walks I came across several different Christian churches and mosques and a synagogue.
The main part of Norwegians are Evangelic Protestants - the first religion was Norse mythology (the belief of the Vikings) - then Catholism and now Protestants (we have the same religious history in Iceland).
I also came across a Russian Orthodox church in Vár Frelsers gravlund graveyard, and I know that there is another one close to Vigelandsparken park. And there is an Anglican Chaplaincy in Möllergata, a beautiful church kind of squeezed in between other buildings. And there are churches all over Oslo, most of them of very similar design. St. Olav´s Cathedral is a Roman Catholic church. I saw several different churches in Grunerlökka, one of them was a Methodist church. I would love to attend a service there one day.
There are also several mosques, at least one in Grönland, amongst the churches, seeing that so many Muslims live in Oslo - mainly in Grönland. They are the second largest religious group in Norway and ever growing. This has become a concern for the natives...
I came across one synagogue on my way to St. Hanshaugen park - in Bergstien. It was the least inviting of the religious places, fenched in and had surveillance cameras. I almost felt like an intruder taking a photo of it. There are not many Jews in Oslo - and I gather that they must have their own reason I don´t know of for protecting their synagogue in this way.
And then there are Buddhists, Sikhs, Hindus and other smaller religious groups.
The most beautiful church I saw in Oslo was the Stave church at the Folk-museum in Bygdöy.
On the 17th of May, the Constitution day, it is a treat watching the beautiful national costumes. There are different costumes for different parts of Norway - it was absolutely delightful seeing all those beautiful Norwegian women dressed up... each costume more beautiful than the other - for me it had the "wow" factor. All the female national costumes have a sterling silver brooch fastened to their blouse.
The "bunad" is very expensive - each one costs ca USD 3.000 - and every woman was wearing one! So I guess every woman has one - and of course they heirlooms as well. Here in Iceland we use them very seldom, and we get them on loan from women who have got a costume. Seeing that the tradition is different between our countries and knowing the cost of a "bunad" I was absolutely astounded seeing all the women wearing a costume.
All my photos are taken on the 17th of May apart from the last one, it is taken in the mall in Ski, where an exhibition of all the different national costumes was set up in May.
The costume is called "bunad" - we have an Icelandic word "búnaður". The word "bunad" is a relatively new Norwegian word - Nynorsk, and many of the Nynorsk words are so similar to the old Norwegian - Icelandic.
What you should now about us, is that we like to meet new people but we don't like to take the first step. We may seem a little reserved, but once you start talking to us you'll notice that we are friendly but still a bit shy (well with some alcohol, we're quite different). We are not a kissing and hugging nation. (Except from those we know very well).
I believe that's represent the general Norwegian person, but we also have some regional differences. It has been said that the people from Bergen are more outgoing; the people from Trondheim have their own sense of humor and really like to party. The people from the south coast of Norway, like Kristiansand are very shy people and are more affected by their Christian beliefs. When a person from the north of Norway gets angry or hot -headed we think of it as charming and a part of the North Norwegian culture and identity. But if a person from Oslo gets angry it's not that charming. The North people are also allowed to use some swear words that would not be acceptable by a person from another place. I believe that some of these character sketches are just stereotypes that the Norwegians likes to make fun of
We don't usually talk to strangers, and when using public transport you'll probably notice that the Norwegians will not share seat with someone if they do not absolutely need to
-we don't like to cluster. Personal space is respected. So you should not be offended-It's just a culture thing.
We consider us self as strongly independent people. We want our kids to do well in life and don’t depend on different (social instances). If you’re familiar with some of our fairy tales like Askeladden (ash lad), he’s the one who takes life in his own hands, killing the troll, winning the princess and half the kingdom-with no help from anybody.
You should also know that being indebted by borrowing or receiving favors will make us uncomfortable.
