Living in Norway

1 1697

Ronald, the Guide, provides some tips on cheap and free things in one of the most expensive cities in the World. Ronald will take you inside a hidden Oslo, behind the Tourist Brochures and Sites. In this Video, you get Information on the world most famous Painting, The Coolest and most Accessible Mountain in Norway and Most Dangerous River are some of the Topics he will cover. Through this Video Tutorial, you learn the “Visiting Oslo on a Budget” Essentials.

You can visit Ronald’s Youtube page for more videos.

0 1997
Photo: Lemsipmatt

Expats can tell you a lot more about a country than the natives most of the time. Here is ten agreeable facts you will face when you start living in Norway. The list prepared by Paul Kucewicz can be read in detail from Matador Network

1. You’ll have to learn how to ski the second you walk off the plane.
2. You’ll start wearing one of those Norwegian sweaters.
3. You’ll cherish the sun.
4. You’ll learn to pay WAY too much for everything.
5. You’ll somehow learn to like fish soup.
6. You’ll have to drink cocoa, and eat kvikklunsj when it’s cold out.
7. Pre-drinks will become VERY important before heading out.
8. You’ll become fascinated by Norway’s crazy rite of passage for high school graduates.
9. You’ll learn the exact times when alcohol can be purchased.
10. You’ll give up on ever learning Norwegian.

Photo: Lemsipmatt

0 935
Photo: Arild Nybø

Every nation has a national day but probably very few of them are so enthusiastically and uniquely celebrated like May 17th.

Every nation has a national day but probably very few of them are so enthusiastically and uniquely celebrated like May 17th. 

The unique tradition of the celebration of the 17th of May brings some complexities. That is the reason why it is often confusing and hard to understand for a new comer to Norway with all that is going on during this day. The local children carry flags and march together with bands. Ice cream, hot dogs and other goods to eat are abundant. The buildings are decorated with Norwegian flags and women and men of all ages dress in their Bunad, or national costume. Graduating high school students wear uniforms and celebrate the approaching school year’s end. The sound of loud music is heard from every corner. Understanding of all these 17th of May traditions requires some historical and social background knowledge. 

History

The 17th of May was established as a National Day in 1814 as the Constitution of Norway was signed in Eidsvoll, declaring Norway as an independent nation. However, Norway was under Swedish rule at that time and the Swedes believed that the celebration was a provocation against Sweden and the royal family. After several attempted celebrations, King Carl Johan forbade celebrating the day. This prohibition triggered a higher level of ambition towards Norwegian independence and consequently an enthusiastic crowd gathered to protest at the main square of Christiana (Oslo), which later became known as the Battle of the Square of 1829. The Swedish authorities reacted to this spontaneous public meeting but their actions only increased the resistance. Henrik Wergeland had a key role in this resistance movement and in the following years helped to transform the day into a celebration for the children rather than a day of patriotic pride. After King Carl Johan died in 1844 his son, Oscar I, took over his position and the day started to be celebrated freely. 

During the 1860’s, 17th of May became more established and the first barnetog (children’s parade) was launched in Christiania (Oslo) in 1870, in a parade consisting of only boys. It was only until 1899 when girls were allowed to join in the parade for the first time.

Originally the day focused only on the Norwegian constitution but after 1905, the focus had been directed also towards the royal family. Moreover, During the Second World War, the day was not publically celebrated due to German occupation. 

Children 



Children have a special role in the celebrations. The biggest part of the event is dedicated to them. The children’s parades consist of marching, waving home-made Norwegian flags and carrying school banners. Parades can also vary in size from a few dozen people in the villages to several tens of thousands of participants in Oslo. Children in Oslo pass the Royal Palace, where royal family members wave back from the balcony. 

The same applies to certain students ranging from kindergarten to high school, often including “Russ students”. Other participating bands, municipality representatives and other social groups can march as well. 

Russ Celebration 



Photo: Wikimedia Russ passing by the Royal Palace in Oslo, May 17th.

Another significant tradition regarding 17th of May is the appearance of Russ students. Based on a Danish student tradition and celebrated in Norway since 1905, the Russ celebration involves the graduating class of high school.

Each year, around 40, 000 graduating high school students called “Russ” can be recognized with their Russ hats and uniforms. The traditional Russ celebration starts in spring and ends on the 17th of May, a day with much celebration for Russ students. However, many are exhausted after celebrating for days prior to 17th of May (especially the night before) and, thus, are more “passive” during the national day. Nevertheless, the day is marked by Russ parties, Russ buses, Russ newspapers and Russ Cards. 

