Warm and charming Norwegians

Hello blogger friends! Diane here again, guest blogging for my dear hubby :P Renny’s birthday is the 4th of November. When I asked him what he would like for his birthday he answered that he would like me to write another article to share with you. A short time ago Renny asked all of you what you would like to know more about Norway, and we got quite a lot of interesting questions. Some of these I will be helping him to answer. This one was from Lime: “I’d love to know, since your wife is American, what are the cultural differences that she has been most charmed by?”

Family gathering at Heidi’s Confirmation.
Click here for another post about Heidi!

Well I am not sure it is a cultural difference but it certainly is charming. I can’t describe it well in English so I will just have to use the Norwegian word. Norway is very “koselig”. The direct translation of koselig is cosy, however koselig is so much more then cosy. Koselig is a something that is very nice, very personal, warm, enjoyable, intimate and usually involves people you like spending time with. It is even used as a verb. Sometimes for example we say “This weekend I am just going to ‘kose meg’.” Which means I am just going to relax and enjoy life for a while. It sounds so simple but it actually took me a couple of years to really understand what koselig was.

To me koselig is being with my family or friends, for example sitting around the camp fire on a cool summer evening laughing and talking and having a good time. Cooking hotdogs on sticks and enjoying the feeling of summer vacation. Sometimes koselig is a dinner in a cottage with good friends, sitting around a little table eating good food, drinking good wine and laughing.

The preschool I work at (part time these days) is very koselig! The people are so warm, and the children are in focus, there is singing, playing, lauging and you really have an experience of that others really care about you, genuinely like you and want to share life with you. Actually Stabekk preschool is one of the koseligest places I know of!

The Norwegian people are very warm people, I know that will get a reaction from some readers because the Norwegians have a reputation for being cold and hard to get to know. That is somewhat true, but once you do get to know them there is a warmth there and a kind of beautiful acceptance of you as a person just as you are. It’s not superficial, you don’t have to impress, you just have to enjoy life because life is too short to waste. Maybe that is part of the whole koselig business. Here the summer is short, and the days are short in the wintertime. Norwegians really know how to embrace the special moments and take time out of the busy day to appreciate something koselig. Here you see me (Diane) and some friends on a cruise to Denmark:

Please join me in wishing one of the koseligest people I know a very happy birthday! Below you see him around three years old, in a very koselig situation:-)

Have a great weekend everyone. We are going to visit Renny’s family in Porsgrunn. See you around!