The land size of Norway is about the same as Poland and Finland and is inbetween New Mexico and Montana. The coastline length is more than Antarctica and the United States. Two-thirds of the land is mountain, one-third of the land is in the arctic circle, and there are 50.000 islands, 17.000 glaciers, and countless fjords.

Kongeriket Norge (The Kingdom of Norway) has a population of 4.5 million and our gouvernment is a constitutional monarchy with a parliament. Our King is called Hans Majestet Kong Harald V and our Prime Minister is called Statsminister Kjell Magne Bondevik.

Norway's king is Harald V and he became king in 1991 when his dad, King Olav V, died. He married Sonja Haraldsen, who was a common Norwegian, and they have two children, Haakon and M�rtha Louise. The children are married and both married common Norwegians. M�rtha Louise has a daughter and Haakon's wife, Mette-Marit, is having a kid next year. No matter if it's female or male, their kid will be the next royal after Haakon.

Their Majesties King Harald V and Queen Sonja

Some believe that Norway is one of the most democratic and classless societies in the world, as peaceful people like Nelson Mandela have said. Quite a lot of Norwegians are involved in politics, and most teenagers have political ideas and know which parties are for them.

There are eight political parties with parliament seats, so there is good choice, and representation of different ideas is good in the gouvernment because votings are not winner takes all. This creates balance in the gouvernment and means even small groups are involved in planning our futures, which allows everyone to be heard and represented.

To Norwegians, it's important that people are equal. Half the Prime Minister's cabinet and about 40% of the parliament members are women. Healthcare and education, including university, is provided for all. Labour groups and gouvernment tries to maintain our standard of living without people needing to work too hard and having little free time.

Norway has the best standard of living of all nations, according to the UN Human Development Index which considers the economic and political freedoms, education, healthcare, and human rights of nations.

The nations with peace and privilege have responsibilities to help people without peace and priviledge, so Norway becomes involved in negotiations between many fighting groups and nations. We also give more financial help to foreign countries per person than the United States, Germany, Austria, Canada, United Kingdom, Italy, and Spain combined.

Norwegians like to be informal and some would say we are reserved. I think we are not reserved, we just don't say things until we entirely mean them. We do not become close so fast, but we are not cold! We only like to take our time.

Most Norwegians own their home or flat, and most also have a small cabin or house in the mountains or at the coast where they go for holidays and weekends. It's great to leave normal life and spend time in nature!

Norwegians like be active in sports, and the most popular ones are football, skiing, snowboarding, and hockey. Popular with some is handball, basketball, and sailing. People at all ages do sports, and even my old man plays some football now and then.

The main things we eat are fish, potatoes, cabbage, sheep, and pizza, and the main things we drink are juice, milk, and Coca-Cola. But the thing we drink more than anything is coffee. Everyone in Norway seems to drink it all the time.

Three Norwegian writers have won the Nobel Literature Prize: Bj�rnstjerne Bj�rnson, Knut Hamsun, and Sigrid Undset. I think the greatest Norwegian writer is Hamsun, although I am sad to write he was in the very small group of Norwegians who supported the Nazis during the occupation. For the most part, Bj�rnson wrote novels and poems and plays, but this patriotic man also wrote the words to our national hymn �Ja vi elsker�.

Henrik Ibsen is one of the world's best writers of plays, and some of his greatest are �A Doll's House� �Hedda Gabler� and �Peer Gynt�. Henrik Wergeland was a good poet and also built libraries in Norway.

The modern writer who has had the most success is Jostein Gaarder for his book �Sophie's World� which I read sold 25 million copies around the world.. and I almost cannot believe that! It's incredible. Knut Faldbakken and Erik Fosnes Hansen and Linn Ullmann also have good successes.

The one famous composer for us is Edvard Grieg, who wrote the nice tune �Hall Of The Mountain King� and also the music to Ibsen's �Peer Gynt�. The modern composer Arne Nordheim gets loads of praise and honours.

I think A-Ha are the first band to gain attention outside Norway, and that is with weird songs like �Take On Me�. They still make music and have great success all over Europe, and their songs are a lot less weird now.

Lene Marlin and Morten Abel are big favourites in pop music here, and Marlin has some success outside Norway also. M2M had great success on charts (even two gold records in the US) and with critics, but they're split up now. Cato Salsa Experience and Kings of Convenience have small but strong fans! Sondre Lerche's first album has brilliant reviews.

One of the four members of ABBA was Norwegian, but I like to pretend that isn't true, so won't you pretend with me?

