Reasons to Move to Norway

I made a list of reasons I fear moving to Norway.  Here I made a list of why I should move.  It seems to be much longer than my fear-list was.

 

  • Beauty– Norway is gorgeous. 005746_christian-bothner_www-nordnorge-com_moskenes
  • By the Sea– We will be living near the coast or on an island. It’s very serene.
  • Socialist– Yes, I actually like that they are Socialist. It works well for Norway and their people.
  • Healthcare system– Healthcare in Norway costs about $400 a year vs my $10,000 per year. Big big big big reason to leave the States. 
  • Kim’s Family lives in Norway
  • Less Stressful life- Lifestyle of Norway differs from the United States. ?Mental illness is more taken care of?
  • Personalities of Norwegian Peoples– It’s not go-go-go all the time like it is in the States. They are far more relaxed overall, but they are “cold” or in my experiences reserved and shy with strangers. The notion they aren’t social is a myth however. They know how to party hard.
  • Safe– You can walk around at night without the fear of being shot or raped. Your children are safe left alone. The mentality of Norwegians are just different in how they treat one another.
  • “Allemannsrett” or All Man’s Right Law– You have the freedom to explore uncultivated land.
  • Forests– Norwegians love their forests. Hiking is HUGE in Norway! They have trails everywhere.
  • History– They have a rich history and culture that I am already a fan of. Like, I’m a nerd. osebergskipet
  • Right to Vacations and Time off– Ever feel pressured to never request off or feel guilty for requesting time off in the States? I do.  That all is unheard of in Norway. They want you to take vacations.
  • Work to Live not Live to Work mentality
  • System for Retirement– Social Security won’t exist for my generation.
  • Food– Some preservatives and additives to food are not allowed. Food is fresher and healthier. Their food culturekaffistova overall is a healthier one. Being a type 1 diabetic, this should help me a lot.

 

Happy St. John’s Day!

Hooray! One of my favorite holidays! I even got married around this time on purpose. I am most familiar with Midsommar in Sweden because we hold a Midsummer Festival in the US (Geneva, IL), celebrating everything Scandinavian- mostly Swedish.

To read more about what the Norwegian version, Jonsok, is like click here.

worlds-biggest-bonfire-alesund-norway-sankthans-slinningsbalet-midsummer-3Alesund, where I most likely will live, had the biggest bonfire in the world. I am excited to eventually be part of this festival in it’s traditional way, rather than American. I really want the food. I won’t lie.

Anxiety

My husband and I have been talking literally everyday about moving to Norway. He wants to talk out my fears and understand that I have a support system there. That support system is made of his family, our friends and himself. I will not be completely alone- although I may feel like it.

Here are some of my fears about moving out of the United States:

  • I will not speak the language fluently: I’m not sure about the reaction of Norwegians when they find out an immigrant doesn’t speak their language. I will feel embarrassed and fumble for words. I have a plan to use Duolingo, a workbook and Nemi comics from Norway to learn to read, write and speak Norwegian.
  • My side of the family lives in the United States.
  • Can I still cook Italian Food?!: This is a huge deal to me. I can’t leave all of my own culture behind.  I don’t know how to cook Norwegian.
  • midnight_sun_001Land of the Midnight Sun: The daylight in Norway is different. Summer has long hours of light. Winter has short hours of light. Will this affect me physically and/or mentally?
  • Racisim: I am not entirely white. As part Sicilian, I’m part Jewish, Arab and part even part black. My skin golden olive. Will I encounter racisim?
  • Terrorism: I really wish I didn’t have to worry about terrorism in Norway but if you have paid attention- I do have to worry. “Keep Norway Norwegian” is a slogan my husband said exists. Some few may seriously hate foreigners.Others may hate Roman influence such as the “Christianization” of the Norwegian people and my people are the ones that did this.
  • Problems Shopping: Stores will be different and therefore no Sephora and no Ulta will be around. Can I even order offline? What about shopping for food? What if I can’t read labels? I’m diabetic and reading measurements of carbs is a big deal. I already know the way their labels are read are different than the United States.
  • Friends: Of course I will miss my friends in the US. I don’t know how hard it will be to make friends once I am in Norway. I have a couple already, however.
  • Medical Personal: I have a team of doctors in the States. I’m not exactly healthy. I’ve got type 1 diabetes and a possible other disease. Can I trust Norwegian healthcare to suit my needs?