The color of the uniform should match the graduate’s line of study: Red for the students that are geared towards higher education (this is the most common color), blue for those going into business (also higher education in economics and management), white for medical and social studies, black for engineering (such as mechanics or electrics) and green for agricultural fields. 

Russ Cards

Russ cards (russekort) are mock business cards that the Russ students (graduating student) hand out to anyone that asks for them. It contains a picture, contact details, and a slogan. Usually the picture is a funny picture or a drawing of the Russ, a picture of a celebrity, or just a funny picture in general. The names and contact details are often spoofs and the slogans are often jokes.

Russ students exchange such cards for fun and often commemorate those who have a large collection of other Russ cards as it is a status marker and a sign of popularity. This tradition also involves children who collect and barter them. However, this sometimes leads parents to be concerned over the inappropriate content sometimes found on Russ cards. As a consequence, many Russ students carry two sets of cards: one designed for kids and one designed for adults or other Russ students.

According to the tradition, each Russ wears a uniform during the entire russefeiring (Russ celebration period). 

Music 



There are several traditional songs that are sung and played by Norwegian orchestras and marching bands during the 17th of May. “Yes, We Love this Country”, “Norway in Red, White and Blue”, “The Song of the King ” and “Seventeenth of May I’m so Glad” are the most favorite songs and melodies commonly heard. 

Food on the National Day 

May 17th is usually associated with hot dog, soda and ice-cream. Since there is a custom of “eat what you like” on this day, junk food is commonly on the menu, and in large quantities. What is traditionally eaten at family tables, however, often depends on where people are living. For example, near the sea and rivers, eating salmon and trout is quite common. While in the mountain villages, it can be rømmegrøt og spekkemat (porridge and cured meat). 

Bunad: More than a Traditional Dress 



Photo : Sigmund Commons Two young women in national costumes from Trøndelag, photographed in Trondheim on the constitution day of Norway.

Bunad is an umbrella term encompassing, in its broadest sense, a range of both traditional rural garments (mostly dating to the 19th and 18th centuries) as well as modern 20th century folk costumes. In its narrow sense the word Bunad only refers to garments constructed in the early 20th century and only loosely based on tradition. The word Bunad itself is a 20th century invention.

The Bunad movement has its roots in 19th century national romanticism, which included an interest for traditional folk garments not only in Norway, but also in neighboring countries such as Denmark and in other countries, most notably Germany. However, in Norway national romanticist ideas have had a more lasting impact, as seen in the use of folk inspired costumes.

In Norway, it is common to wear a bunad at various celebrations such as folk dances, weddings and especially during the May 17th National Day celebrations. In recent years, its use has reached far outside folk dancing, folk music, and particular holidays. Now accepted as proper gala attire, it is increasingly common to see people, especially women, dressed in a bunad for other formal occasions. For instance, the former Norwegian foreign minister, Thorvald Stoltenberg, made history by presenting his accreditation as ambassador to Margrethe II of Denmark dressed in a bunad.

May 17th outside of Norway

Many Norwegians living abroad and those who have Norwegian roots also share this enthusiasm for the mother land. Particularly Norwegian embassies, churches, student organizations and other Norwegian institutions abroad organize local celebrations in different cities.

In Stockholm, Sweden, 17th of May celebrations have turned into a tradition for several years now, where over ten thousand Norwegians and Swedes come and celebrate together. There are also 17th of May programs in other Swedish cities including Gothenburg, Luleå and Lund.

Norwegian-Americans also celebrate the day with Viking helmets, cowboy hats, Norwegian flags, sweaters and homemade costumes in the area of Bay Ridge in Brooklyn, New York on the closest Sunday to the 17th of May. Similarly Seattle, WA has hosted celebrations every year since 1889 and other large celebrations are held in London, Singapore, Florida and Canada.

Conflicts 

Despite all the enthusiasm during the celebrations, 17th of May has not always been a conflict-free day. On several occasions, certain immigrant groups wanted to carry their original countries’ flags along with the Norwegian flag but they were encountered with a fierce opposition and a ban on the public display of non-Norwegian flags. Facing this opposition, some municipalities abolished the ban based on the demand of certain immigrant groups. Similarly, it was only until 2007 and after heavy debate that the Sámi Flag, which represents the Sámi people who are nationally recognized as indigenous to Norway, was allowed to be displayed in Oslo during 17th of May. 

