The healthy Norwegian lifestyle Posted by kari on Aug 23, 2010 in Culture
I have been meaning to write a post about this for a long time now. Uten tvil (Without a doubt) one of the first things I notice when I come to Norway is how sunn (healthy) most people seem to look. I´m pretty sure every day I have a deja vu experience-I see someone, man or woman, and think to myself ´that is quite possibly the most attractive person I´ve ever seen.´ Then I have the same experience the next day. By no means am I saying that everyone in Norway is beautiful or that there aren´t beautiful people all over the world, but for å være helt ærlig (to be totally honest), there are many beautiful people here. And I don´t think it´s because many Norwegians fulfill the stereotype of blondt hår og blå øyner (blond hair and blue eyes). I think it has much more to do with psykologisk sunnhet (psychological health) i utgangspunktet (to begin with).
What do I mean by psykologisk helse? My observations and experiences lead me to believe that Norwegians in general lead quite comfortable lives. Arbeidsdagen (The work day) is shorter, they get a LOT of ferie (vacation), there isn´t as much access to usunn mat (unhealthy food) such as fast food and junk food in stores, there is an abundance of gorgeous outdoors that are just asking to be explored, and I feel that also, in general, Norwegians have a very healthy self image and they really care how they feel and how they present themselves.
If you´re wondering about the last statement, I think it can be explained by the lack pressure from the media to look a certain way. And I don´t just mean physical appearance, although that is definitely a huge part of it. The expectations from parents, peers, teachers, and the media to excel in school, be involved in a dozen extra-curricular activities, be physically active, have time for friends and family, and look good….are minimal compared to such expectations in the U.S.
Here, it seems life is enjoyed at a much slower and comfortable pace. When such a pace is considered normal, people are more at ease with themselves and others, and have much more motivation to feel good for themselves. It´s important for people to feel good physically and mentally. To accomplish this, people are active both in their free time and on their way to work or to the grocery store. And we all now that if you feel good physically, you are much more likely to buy clothes that actually fit you and look good. I would say that most Norwegians are fairly (and many very) fashionable.
Well, that´s my take on why Norwegians seem to be so glade og sunne folk(happy and healthy people)!
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