How to meet people and make friends in Norway

Struggling with being part of the gang and meet new people? Ever wondered how you will be able to break the code and make friends in Norway? Further down you will read some suggestions about exactly that part of life in Norway. Let us know what you think …

Make friends in norway
Photo from dagbladet.no

This is what Norway will soon look like. So you better have some friends to keep you chatting in Cafe’s and entertained in wild parties on long and dark Friday and Saturday evenings. Do not be scared! As some say, once you make a Norwegian friend, it is a friend for life.

 

Once you make a Norwegian friend, it is a friend for life!

 

Here are a few tips for you to make friends in Norway or you can visit Super Social and meet them.

Forget about what you have heard about Norwegians

First of all, forget all these things you’ve heard about Norwegians: they are closed, not interested in making new friends, not interested in people outside their childhood circle etc. Of course, it’s not like anyone will ask for your number in a party and call you every time they are up to something. This is a cold country, people have been used to living in secluded fjords with little contact with other communities, so be patient, it takes time. Norwegians are usually shy and not very good at small talk, but it doesn’t mean they are uninterested or uninteresting. It just takes time to know them. So ask questions, organize dinners, meet again. In other words: break the ice.

Once a half-Norwegian half-Malagasy woman told me that:

 

Norwegians are like a Thermos bottle: hard and cold on the outside and warm and “myk” (soft) in the inside. You just need to manage to open the lid.

 

So, start this journey with an open heart, no pre-conceptions about Norwegians being like this or like that. Like everywhere else on this planet, some are idiots and some are great human beings, just make friends with the kind that suits you best.

Second principle, go out and learn about this country.

You don’t know how to do cross-country skiing? Take a course (you would be surprised how many Norwegians take those skiing beginners class). Bored in the winter? Join a band, a climbing club or a knitting group. Meet and mingle, and once they meet you once, twice, and many other times, you will slowly become acquaintances. And they will invite you to parties or other gatherings and before you know it you have enlarged your circle friends even more.

Some Norwegians act like they are already your friend.

It might take time and you might be disappointed on the way. Like this time when I talked to so many unknown people in a party, so happy to believe I had made a new group of friends. I went to a concert where they were all meeting up the next week (and which they had invited me to) and they all pretended they had never met me before. Note that when drunk, some Norwegians act like they are already your friend when they’ve only met you 5 minutes ago. This is an illusion, you need to meet a Norwegian when sober to make sure he or she is really interested in becoming your friend.

Learn Norwegian language and get to know what turns them on.

Third principle, learn Norwegian language and get to know what turns them on (skiing, hiking, cabins in the woods, brownies with lots of butter and sugar and chocolate, picking berries and chanterelles, and “koselig” or “cosy” evenings). You are a foreigner, do not expect anyone to make a move towards you. These people (like yourself in your own country) have enough family and friends to sustain themselves until the end of times.

Remain happy and positive

So you need to be happy and positive (I know it’s hard when you have 4 hours of daylight, but try your best). You also need to relate to their language and culture, so learn a bit of Norwegian and they will appreciate the effort (even if spoken badly). Get into dinners with candles and Saturday evenings spent skiing on the illuminated slopes of Nordmarka. Engaging in these “typical” Norwegian activities will make any Norwegian interested in you and even talkative: Norwegians, more than any other nation, love to listen to foreigners talking about what they love about Norwegian culture.

How to be sure you’ve made a Norwegian friend?

He or she invited you to their family hytte, he or she has confided in you and showed some kind of emotion (sadness for example), and they stay roughly equally friendly when sober and when drunk (usually more loving and expansive when drunk). You now know you can call them through tick and thin until the end of times.

Good luck!




Written by A Frog in the Fjord.
You can find other posts of the author at her Blog

 

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  1. Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular post! Will see what will happen when I move to Oslo. Thanks a lot for sharing!

  2. Hi!
    Helpful advice within this article! I guess the same applies for other countries as well and not only Norway.
    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Thank you for posting this. You have gone to surprising efforts, and definitely break the stereotype. Though I have been finding it tough here.

