14 Interesting Facts About Norway Most People Don’t Know About
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Norway? Fjords? Vikings? Heave metal? Well, let me just tell you that there’s much more to this country than just these stereotypes. And if you want to learn more about this Scandinavian country, you’ve come to the right place.
Turns out Norway has some pretty unique quirks that hardly anyone outside of the country knows about. For example, did you know that Norwegians are obsessed with tacos? Or that stripping is actually considered an art form in the country? Check out some of the weirdest and most interesting facts about Norway you’ve probably never heard before in the gallery below!
Image source: jechstra
When any new book is published in Norway, it has to pass quality control, after which a 1,000 copies of it (or 1,550 if it’s a children’s book) are distributed to the libraries around the country by the Arts Council. This not only supports the publishers, but also helps the writers that are just starting out. Not only that – books are also excluded from the country’s value added tax.
Image source: commons.wikimedia.org
Even though Norway’s oil fund is worth well over 1 trillion dollars, the country only spends about 3% of the fund every year, as they’re saving the money for the next generation.
Image source: gus880
Svalbard is one of the most unique areas in the world – mostly because it’s the only place where you don’t need a visa to live. This means that anyone can work and live in this archipelago, no matter their citizenship.
Image source: euronews (in English)
To learn more about the voters’ views, Norway’s Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg worked undercover as a taxi driver in Oslo back in 2013.
Image source: Justis
The Halden maximum security prison encourages its guards to interact with the inmates by playing sports, eating, and doing other activities together. The goal of this is to prevent aggression from both sides, as well as create a sense of family.
Image source: skynoir
Believe it or not, Norwegians use the term ‘Texas’ to describe something as crazy. Daniel Gusfre Ims, the head of the advisory service at the Language Council of Norway, explains that the term became popular when Norwegians started watching cowboy films. The genre quickly became famous around the country and soon enough the word became associated with lawlessness.
Image source: jamieca
Norway’s wealthiest residents’ income is on public record, making it harder for them to evade taxes.
Image source: borderlys
Ever since tacos were introduced to the country in the 1990s, Norwegians became absolutely obsessed with them, even celebrating Taco Fridays (tacofredag) every week!
Image source: tomoyoshi
Since 2007, Norway has some of the strictest advertising guidelines in the world. Automakers aren’t allowed to use words like ‘green’ or ‘clean’, as cars do nothing good to the environment, Bente Oeverli, a senior official at the office of the state-run Consumer Ombudsman.
Image source: thomashawk
Back in 2006, a Norwegian appeals court ruled that stripping is considered an art form and is exempt from value-added tax.
Image source: Mike Seyfang
Back in 2009, Norwegian national broadcaster NRK aired a 7-hour-long segment of a train ride from Bergen to Oslo. Since then, these types of seemingly mundane programs have become increasingly popular and became known as slow TV. Nowadays some broadcasters show programs like 12 hours of knitting or 60 hours of choirs singing, and they seem to be quite popular in the country.
Image source: Sprok
The Svalbard archipelago is known for polar bears and anyone who travels outside of the settlements has to be prepared to scare them off. The governor of the island even recommending people to carry a firearm.
Image source: unknown
Between 1956 and 1958, Norwegians had a national car brand called Troll. Although only 5 cars were made, all of which are now in museums.
Image source: question_everything
Norwegians have an Easter tradition called “Påskekrim” (Easter Crime), where people read crime novels and watch crime films. It was started by Norwegian authors Nordahl Grieg and Nils Lie after they came up with an idea to write a crime bestseller. They launched an advertising campaign featuring the book’s title, Bergen train looted in the night, and got the top spot in the newspaper, which led to many people confusing it with an actual crime. The ad was a huge success and the book became a bestseller, starting this unique tradition.
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