Happy New Year

smiley lego

It’s a funny thing about Norway… people don’t smile at each other or wave and say, “Hey, what’s up?” People generally seem to keep a respectable distance and try not to make eye contact. If you meet someone you know at the grocery store you can just barely nod to acknowledge him or her, or you can choose to have a quick conversation, but it’s not at all mandatory. There are some aspects of this that I really do admire because it gets you out of those awkward moments in the store where you keep bumping into someone that you have already just greeted and said goodbye to, and maybe even made tentative plans with. Or maybe you’re just not in the mood to have the “stop and chat.” Even so, I don’t see the harm in making a little eye contact and smiling to people as you pass them, or brush them as you walk by. I have always done this. Americans in general are known for smiling, waving, and asking how someone is doing that they don’t even know (even if they don’t wait around to hear the response which is admittedly a little weird). In the 7 months I’ve been here, and all of the times I have visited, I have not stopped my habit of smiling to people and being friendly. Compared to some Americans, I am even more smiley and friendly, but it is genuine and it makes me happy. It makes me feel good. It makes me feel connected to the human race. On days when I’m blue, it makes me a tad happier to be amongst people that I don’t know, or that I do know, connecting. Being friendly. I have had a few experiences since I’ve moved here where I smile and wave in the store to someone that I know or have met, and they look at me like a two-headed monster and look away. That’s okay, to each his own, and I don’t have any agenda to try to change anyone or demand to be treated a certain way. Besides, it is the culture here, and I accept it… and there are good things about it, like I said. But, I also don’t intend to change the fact that I’m going to probably walk around looking a bit happy, maybe people think I’m high or on something, and perhaps it seems rather strange to people. But, some things I am just not willing to change.

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2 thoughts on “Happy New Year

  1. :<) As an American visitor to Norway I have had the same experience. I continue to say hello and smile at people. Usually they reply in the same way but sometimes I too feel snubbed. I don't let it bother me!
    Please keep you articles coming, I really enjoy them!

    Like

    1. Thank you, Diana! I’m glad that you don’t let it bother you. I am getting there. It is a bit awkward at times, but overall, I just need to be myself. 🙂 Thank you for reading the posts. 🙂

      Like

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