 

***I want to add this post is in no way meant to slander the Norwegian people.***

A Timeless Norwegian Art

One of my favorite styles of painting!

Something to Ponder About

History of Norwegian Rosemaling

Rosemaling is a little known traditional art form unique to Norway and is characterized by stylized flowers and ‘c’ and ‘s’ shaped scrolls, inspired by the Renaissance and Acanthus motifs. It is a regional folk art that is timeless and dynamic.

DIGITAL CAMERA Traditional Telemark Rosemaling

How did Rosemaling evolve?

From rudimentary beginnings in the woodcarving decorations and religious art of the Middle Ages, Rosemaling first appeared in Norway during the Renaissance and Baroque periods of 1550 –1700.  Early examples, such as stylized plant motifs and acanthus scrolls, can still be seen in the traditional Norwegian churches dating from that era. In addition, regular trading of goods, with other countries in the Hanseatic League, provided the opportunity for East Asian influences to reach the shores of Norway and this provided further inspiration and influence for development of Norwegian folk art.

Bykle Bykle church

P1010585 Wood Carving in Lesja

International trends…

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My Burning Passion: A Dedication to My Brother

 

My brother was first in falling in love for Norway when he was young. He started to like metal like Led Zeppelin. Then he explored Christian Black Metal like Extol, Lengsel, Antestor, Drottnar and Frosthardr. Later he discovered bands such as Darkthrone and Mayhem. The music he loved soon made him realize his love for Norway itself. He began to study Norwegian, Swedish and Icelandic (he’s good at learning languages, period). He even learned to write and read runes called Futhark.

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Early Darkthrone

In the meantime, my passion began. I, however, started with a passion for Finland. I started reading Tove Jansson books on Moomins and The Kalevala despite the ongoing explosion of Finnish music in the United States due to Bam Margera. I started to like Finland for being “an oddball in the North” to not copy my brother. I soon discovered music after seeing “In the Shadows” by The Rasmus and “Join Me in Death” by HIM. My passion for Finland stated to grow thoughout high school. I did projects on them whenever possible and then I started to like other Scandinavian nations’ music such as Lykke Li, ABBA, Combichrist, Mercyful Fate, Leaves’ Eyes and Deathstars.  I even started to claim I would one day revival Bam Margera in my love and would be the “Bam Margera-of-the-Viking-Nations,” becoming more and more obsessed by the day. I read everything I could about Finland, memorizing the details.

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Ville Valo of the Finnish band, HIM

Wanting to learn all I could about Scandinavia, I soon realized what Anthropology and Sociology were: the study of cultures and societal make up. So what I did was actually a science! I discovered this during my studies at a local community college. I befriended my anthropology professor and was near certain I would continue my passion by studying the North professionally,

That didn’t quite happen.

I had a project to do for Sociology and I chose to do Norway religions. A friend at the time told me to message this boy from Norway that he knew in high school on facebook and I could interview him for this paper I had to do. That boy from Norway is now my husband.

It was NOT intentional. We knew each other for a couple years, messaging back and forth about everything and anything. Kim and I battled our emotions. We really thought we were crazy to think a relationship would work but it turned out just fine in the end. One day we admitted our feelings for each other, met in the United States, started to date and were married about a year later.  Our passion for learning about different cultures and science is mutal. It was only a plus that he turned out to be Norwegian.

Now, he wants to go back to his homeland after 6 years in the United States.

None of this would have happened without my brother and black metal. In the end now, I took my brother’s original dream for myself.

So, Sal, thank you for being an inspiration for me and helping me to learn my passions.