Source: "The Social Guidebook to Norway"
In many places around the world
You look for eye contact when you enter a place
A coffee shop, a restaurant, a meeting, a conference
You acknowledge people
You nod, you smile and you even say "hi"
To people you do not know
That you will probably won't see again
You do it for many reasons
To indicated that you "see them"
That you are welcoming and nice
To create a nice atmosphere where further contact is easy to initiate
Try that in Norway and you may be surprised
Norwegians are not cold, rude or uneducated
They are shy, polite and skeptical
Politeness in Norway is a lot about not disturbing others
Why would a stranger say hi for no other reason than to say hi?
It does not make sense
If you do it Norwegians will try to figure out
how they know you
what you want to sell them
why you are talking to them
You find Norwegian special?
I do to, this is why I wrote the The Social Guidebooks to Norway
It shares my findings on who nice Norwegians are
And how easy it is to misinterpret their behaviours
By Julien S. Bourrelle