While the 17th May is just an average day for many of us, over in Norway Norwegians are preparing for a day of festivities to celebrate ‘syttende mai’, Norway’s Constitution Day. This year Norway will be celebrating 199 years of independence with parades, parties and festivities happening up and down the country!
To mark the national holiday in Norway, we thought we would bring you 10 facts about Norway you probably never knew! So grab your Norwegian flag and join us as we celebrate syttende mai!
No shopping on Sundays
If you’re over on holiday in Norway, make sure to stock up on food before Sunday! Food shops are not allowed to open on Sunday, so you’ll be limited to petrol stations and kiosks when shopping for groceries.
Brown cheese? Yes please!
Brunost is one of Norway’s most favourite cheeses. This brown cheese is made from goat’s milk and is created by evaporating most of the water left over from the production of ordinary cheese.
37 per cent of Norwegians have completed postsecondary education, making them the best educated people in Europe. Travellers should perhaps be wary of entering into any deep intellectual discussions unless assured of their own expertise in a matter!
Norway's sporting heritage goes way beyond football... the country has more Winter Olympic medals than any other country in the world. To date, the country has a total of 303 medals – including 107 gold medals – 50 more than the USA.
Oslo, the capital of Norway, is one of the most expensive cities in the world. A report in 2012 ranked the city as the most expensive European capital.
Lovers of frozen food
Norway’s unofficial national dish is the Grandiosa Frozen Pizza. Norwegians chow down 20 million frozen pizzas ever year.
Ban on Monty Python
The Monty Python classic film The life of Brian was actually banned in Norway when it was first released in 1982. The church in Norway is traditional and influential, so don't be surprised to find attitudes that vary significantly from the liberal Scandinavian stereotype.
Take on me
To date, A-ha remains the only Norwegian band to have had international success. Travellers can ingratiate themselves with locals by mentioning how great the band are/were and also name-dropping up and coming Norwegian musicians such as Silje Nes and Hanne Hukkelberg.
Do I know you?
Much like Londoners, Norwegians find it very odd to talk to strangers. Striking up a conversation with a stranger on a bus is considered a social faux pas.
Mind your manners
In Norway it is not deemed rude to bump into somebody in the street and not say sorry. It is also fine to not say thank you or ignore a stranger who smiles at you in public!
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