Another significant conflict regarding 17th of May occurred in 1983. A Sagene School in Oslo, in an area known to have many children with immigrant background, received a bomb threat from ultra-nationalists of Oslo. The threat came from Neo-Nazi circles as they thought the children parade was too colorful. This event later triggered a social movement called “17th of May for all”. This movement was a reaction and protest against those who wanted to abuse the national day by enforcing a national pride with racist ideologies. Hundreds of volunteers and artists have been keeping this tradition alive for the past 25 years.

0 856
Photo: F Delventhal

Have you ever wondered how different and similar a teacher’s life is in another country? We talked to two teachers who are working in Oslo about the advantages and challenges of being a teacher in Norway.

By most comparative measures, Norway is seen as a place close to a paradise on Earth in terms of living and working. It is also one of the most equal state on earth. It has a welfare state that is praised everywhere. Mothers and fathers get a unbelievably long maternity leave on full pay. The country leads the world in the well-respected human development index, which combines measures of life expectancy, literacy and standard of living. Norway is free, rich, peaceful, safe, healthy and, happy. Who wouldn’t want to work in such a worker-friendly, well-run country like Norway? But it might be different to hear first hand experiences to have a better idea of what it is like to do a certain profession. For disclosing this, we decided to talk to people from different professions. In this issue, we talked two teachers, Gul Selimoglu and Samir Taghizadeh about being a teacher in Norway:

– I wanted to influence the upbringing of the children of tomorrow’s society.

Gul Selimoglu wanted to have an influence on kid’s life in the beginning of their education and be a good example for the various minority groups which are represented in Norway

She wanted to know how the education system is built and how she could contribute to the system positively. In other words, instead of complaining about what was already settled, she rather has decided to take matters into her own hands and be a part of solution.

She is pleased with her job but as in other sides of the world, there are some challenges of teaching profession in Norway. Her daily tasks are different from one day to another, but to she loves to be with the kids during different activities.

How did you decide to become a teacher?

I chose my profession because I was frustrated by the education system, and wondered how she can do a positive influence on the new generation.Then I came to know that the kindergarten as an institution is the fundamental ground to start this contribution.

I wanted to have an influence on kid’s life in the beginning of education and an impact on the upbringing of the children of tomorrow’s society.

Kindergarden teacher Gul Selimoglu with her students.

What are the difficulties and challenges of being teacher in Norway?

I like my job very much, but I think we have a lot of responsibilities and little time to carry all the responsibility.

Here we have to deal with some rules and limits. We have something called framework plan. It requires you as a teacher take some formal responsibilities and then there are pedagogical and practical responsibilities. Approximately 7-8 hours of your workday is to be present with children, you should also do some paper work.

Another challenge is that we are too few staff compared to the number of children. There is no law in Norway determining the ratio of techer-student number. That is a big challenge.

How is your working condition? How long is your normal day at work?

The working conditions are very good, as I am leader. I have much authority over my duties and duration of work. But of course, district authority and my manager have supervisory authority on my job, so I am not th only who decides what I am going to do.

I basically work for 37.5 hours a week, but it does not happen in practice. As we do ot have always enough people, there is always much more to do to be able to finish the tasks on time. It means we have to work longer.

For Semihoglu, teaching task is not limited to formal working hours.

You said you graduated in 2005 and got a permanent job as pedagogical leader in the same year. Is it like this for the whole sector, or was this special for you?

In pre-school education sector, there is a pretty big shortage of kindergarten teachers. There are many kindergartens that fail to recruit educational leaders. There is a need for more in our field and the employers need to maintain the contracts with the working teachers. Often my fellow workers usually opt out for other jobs, as they are exhausted and cannot bear any more.

How is the income of your job? Did the salary affect your choice? There is a wide belief that teachers have a lot of vacation. Does this applies to you?

The salary depends on what position you get. There are different positions. Having a job as a kindergarten teacher means lower wages than being a pedagogical leader. It is kindergartens that announce the different positions and salary levels.

The salary has not affected me in my career choice. Wages were not high priority for me, but I can say that income is quite low in relation to the management responsibility and how much work we have compared to other professions.

As we are employed in the district, we have slightly different working conditions than primary school or secondary school teachers. We have less vacation than them. But in a year we have right to five weeks’ vacation as many other professionals in Norway have.

What are the things you like best and you do not like about your job?

I love the cooperation with parents. I also really like to be on the ward and do different activities. The advantage of having this job is being able to be with the children in the daily activity in the kindergarten. I really like approach of the Norwegian pedagogy at daycare and I am very happy to work here.

There are many needs of the young people and they are with us seeking comfort, help, resolving conflicts with friends, sharing concerns and much more. It is very particular and a great feeling to be present for the kids’ needs. The kids are pretty thirsty of knowledge and constantly go on “discovery process”. That is why we are there for them and it is very fun and explore the world with them.

