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Lesson Transcript

Jasmine: Hi, and welcome back to NorwegianClass101.com! I'm Jasmine,
Filip: And I'm Filip
Jasmine: And this is All About Lesson 8: Top 5 Things You Need to Know About Norwegian Society!
Jasmine: Today we are going to tell you more about life in Norway.
Filip: There are so many aspects to Norwegian society it's hard to know where to begin!
Jasmine: Well, since the title of this lesson is "Top 5 Things You Need to Know about Norwegian Society," I picked five topics.
Filip: Which are?
Jasmine: Major cities and city life, family life in Norway, Norwegian work culture, and generational trends.
Filip: Why don't we start with city life? Most Norwegians live in cities after all.
Jasmine: Good idea! We'll start with three major Norwegian cities - Oslo, Bergen, and Trondheim.
Filip: Sounds great! Oslo is located in the southeast of Norway.
Jasmine: With a population of just over five hundred thousand, Oslo is the political capital of the country and also the tourist capital.
Filip: In Oslo, you can see the "Royal Palace," the opera, and "Vigelandsparken," ("the Vigeland Park").
Jasmine: Besides that, Oslo has a unique atmosphere, a relaxed pace, and many other great tourist spots.
Braden: What does Bergen have?
Filip: Bergen is located about two hundred miles west of Oslo.
Jasmine: Bergen is the second largest city in Norway and a part of UNESCOs World Heritage List.
Filip: It is incredible isn't it?!
Jasmine: Yes it is. The dock area in Bergen is really incredible though.
Filip: The docks attract a lot of tourism so had it not been for Oslo being the capital of Norway, Bergen would definitely top the tourism spot.
Jasmine: That said, Bergen's location is not all that favorable despite being a beautiful sight. Bergen's location between seven mountains causes the citizens to experience rain 235 days out of a whole year.
Filip: That is more than two-thirds of a year with just rain. I guess people who like rain would love Bergen.
Jasmine: Bergen has not just a little, but a lot of something for everyone.
Filip: Tell us what Trondheim have to offer?
Jasmine: Tons. But it's especially alluring for prospective students in Norway.
Filip: That's right. Trondheim is like student heaven.
Jasmine: Trondheim has a lot of nice spots, the most famous being "Nidaros Cathedral."
Filip: Or "Nidarosdomen" as it's called in Norwegian. Another nice spot is the row of colored buildings by the river.
Jasmine: But it's only at night one can see Trondheim at its most significant. The aurora can be seen from the city especially during winter.
Filip: And my favorite part is the nightlife that city has. Due to a large amount of students studying at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology coupled with Norwegians' affinity for drinking, it marks the city as one of the best nightlife experiences in Norway.
Jasmine: Yep. It's very fun going out in Trondheim and meeting new people.
Filip: I miss my student days.
Jasmine: Probably the number one thing you need to know about Norwegian cities is that they are full of contradiction.
Filip: Oslo ranked top as one of the best cities to live in the world.
Jasmine: Good economy, social life, safety, and many opportunities await you in this city.
Filip: But last year something very terrible happened in the heart of Oslo. A terrorist attack on Norway threw away the feeling of safety and left a mark on Norway.
Jasmine: The massacre is one of the worst in recent years and is in the city where the Nobel Peace Prize Awards is being held.
Filip: After the massacre Norwegians all over Norway marched together in sympathy for the victims and to show repugnance towards violence and the use of it.
Jasmine: That's good!
Filip: Bergen is one of Norwayโ€™s older cities and despite being a popular tourism magnet the city suffers from heavy rainfall.
Jasmine: In fact, there is so much rain in Bergen that it might not only ruin your vacation, but it might also cause you harm.
Filip: Lying in between seven mountains makes Bergen very prone to landslides. It is the number one landslide-prone city in Norway.
Jasmine: Though landslides are pretty much the only natural catastrophe Norway can experience. Besides a river flooding.
Filip: Trondheim is different.
Jasmine: The aurora creates a beautiful image of the city. And besides snow storms, nature canโ€™t really harm you there.
Filip: On the other hand, the nightlife in Trondheim might be a bit of a mess sometimes.
Jasmine: The amount of students doesn't only give Trondheim a great nightlife but it also leads to a lot of drunk arrests and drunken riots, especially during national celebrations like the month of May where thousands of high school graduates rave the city creating all sorts of messes.
Jasmine: So what about family life?
Filip: Family life in Norway depends greatly on which nationality and traditions the family has. Usually though, Norwegian families tend to be very open-minded and forgiving.
Jasmine: Thatยดs nice.
Filip: Norwegian families aren't that tightly knit, they're more individualistic, however the Norwegian families are very loving of each other.
Jasmine: If you live in a small municipality in Norway, neighbors are almost an extended part of the family.
Filip: Yes, although Norwegians like to keep to themselves, they usually socialize with their neighbors well, often so much they borrow stuff from each other or invite neighbors over for dinner.
Jasmine: Now on to the work culture and the economy. What are they like?
Filip: Norway's economy is ranked twenty-third in the world by GDP and is strong in agriculture, oil, and technology.
Jasmine: However, what's really scary is how rich an individual Norwegian is. They rank top on GDP per capita, which means average wage Norwegians are the richest amongst average wage people on earth.
Filip: Yes and the average wage in Norway is approximately sixty-four hundred USD a month.
Jasmine: Really? That's a lot!
Filip: As far as work culture goes, Norwegians are very relaxed and not often on time. The average workday for a Norwegian is eight hours frequenting five days a week.
Jasmine: Yeah, but I read that Norwegians are currently fighting for getting it down from eight hours to five hours a day.
Filip: Yes, Norwegians might seem a bit lazy if we manage to pass that legislation.
Jasmine: There is the melancholy that comes with the dark winters though, that so many Norwegians suffer from.
Filip: Yes, that too.
Jasmine: With that, what are the politics like in Norway?
Filip: Currently, Norway is a monarchy as it has always been,.
Jasmine: Though the king doesn't really hold any power does he!?
Filip: Sort of, the real ruler of the country is the Prime Minister and his government. However, the Norwegian King sits on a panel that decides on laws in Norway.
Jasmine: And the Prime Minister in Norway is Jens Stoltenberg.
Filip: Yes. This is his third time in office after having been re-elected in 2009 His party, which is important to mention, is the Norwegian Labor Party.
Jasmine: They have been the leading party for many years since World War II, am I correct?
Filip: Yes. With only some small interruptions, the Labor Party has been the ruling party in Norway for a long time.
Jasmine: Interesting.
Filip: The recent attacks on Norway were conducted by a Norwegian who was frustrated with Norwegian politics and the lack of change in political situation in Norway.
Jasmine: Yes, there are those people too. I heard some even wanted to throw over the monarchy and make Norway a Republic.
Filip: Yeah, it would never have worked due to Norwegians being very patriotic and proud of their king. I think Norway will continue to be a monarchy for quite a while more.
Jasmine: So, the number five thing you should know about Norwegian society is that it is changing constantly.
Filip: Norwegians are leading on the technological research front, especially when it comes to medicine and surgical or medical treatment.
Jasmine: And being a rich country probably makes technology and new life styles easily accessible.
Filip: That's right. But at the same time prices in Norway are higher than most other places in the world. You'll see fewer people in Norway holding an iPhone than you'd see in the U.S.
Jasmine: True. Then again, there is technological advancement everywhere. Oslo was the first city to have a commercially available 4G mobile network.
Filip: Yes, technology keeps on progressing fast in Norway.
Jasmine: And we hope you are excited to interact in this unique culture.
Filip: Well, that was our glimpse into Norwegian society for today.
Jasmine: We hope you learned a lot! We certainly covered a lot of information.
Filip: Yes, and get to know more in the next All About lesson.
Jasmine: See you next time!
Filip: "Hade bra."

