Fløibanen in Bergen
Norwegian culture & religion
FAMILY: Many families consist mainly of the nuclear family. The nuclear or stem family is the prevalent domestic unit. The stem family consists of a married pair and their unmarried children, plus the parent or parents of one of the spouses. These grandparents often live in a small separate apartment in the same house or in a separate building near the main house. Marriage is not a necessity to starting a family. Many couples live together without legalizing the arrangement with marriage.
Women are highly respected in business and generally receive equal pay . Norwegian women expect to be treated with respect in the office. Businesswomen are direct and can be skilled negotiators. Women may take up to one year's maternity leave at 80% pay or 10 months at 100% pay. If a woman decides to stay home with pre-school children she receives a monthly stipend from the government.
JANTE'S LAW: The poet Aksel Sandemose put Jante's Law into words and they convey an important element of the Norwegian culture: being humble. Jante's Law teaches people to be modest and 'think small'. It is shown in most people's refusal to criticize others. Norwegians try to see all people as being equal. They do not flaunt their wealth or financial achievements and look with a certain disapproval at those who do.
EQUALITY: Norwegians view themselves as being equal to other people, and their culture is based on democratic principles of respect. Where they can they will help each other . They like people for who they are and not for what they do for a living, their professional accomplishments or how much money they earn. They have simple tastes . They pride themselves on being honest and sincere in their personal relationships.
MEETING AND GREETING NORWEGIANS: Greetings are casual, with a handshake, direct eye contact, and a smile. Norwegians are casual: they often introduce themselves with their first name only. You can wait to be invited before moving to first names although most people will start with this. Shake hands and say good-bye individually when arriving or departing.
RELIGIONS: Norwegian religions consist of Evangelical Lutheran 86% (state church), other Protestant and Roman Catholic 3%, other 1%, none and unknown 10%.