Disadvantage or what we think is challenging part of the job may be the difficult conversations with the kids. There can be sometimes very challenging conversations with both children and their parents. Another difficulty is the writing process. I am not so fond of having many tasks at the same time. Writing lengthy reportsis not my favorite.

About Gul Selimoglu

Gul Selimoglu

Pedagogical leader in Språkstigen kortidsbarnehage and Åpen barnehage

Age: 30

Profession: Kindergarten teacher, mathematic and Norwegian teacher for primary school.

Hobbies: Boxing, traveling, going to concerts and cinema.

Samir Taghizadeh is working as a primary school teacher for 3 years.

– I wanted to influence the upbringing of the children of tomorrow’s society.

Samir Taghizadeh, a primary school teacher in Oslo, chose to become a teacher, because it is a very rewarding profession. Samir agrees that teachers have a lot of holidays, but during the school semester they work all the time.

Samir Taghizadeh is 30 years old and has worked as a primary school teacher for 3 years now, he is married and has a 4-year-old daughter. He came to Norway 13 years ago.

Taghizadeh had no regular schooling before he came to Norway and took Norwegian course and the whole primary school in one year. He later regretted it, because he realized he needed a better Norwegian language foundation for pursuing higher education.

Samir is at the same time a football referee in addition to being a teacher and he spends a lot of free time on this hobby. It is getting pretty serious now, since he has been assigned to matches in higher divisions.

-I have been football referee for 3 years and now it is getting serious with higher divisions. There are very close ties between being a teacher and a football referee. I use a lot of what I learned as a football referee in the class, says he.

Game Management and control of the match, you should have an overview of the game. You must follow the players, assistant referees and coaches at the same time. When I am in the classroom, I need to have an overview of the entire classroom. What is a student doing at the back and what another student does in the first row?

Why did you choose to become a teacher?

It is something I am passionate about. I love what I do. The main reason why I chose to become a teacher is because it is a very rewarding profession. You feel that you have passed all in a running race, when you see that a student has learned a new skill.

Children are wonderful to work with. When I go home I still keep being in the school territory. My students from last year writes me that they have got very good grades. Then I feel like I’ve done a good job with these students. That is the most important thing for me. The holiday was not the reason I chose this profession.

What are the difficulties and challenges of being a teacher in Norway?

There are too much paperwork and many meetings. You have also tasks outside the classroom, leaving little time for preparation for the teaching. Since I do not have time to prepare for the next day at school, I have to do it at home in the evening.

We have some challenges with children who have not had the foundational skills in kindergarten or in general from their parents. These students struggle with issues which we cannot teach in regular classes. But still most of them perform well and are quickly running through the school years at primary school.

How about working conditions? How is your regular day?

The students are in the school from 8.30 to 14:45 and sometimes to 13:30, but the teachers are there until 16.30 or later. I need to pick up my daughter at kindergarten and they close 16.30. So you can imagine what kind of rush it is to catch before they close.

Many point out that teachers have a lot of free days. Yes it is true that we have a lot of holidays, but during the school semester, we work all the time. It is not a normal 8-hour everyday unlike many other jobs. We are “at work” around the clock.

How did you start working after graduation?

I started to work as a teacher right after I got the teaching certificate. Norway needs several thousand teachers, and it will continue in that way for some years to come. The community grows and more children start school, so does the need for more teachers.

It is very normal to go straight to work after study. Many students has temporary works at schools before they finish their studies. But I haven’t had this kind of work.

I got to choose between job offers from the places I applied to. There are very few male teachers with foreign backgrounds in Norway. I think it is because that the teaching profession has a low profile with people with foreign backgrounds, especially among people from Middle East. One of the reasons that the teacher profession has low status is low wages. And the hectic days, as I named before, is another reason why people are not willing to become a teacher.

What kind of advantages do you have as a teacher in Norway?

Vacation is an advantage, but that’s not why I chose to become a teacher. If you take teacher education in Norway the job is guaranteed. There is also advantage of having a permanent job as soon as you graduate.

Starting salary for teachers is around 380.000 NOK, it is very low compared to other jobs and education level. It is perhaps 50-60% of the salary of a taxi driver in Norway.

It is important to like the profession. If you are here for the money or vacation, then it does not work. In the start of the university, we were over 40 people in my group but after the first practice period, almost half of the class quit. Teacher profession is not something you can do if you do not really like the profession.

What do you like and hate most about your job?