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NorwegianClass101.com
Tuesday at 6:30 pm
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Do you have anything that you want to know about Norwegian or Norway? If so, please leave us a comment : )

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NorwegianClass101.com
Wednesday at 5:03 pm
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Hei Nicole,


Thank you for posting.

Weโ€™ll consider your feedback for our future development.

Let us know if you have any other questions or comments.


Regards,


Patrick

Team NorwegianClass101.com

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Nicole Pedersen
Wednesday at 8:26 pm
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I think this needs to be updated, Jens Stoltenberg has not been Prime Minister since October 2013 and Norway now has a Conservative government.

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NorwegianClass101.com
Wednesday at 3:05 am
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Hei, Helen!


Ja, det hรธres veldig frustrerende ut! - Yes, that sounds very frustrating!


Hope you find a solution to this :)


Bryce

Team NorwegianClass101.com

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Helen
Wednesday at 1:59 am
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Marianne og Bryce


Thank you for your comments. The telephone providers this end tell me the problem is the Norwegian end and vice versa. Very frustrating but never mind!

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Marianne i Australia
Thursday at 9:30 am
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Hei Helen,


Everyday I am sending and receiving text messages between Australia and Norway with no problems and no delays.


Just wondering if you have been using +47 at the beginning of the number to send a text to Norway. The recipient would then would have to use +44 to send one back to you.


:smile:

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NorwegianClass101.com
Thursday at 4:09 am
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Hei, Helen!


I'm sure the fault lies at the English end, then ;)


More seriously, yes, it does sometimes take a long time. It may be to do with your tariff, though. Mostly, Norwegian technology has to do with the energy sector (oil, gas, renewables).


Bryce

Team NorwegianClass101.com

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Helen
Thursday at 2:25 am
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I was interested to hear that Norway is a leader in technology when I have found it impossible to send a text from England to a Norwegian phone or to be able to receive one. Anyone else had such problems?

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NorwegianClass101.com
Wednesday at 2:44 pm
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Hei, Benjamin!


There's more than just liberal and conservative parties in Norway. The current parliament ("storting") has eight parties, ranging from democratic socialism and anti-capitalism on the left, to right-wing populism and libertarianism on the right. In the middle there is an agrarian party, a liberal party, and a christian-democratic party. While there is a consensus on a lot of issues, with a political spectrum so wide, there is still plenty of room for disagreement ;)


Issues that came up at the recent election included: queues in the health system, tolls and infrastructure investment, inheritance tax, alcohol laws, and free schools.


Bryce


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Benjamin Paric
Wednesday at 11:27 am
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Hmm... With Norway being a wealthy nation with a strongly implemented system of subsidized welfare, healthcare and schooling, I would imagine the political disagreements between Norway's conservative and liberal parties are different from those exhibited by the democratic and republican parties of the United States (which really begin and end with the budget). What is there left to disagree over in Norway?


Thanks for the lesson!

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NorwegianClass101.com
Sunday at 7:11 pm
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Hei, Diana!


Great comment!


The left-wing government will continue to rule until the end of October, at which point it's expected that the Conservatives will be the leading partner in a new governing coalition including the populist Progress Party, the Liberals, and the Christian Democrats. If these four parties can't come to an agreement, then the Labour Party may form a minority government, but this remains to be seen. The most likely scenario is a majority center-right government.


Thanks for commenting, Diana!


Bryce


Team NorwegianClass101.com