Archive for January 5th, 2008

Cultural differences NL-N (1)

Saturday, January 5th, 2008

One of the cultural differences between The Netherlands and Norway is the social behaviour on the streets. Everbody has a phone to his ear, nobody is noticing anything anymore, or looking at eachother, or saying ‘hei’ when passing another.

It’s clearly related to the mobile age we’re living in, the mobile society where the ‘device’ seems more important than the one-to-one contact with the guy/girl sitting next to you. The fact that Norway/Scandinavia has a much longer tradition in mobile phones than other countries probably made this behavior a cultural thing which also prevails when people don’t have their cellphone at their ear.

Perhaps this situation is also different in Norway compared to NL due to population density.

Since your neighbor could be literally far away, the Norwegian culture has historically developed itself to be much more oriented on the individual and family, living in your own house and minding your own business (although one will ALWAYS help another when asked…Norwegians are far from a-social and of course I have been generalizing!)

Have to admit that I’m the kind of guy who always tries to greet the people I pass, make eye contact and smile…it’s just amazing to see what happens to the other person if you just smile, you should try it too! 🙂