I am very happy with my job I never thought of getting another job. My wife will also be a teacher; she works at school now but will take a year of pedagogy education and work at school permanently.

We teachers are increasingly required to do new tasks. Almost everything is pre-planned so there is little freedom for us to plan our classes.

As a teacher, you learn something all the time, not just about the technical but also about relationships with people, concludes Samir Taghizadeh.

About Samir Taghizadeh

Samir Taghizadeh

Teacher at the Trosterud primary school

Age: 30

Profession: Classroom and subject teacher at primary school.

Hobbies: Football referee

Here are some starting salary for different professions:

Nurse: 339.000 NOK

Shop assistants in retail: 280.000 NOK

Dental Hygienist:  360.000 NOK

Preschool teacher: 367.000 NOK

0 708
Photo: Tu

With little time and money coupled with few kitchen equipments, it is not always easy to have a healthy and varied diet in a country like Norway. Here are some inexpensive tips on how to eat healthily.

Ready-made and processed foods are often more expensive than meals you can make by buying the ingredients yourself. In addition, making your own food with fresh ingredients is beneficial since fresh foods are often more nutritious, and where many fully and semi-cooked products have lower nutritional values and contain more fat and salt.

Do you eat like a king at the beginning of the month, but you end up with spaghetti and ketchup in the last half of the month? You should then improve your eating and shopping habits according to the Helsedirektoratet’s suggestions.

Choose green keyhole-labeled foods

A healthy diet should contain carbohydrates in the form of starch. Good sources of these carbohydrates are found in many of our daily consumed foods and can be affordable. Properly adjusting your eating habits according to these golden rules is important in obtaining a well-balanced diet: – Eat grain cereals without sugar, and oatmeal with low-fat milk or skimmed milk, and with preferably fruit or berries instead of jam.

– Eat wholegrain bread daily – that is, bread that contains more than 50 percent wholegrain flour. For example, these breads labeled grovt brød(wholewheat bread) or ekstra grovt brød(multi-grain or extra whole-wheat bread) according to the Brødskala’n, or the label system that determines the grain content. Whole meal or wholegrain products are an important source of dietary fiber, which is good for digestion, as well as B vitamins and iron.

– Do not ignore potato. The potato contains many vitamins and minerals and is an important source of vitamin C. You can choose boiled or baked potatoes. Fill the potatoes with something healthy, you then have a complete dinner.

– Go for brown rice and whole grain pasta. Also, instead of buying expensive ready-made pasta sauces, you should make your own sauces. Do not hesitate to experiment with tomato, vegetables, herbs, chicken and fish. Rice and pasta are high in starch, but have fewer of the other important nutrients compared to potatoes. Although rice and pasta are inexpensive, tasty and convenient, it should not always replace the potato in your diet.

Rich sources of protein

Pure red meat where you can cut away the visible fat is both lean and nutritious. White meat, e.g. chicken or turkey, is a fine alternative to red meat. Buying these foods in larger quantities is usually more affordable. Also, do not forget to limit the amount of red meat and processed red meat products to 500 grams per week. If you have a freezer, go ahead and make larger portions than what you usually eat for one meal, then freeze the rest for later. Remember to cool the food

quickly and freeze it in small portion packs. Egg – is quick to prepare and can come in many varieties. Omelets with vegetables can be a complete and inexpensive dinner. Scrambled, boiled or fried eggs are also good on bread, and boiled eggs can be used in salads. Mackerel in tomato sauce and sardines in a can – are good sources of both protein and omega 3. They can be used in pasta sauce and salads. Beans and lentils – dried lentils and beans are other good and inexpensive sources of protein.

Fruit and vegetables

It is recommended that everyone should eat at least five servings of vegetables, fruits and berries every day. Half should be vegetables.

You can alternatively use fruit and vegetables as toppings to main course. Tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, banana and apple are good selections. Vegetables should be cooked in a small amount of water to keep their nutritional values. One thing to keep in mind in buying fruits and vegetables is to buy them in season. This will save money as well as giving you more delicious ingredients.

Again, if you have access to a freezer, freezing vegetables can be a good economic alternative, and only reduces the vitamin content of vegetables minimally.

Fish, fish, fish

It is healthy to eat fish. Eat fish for dinner two to three times a week. Fish is quick to prepare and contains a lot of omega 3 fatty acids. This applies particularly to fatty fish, like mackerel, salmon, trout, halibut and herring. A simple and inexpensive alternative is to eat fish pudding, and canned mackerel and sardines in tomato sauce.