If you're planning to stay in Norway (Oslo), maybe you want to study here and make friends, keep in mind that it takes time to make Norwegian friends. It takes time to know the Norwegian culture, our jokes, and our funny language. But please be patient and you'll get Norwegian friends for life.
Almost all young Norwegians master (good) English. Most of us also had French/Spanish and/or German at school but hesitate to speak it, even though we understand it. The problem is that we hardly ever practice it. And we usually watch English spoken programs on TV. So talking about television shows like. can be a conversation topic. But please don't reveal the end, we're some light years behind other countries like the US.
The United Nations has ranked our country as the best place in the world to live. We have rights “from the cradle to the grave” .We don't starve her, we don't freeze to death, and education is free. We want everybody to have the same opportunities in life.
The average age for first-time mothers is 30 years. Most of us want to be in a stable relationship, be graduated and employed before we decide that's time raise a family. Norwegian women have a year of maternity leave( if she has been working six out of the last ten months), and it can easily be combined with the pram-pushing father. Since 1993, the father has had the right to take six weeks leave for absence from work. I know fathers who use this as opportunity go on a long vacation with the whole family. That was not the original intention of this plan. If the father doesn’t use his father’s quota, to be home with the new born for at minimum one month, they’ll lose their right to this portion of the leave period. A family can receive 36000NK, annually for each child aged one or two who doesn’t go to day care.
If you have not been working a year before you give birth to your child, you get less money. Norway is an expensive country, and the money does not last very long. If they are single parents or do not have a rich spouse, they will be struggling economically. Until the child is 12 years old, there's free health care.
Family life is often referred to as "tidsklemme". There’s no time to arrange all the activities needed to make family life complete. Parents are usually in the hurry, heading home from work, picking up their kids from Kindergarten in time for dinner.
In Norway approximately 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce. In a Norwegian classroom, it's not unusual that around half of the kids, have divorced parents, or their parents have never been married and don't live together, (or don't know each other ).In Norway living together without being married is just as usual as being married. It's called to have a «samboer». In 90 percent of all marriages, the women take their husbands name as their last name. The kids usually gets to last names, that's probably why we don't practice double names that often, tree names is just enough.
Norway is also one of few countries with , same sex-marriage practice. And if two women of the same sex decide to have a child with artificial insemination, the other women will get parental rights.
The task of the Norwegian child welfare Barnevernet is to assist parents in giving their children the best possible upbringing. They support families in different ways, like giving parents advice on how to take care of their children, and organize foster home and visit homes
According to Norwegian laws, BV can take action if they suspect a child is suffering. We’re in a lack of good foster homes so many kids end up moving from place to place, cause the families rely on three months contracts.
Female drug users who get pregnant are admitted into an institution with force until the baby is born. We're about the only country that actually has this rule to protect the baby against damages because of the drugs being used.
If you give birth to a child with some kind of handicap you have to make sure that you municipality is a rich one. Many parents have actually moved to another municipality or town, because their home town would not support them (economically). The parents with kids that have special needs actually have some rights, but it doesn't always work in real life. Many of the kids with development disorders live part of their life in institution (every second week or something) with their weekend’s parents.
So what characterizes the kids and youth in Oslo/ Norway?
After my opinion many kids are overprotected and spoiled. Our childhood last longer than many other countries in Europe. ( we never really grow up) Norwegian kids have the highest amount of pocket money in Europe. Norwegian kids are not used to taking orders from authorities. The upbringing is very democratic. The kids are used to negotiating with parents and teachers. I believe countries like German are the opposite from us. Our Norwegian kids are often referred to as the diva generation.
But even though they might be spoiled with pocket money and material things, I find the kids and youth quite sensitive and reflective. They often reflect on their life in Norway with one of the best welfare systems in the world. And many kids want to do something for others whoare least fortunate
" Regines bok"* a young girl's battle against cancer. Regine passed away on December the third (2009) (my birthday) and her blog became a book which has touched many Norwegian teens.