Silly facts about Norway (that are still true):
- We hate the Swedes and love the Danes (except when we meet a Swede we like, or a Dane we don't like. Although the latter, afaik, has yet to happen, the first often does.)
- We have a state church (The Norwegian Church) and no seperation between church and state. At the same time, we allow gays to marry and adopt, and most Norwegians don't consider themselves religious / Christians of faith.
- Officially, 79.2%* of the population are a member of the state church or other protestant churches, 1.5% Catholic, 2.1% Muslim and 1.7% Humanists.
- Norwegians are very spontaneous, as long as they get to think it over beforehand.
- We are the most polite people ever to come from pillaging vikings. Whenever a Norwegian thinks he's got it right, he will simply tell you how he does it back home, take a step back and wait until you understand how that really is the best way to do it.
- Norwegians love tourists! (Oslo's not included**!)
- People in Bergen (Norway's second largest city) don't consider themselves a part of Norway, and often joke about starting their own country. People of Oslo (Norway's capital) often consider themselves their own country and get confused when people talk about "the rest of Norway" and don't mean Akershus (their neighbouring county)**.
- The police don't carry guns. The first time I saw an armed police officer was the 23rd of July 2011.
- We pride ourselves at inventing the cheese slicer (or at least our version, which is the best cheese slicer ever invented. Don't worry, you'll get around.), the paper clip (although we didn't), of being a peaceful people (despite being involved both in Iraq, Afghanistan and basically every other war the US has ever been involved in, but we have about as many murders as the country in Demolition Man (pre-Phoenix)), discovering Iceland, Greenland and the Americas before Columbus. We celebrate the Nobel Peace Price both for the great idea it is as and for it not being rewarded to Sweden by Alfred Nobel.
- We've been the bitches of both Denmark (500 years) and Sweden (100 years) in the past, and as a country we're really 107 years old even though we like to say a thousand and ignore the part between the Viking kings and 1905.
- We were the quickest country to get a constitution (April 10 - May 18 1814) until a few years ago, when some new country beat us by a whole week(!) The constitution was written when Denmark (our current owners) were busy loosing the Napoleonic War to, amongst others, Sweden (our new owners). During Sweden's reign we got a lot of new powers, abolished nobility and in the end adopted a Danish prince to be our new king in 1905. Ironically, despite Sweden being the kindest of the two, it's them we "hate" today, not Denmark (who, to be honest, were kind of assholes about being our boss).
- We have one million political parties, and it's really rare that any of them get enough votes to get a majority government. We have parties on the far left (Rødt [Red], Sosialistisk Venstreparti / SV [Socialist Left Wing]), left (Arbeiderpartiet / AP [Labour Party]), centre (Senterpartiet [The Central Party], Venstre [Left], Kristlig Folkeparti / KrF [Christian Democratic Party]) and to the right (Høyre [Right], Fremskrittspartiet / FrP [The Progress Party]). Our most conservative parties are not as conservative as the Democrats in the US, and in most cases not even the British Tories.
- Basically: Norway is weird.
**) I only say this because I'm from Bergen. We've got awfully big mouths in Bergen.