Water is healthy and free

Clean water is the best thirst quencher and Norwegian spring water is usually of such good quality that it is not necessary to buy expensive bottled water.

Milk contains many nutrients, including calcium which is important for bones. Calcium content is the same in skim, extra light, light and whole milk, and if you choose the first three variations you get calcium with a lot less fat.

No time to cook dinner?

Having dinner instead of simply snacking creates better variation in your diet. If you do not have time to cook dinner every day, it is in fact much better to eat bread for dinner, than to have a quick hot dog or hamburger. Actually, it is easier to prepare a healthy and good dinner by having only a few basic tools such as a couple of good knives – vegetable knife, bread knife and a meat knife, cutting board – one for vegetables and one for raw meat, potato peeler, a couple of pots with lids, frying pan and a couple of bowls

0 652
Photo: Pixabay

Norway is known as one of the most expensive countries in Europe to receive dental treatment. So, it might become a double nightmare for many to go to dentist. However, if you are well informed about the procedures, you can find a more affordable dental care plan.

 

The Norwegian Consumer Council suggests that patients should not just sit in the chair of the first dentist they can find. So thoroughly going over your options is a good strategy. Here are several tips for an economic dental treatment plan in Norway.

1. Be flexible and don’t be afraid to change your dentist. You should ask friends and colleagues about their experiences with various dentists.

2. Try two to three dentists before you decide.

3. Do not be fooled by low prices during your research. Many dentists charge more after treatment.

4. For major treatments, it can be very cost-effective to obtain multiple offers.

5. Be critical of your own dentist. Ask questions about the proposed treatments.

 

Photo: Pixabay

0 1002
Michelle Alexandra, born to a Norwegian mother and American father, is a freelance actress and singer.

Michelle Alexandra’s online Learn Norwegian videos make her a teaching star for curious Norwegian learners from all over the world.

Even if Norwegians speak perfect English, learning the native language is an excellent way to both fully experience the local culture and access the job market. Yet, when it comes to a practical method to practice or pick up the language on your own through internet and online communities, there are not many good quality free resources that suit your needs best.

If you, as an excited Norwegian learner, have ever searched for some video tutorials on Youtube, you may have ended up feeling disappointment. But, recently Michelle Alexandra has been a hope for curious Norwegian fans all over the world with her video series of “Learn Norwegian”. She suddenly has become so popular that her thousands of virtual students started to complain about waiting for the next installments. One of her followers even called her The ’Kate Bush’ of the Norwegian learning world.

Talking to The Nordic Page, Michelle Alexandra tells us about her online fame and the Norwegian teaching experience.

Michelle, born to a Norwegian mother and American father, grew up in New York. Her mother always talked Norwegian to her growing up, and she also spent a couple of months every summer and Christmas in Norway.

– I always loved Norway and wanted to live here as a child and I never wanted to go back after vacation was over, says Michelle.

Then her mother decided to move back in Norway 2.5 years ago. She says that her mother always spoke Norwegian and she was sent to a youth camp where she now teaches. Her father also learned and loved Norwegian but they decided that he would not speak Norwegian to Michelle and her brother to make sure they heard the correct pronounciation of Norwegian from her mother.

How did you decide to produce these videos?

I actually did it for my roommate. He wanted to learn Norwegian. I had bought a Norwegian language teaching book for his birthday. But he wanted to hear the pronounciation. He promised me that if I made a video, he could hear me saying the essential Norwegian expressions and words presented in the first video. He would listen to it and then learn but he never really did. But one day when I checked my youtube account, I realized the popularity of the video. So, I really had no idea that I had got so many views and comments. Then, people wanted to have more courses so I said ok and made  lesson number 2 and now number 3 is coming soon.

How often do you do the Norwegian sessions?

It is not my main occupation, therefore I tried to do it as often as my schedule allows. But I am planning to do a series of lessons. It is fun and surprising to me how many people want to learn Norwegian.

How were the reactions when you first launched that video?

Most of them have given positive feedback. It is a good thing to have a youtube video for your self-esteem, I believe. Every morning I wake up, I check my e-mail and see tens of people saying “Oh you are such a good teacher, you are so beautiful, do more lessons, we miss you”

Any irritating feedback?

Sometimes there are some irritating messages. But you have to take the good and bad ones. Though, mostly there are positive messages and people usually have questions about the pronounciation of certain words, tips for the improvement of the lessons.

Do you have any idea about the profile of your followers?

I have no idea at all but when I check the statistics provided by Youtube, Norway tops the list of the countries where the video is most watched. I also get fruequent comments from native Norwegians saying “I do not know why I am watching this, it is funny to hear my own language”. There are also people who moved to Norway and from other places who want to learn Norwegian.