The best Norwegian painters are Edvard Munch, who painted famous things such as �Scream�, and Odd Nerdrum who seems to combine an old manner with a lot of modern ideas.

Edvard Munchs �Skrik� (�Scream�) fra 1910.

Two of the biggest Norwegian films are just from the last few years: �Elling� is a film about two unstable men who are let out from mental hospital to attempt living in the normal world, and �Heftig & begeistret� is a documentary about a male choir from a little fishing village at the top of Norway who have some curious personalities! Both are huge successes here, and �Elling� even had an Oscar nomination.

Some great Norwegian explorers are Leiv Eiriksson, Helge Ingstad, Fridtjof Nansen (Nobel Peace Prize), Thor Heyerdahl, and Roald Amundsen. Trygve Lie was the first Secretary General of the United Nations, which Norway helped establish and has given great political and financial support to. Gro Harlem Brundtland was our Prime Minister for ten years, and then she was the leader of the World Heath Organisation for five years.

Some great Norwegian athletes are footballer Tore Andr� Flo, footballer Ole Gunnar Solskj�r, footballer John Arne Riise, snowboarder Terje H�konsen, ski jumper Bj�rn Wirkola, skier and jumper Thorleif Haug (3 Gold Olympic Medals), biathlete Ole Einar Bj�rndalen (5 Gold, 1 Silver), speed skater Johann Olav Koss (4 Gold, 1 Silver), speed skater Hjalmar Andersen (3 Gold), speed skater Ivar Ballangrud (4 Gold, 2 Silver, 1 Bronze), alpine skier Kjetil Andr� Aamodt (3 Gold, 2 Silver, 2 Bronze), figure skater Sonja Henie (3 Gold), skier Johan Gr�ttumsbr�ten (3 Gold, 2 Silver, 1 Bronze), cross country skier Vegard Ulvang (3 Gold, 2 Silver, 1 Bronze), cross country skier Thomas Alsgaard (4 Gold, 2 Silver), and one of the greatest athletes of all time, cross country skier Bj�rn D�hlie (8 Gold, 4 Silver).

Norway has won 263 medals (the most of all nations) in the Winter Olympics and 134 medals (more than Spain, Greece, and Brazil) in the Summer Olympics. The second placed nation for medals in the Winter Olympics is 70 medals behind Norway, so we have built an exciting lead.

Kjetil Rekdal made the winning goal in the 89th minute
in the 1998 World Cup game against Brasil.

Norway's mens FIFA ranking is 643 which puts us 22nd on the list, inbetween Russia and Japan, and we made it to the World Cup in 1994 and 1998. The best game ever was when we defeated the best team in the world, Brasil, at the 1998 World Cup. Our womens team won the 1995 Women's World Cup and the 2000 Gold Medal at Sydney, and their FIFA ranking is 2159 which puts us 2nd on the list.

Here are our holidays:

1. januar: Nytt�rsdag (New Year's Day)
21. februar: HM Kong Haralds f�dselsdag
1. mai: Offentlig h�ytidsdag (Labour Day)
8. mai: Frigj�ringsdag 1945 (Liberation Day)
17. mai: Grunnlovsdag (Constitution Day)
7. juni: Unionsoppl�sningen 1905 (Independence Day)
4. juli: HM Dronning Sonjas f�dselsdag
20. juli: HKH Kronprins Haakons f�dselsdag
29. juli: Olsok (Saint Olav's Day)
19. august: HKH Kronprinsesse Mette-Marits f�dselsdag
22. september: Prinsesse M�rtha Louises f�dselsdag
24. desember: Julaften (Christmas Eve)
25. desember: 1. juledag (Christmas)

F�dselsdag is birthday and the month names are close to the English names, so I think you can understand them fine. The Easter holidays are also important, but those happen on different dates each year.

Constitution Day is the main national holiday for us. Independence Day is about Norway being free from the union with Sweden, and Frigj�ringsdag is about Norway being free from the five year Nazi occupation.

Princess M�rtha Louise chose not to have the title HKH (Hennes Kongelige H�yhet), chose not to be paid for being royal, and chose to be taxed.

Here are some of the names people call Norway:

an IoruaGaelicנורווגיהHebrew
ノルウェー王国JapaneseNa UyVietnamese

Find a Map of Norway here.
Take a look at Norwegian bills and coins here.
Learn some Norwegian words and phrases here.
I hope you enjoyed reading this, ha det!


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