    For instance: Doesn’t the fact that they are such hard work just a demonstration that Norwegians are not particularly welcoming? Perhaps this is what is meant by “friendly” or “unfriendly”. I try to be friendly with all I meet. This may involve a smile, and simple common courtesies. Everyone is nice. Hell, even Hitler was considered nice by friends, family, pets around him. But there lacks a sense of welcome, and i think that is the most intimidating. It is where all the initial comments you mentioned, arise. It implies a certain arrogance of: I will decide if i like you after you have proven yourself. The other theory I have heard is that Norwegians are shy. Shyness does display antisocial traits… could this really be the only cause?

    I strongly agree, though, about the language, for any country, even if it is just to visit and to know the basics. Maybe this is the first way to try to break the ice? Of course it helps to have people willing to practice with and correct you in a friendly manner. But perhaps you can suggest other ways, rather than “work harder to be our friend”, because I love what you say, otherwise. In fact I am impressed a Norwegian has taken such time and care to express and introduce us to their country, so I am very grateful, despite my frustration.

    Without that welcome, however, it can be harder to really discover all the other areas independently to see what it truly represents, and it is often much less inspiring. If you are living in a country, you want to also know what it means to the people that live there. How they relate to it. Why certain things, places, activities are important, and what a Norwegian wants to show to represent their country. If they are not willing to help you or accompany you, without them first being suspicious of you, then the myth stays solid. Instead, like me, most of your friends become the Swedes and other ex-pats, and we continue in our feeling that Norwegians might just be difficult.

    1. Hi! thanks for all your comments, especially the very long one just written previously.
      I don’t know where you come from, but basically my standing point is this one: Norwegians are not more or less welcoming than other people. Think about your own country, or your own town. Could you say fore sure that foreigners would feel more welcomed than you feel in Norway? I find “my” people very welcoming and warm, but when I talk to foreigners about this they tell me Parisians or people from Marseille are so closed and they lived there for a year and never made a local friend.
      The second thing here is that it who you are, and who you meet. As I say in the post, some people are idiots, and they exist everywhere. Others are cool and welcoming, and they are also everywhere. I really don’t think Norwegians are arrogant, and this is coming from a French! 🙂

      It does take some effort, as it does everywhere. It’s just that the activities here are a bit different than in the rest of the world, unless you’re a Scandinavian, then you might recognise yourself in some of their habits and Food, otherwise, not a chance!

  4. Greetings from Oslo! I’vw just arrived in the city and looking forward to make many new friends here. Heard you organize cool events. So looking forward to meet you all. xx

  5. Yes, the tips sounds real, true and honest. It’s not yet a month since I paid my Ugandan wife a visit here, but the love and care have received makes it true that once they open up, they are sweethearts. She has introduced me to her few friends but I feel I should meet many more.

  6. Hahaha – veldig godt skrevet. Mye sant og mye underholdende ???, Marita, Norge

  7. HELLO I I LIKE NORWAY BECAUSE IT IS A VERY COOL PLACE AND NEAT CLEAN. VERY NICE PLACE

  8. now may be very cold in norway

  9. Great post!
    I am norwegian myself , and found this verry usefull:)

  10. i want to visit norway, i love the atmosphere, i love meeting new friends and interacting with different culture i have try several times to come there but i always get rejected for visa i hope to be there one day its a dream i want it to come true need help as soon as possible.

  11. Well, Norwegians have a lot prejudice about a lot of eastern countries. Making norwegian friends if you are coming from Pakistan for example is almost impossible. No matter how well ejucated, you will be always treated as poor human being that should be gratefull to norwegians for saving your life.

  12. Hello to every one in Norway, l love Norway as a country and people in Norway because it is a peaceful country. l would like to do my master degree in building and civil engineering in Norway. And i would like to get friends we interact with different engineering programs and culture sharing.Thanks

  13. Hi friends from Norway,
    I love Norway because of it’s weather and the oceanic view
    I would like to live forever in Norway
    I’m from Tanzania, I would like to continue my master degree of environment in Norway .
    takk Gud velsigne, håper min drøm vil gå i oppfyllelse en dag

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