Do you have further plans to improve this fantastic service?

I do have a personal website. I put a little banner on it advertising ‘Learn Norwegian’. I am considering adding comprehensive online courses by building a website where you can download the lessons and tests. Also my students who are not in Norway can get private tutorials through skype.

So, you have decided to take this activity on as a mission?

I never thought there would be such a high demand for learning Norwegian. You know Norwegians are so good at English, and you usually do not need to learn their language to communicate with them, but it is a lovely language and it is so wonderful to see such a great interest in learning it.

Last words for your fans

I read and try to respond to every single comment posted, private e-mails and questions. Also I offer to people in Norway private Norwegian lessons.F or the ones who are outside of Norway I offer lessons through skype.

The first video of Michelle’s Learn Norwegian Series with more than 100 thousand views.

Bio of Michelle Alexandra

Michelle Alexandra is a freelance actress and singer. At the age of 10 she began taking acting classes in New York City, first at The Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theatre, and then at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She then went off to boarding school in Connecticut for her high school years where she starred in many school productions before going on to study theatre at The George Washington University in Washington, DC. Michelle has also studied acting in London at The New York Film Academy and in Oxford at The British American Drama Academy. She is a duel citizen of both the US and Norway. She has spent a great deal of time in Norway and speaks the language like a native. After graduating from college, Michelle lived and worked as an actress/singer in New York City for two years before deciding it was time to get in touch with her Norwegian roots. In the fall of 2010, she packed up and moved to Oslo, Norway where she now resides with her adorable dog, Bailey. Favorite roles include “Jen” in John and Jen, “Lady Anne” in Richard III, and “Veronica” in the world premiere of Stephanie Gardner’s The Point of No Return.

Source: The Nordic Page

0 1330
Photo: Madeleine Delp Bergsjø | Musician Samsaya at the Fretex Shop in Bergen

Norway’s second hand shopping alternatives including flee markets and second hand stores can provide you both an affordable shopping experience and chance to do a small favor for people in need.

SHOPPING- Flea markets (Loppemarked) are places where inexpensive or second-hand goods are sold or bartered. It may be indoors, such as in a warehouse or school gymnasium; or it may be outdoors, such as in a field or under a tent. The flea-market vendors may range from a family that is renting a table for the first time to sell a few unwanted household items to a commercial operation including a large variety of new or used merchandise..

Many flea markets have food vendors who sell snacks and drinks to the patrons to raise funds for school purposes, for example, school choirs. Overall, they are places where you can find treasures for very reasonable prices. All throughout Norway, many used and antique treasures are just waiting for the chance to enrich your lives. They can be additions to your personal collections, as gifts for loved ones and as perfectly functional furniture for your homes. So start searching for your treasure in Norway’s flea markets!

There is a very comprehensive website for flea market hunters where you will find an overview of upcoming flea markets. A complete geographical overview of flea markets, organizers and recipients of flea market goods can be found in the menu on this site: www.loppemarked.info

Fretex for good reasons

Another all year alternative to seasonal flea markets is Fretex, established in 1905 and the biggest chain in Norway with 43 second hand shops. Fretex aims at giving better choices to people in difficulties as its slogan recalls: “Vi gir folk grunn til å tro på framtiden!” It tries to achieve this ambition via four major activities: recycling textile and paper, and running second hand shops.

Furthermore, Fretex has a fashion signature. The company collaborates with designers in order to redesign used clothes that cannot be sold as they are. “Silkscarves become then cushions, leather jackets make up purses and embroidered tablecloths are turned into dresses.” You can find stores of Fretex all over the country.

Another good-willed alternative: UFF

Surviving Fashion with Loppemarked, Fretex and UFF

UFF second-hand stores offer a wide selection of clothing, shoes and accessories for ladies, men and children, including Norwegian sweaters and traditional dresses. Skiing outfits and other sportswear.

The clothes are gifts from people in Norway and the surplus of the sale is donated to Humana People to People’s development programmes in Africa and India.

UFF also has vintage stores in Storgata and Pilestredet in Oslo.

Source: The Nordic Page

Photo: Madeleine Delp Bergsjø | Musician Samsaya at the Fretex Shop in Bergen

0 863
A healthy diet is one that helps maintain or improve health. It is important for lowering many chronic health risks, such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and cancer. Photo : Jeff Butterworth

With little time and money coupled with few kitchen equipments, it is not always easy to have a healthy and varied diet in a country like Norway. Here are some inexpensive tips on how to eat healthily.

Ready-made and processed foods are often more expensive than meals you can make by buying the ingredients yourself. In addition, making your own food with fresh ingredients is beneficial since fresh foods are often more nutritious, and where many fully and semi-cooked products have lower nutritional values and contain more fat and salt.

Do you eat like a king at the beginning of the month, but you end up with spaghetti and ketchup in the last half of the month? You should then improve your eating and shopping habits according to the Helsedirektoratet’s suggestions.

Choose green keyhole-labeled foods

A healthy diet should contain carbohydrates in the form of starch. Good sources of these carbohydrates are found in many of our daily consumed foods and can be affordable. Properly adjusting your eating habits according to these golden rules is important in obtaining a well-balanced diet: – Eat grain cereals without sugar, and oatmeal with low-fat milk or skimmed milk, and with preferably fruit or berries instead of jam.

– Eat wholegrain bread daily – that is, bread that contains more than 50 percent wholegrain flour. For example, these breads labeled grovt brød(wholewheat bread) or ekstra grovt brød(multi-grain or extra whole-wheat bread) according to the Brødskala’n, or the label system that determines the grain content. Whole meal or wholegrain products are an important source of dietary fiber, which is good for digestion, as well as B vitamins and iron.

– Do not ignore potato. The potato contains many vitamins and minerals and is an important source of vitamin C. You can choose boiled or baked potatoes. Fill the potatoes with something healthy, you then have a complete dinner.

– Go for brown rice and whole grain pasta. Also, instead of buying expensive ready-made pasta sauces, you should make your own sauces. Do not hesitate to experiment with tomato, vegetables, herbs, chicken and fish. Rice and pasta are high in starch, but have fewer of the other important nutrients compared to potatoes. Although rice and pasta are inexpensive, tasty and convenient, it should not always replace the potato in your diet.

Rich sources of protein

Pure red meat where you can cut away the visible fat is both lean and nutritious. White meat, e.g. chicken or turkey, is a fine alternative to red meat. Buying these foods in larger quantities is usually more affordable. Also, do not forget to limit the amount of red meat and processed red meat products to 500 grams per week. If you have a freezer, go ahead and make larger portions than what you usually eat for one meal, then freeze the rest for later. Remember to cool the food

quickly and freeze it in small portion packs. Egg – is quick to prepare and can come in many varieties. Omelets with vegetables can be a complete and inexpensive dinner. Scrambled, boiled or fried eggs are also good on bread, and boiled eggs can be used in salads. Mackerel in tomato sauce and sardines in a can – are good sources of both protein and omega 3. They can be used in pasta sauce and salads. Beans and lentils – dried lentils and beans are other good and inexpensive sources of protein.

Fruit and vegetables

It is recommended that everyone should eat at least five servings of vegetables, fruits and berries every day. Half should be vegetables.

You can alternatively use fruit and vegetables as toppings to main course. Tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, banana and apple are good selections. Vegetables should be cooked in a small amount of water to keep their nutritional values. One thing to keep in mind in buying fruits and vegetables is to buy them in season. This will save money as well as giving you more delicious ingredients.

Again, if you have access to a freezer, freezing vegetables can be a good economic alternative, and only reduces the vitamin content of vegetables minimally.

Fish, fish, fish

It is healthy to eat fish. Eat fish for dinner two to three times a week. Fish is quick to prepare and contains a lot of omega 3 fatty acids. This applies particularly to fatty fish, like mackerel, salmon, trout, halibut and herring. A simple and inexpensive alternative is to eat fish pudding, and canned mackerel and sardines in tomato sauce.

Water is healthy and free

Clean water is the best thirst quencher and Norwegian spring water is usually of such good quality that it is not necessary to buy expensive bottled water.

Milk contains many nutrients, including calcium which is important for bones. Calcium content is the same in skim, extra light, light and whole milk, and if you choose the first three variations you get calcium with a lot less fat.

No time to cook dinner?

Having dinner instead of simply snacking creates better variation in your diet. If you do not have time to cook dinner every day, it is in fact much better to eat bread for dinner, than to have a quick hot dog or hamburger. Actually, it is easier to prepare a healthy and good dinner by having only a few basic tools such as a couple of good knives – vegetable knife, bread knife and a meat knife, cutting board – one for vegetables and one for raw meat, potato peeler, a couple of pots with lids, frying pan and a couple of bowls

Source: The Nordic Page

Photo : Jeff Butterworth

SOCIAL

1,045FansLike
22FollowersFollow
5FollowersFollow
0SubscribersSubscribe

Latest Posts