The seasons in Norway are very dramatic. When it snows you get real snow. When it shines the sun is so bright you have to wear sunglasses. Norwegians are used to living from one extreme into another and I think I know their secret.
Norwegians are fearless about weather. Come rain, snow or shine, they are out and about doing their thing. A normal human would stay inside when the weather turns bad but without a thought Norwegians brave even the most whitest of snow storms. You would think that Norwegians are naturals in bad weather, (like fish in water) but they have gone through a lifetime of cold conditioning starting at the youngest of ages – the baby stage.
It is normal for Norwegians to take their babies outside in the middle of Winter. In the snow and freezing temps prams sit on balconies, are pushed through snow tracks or wait outside city cafes – the baby tucked cosily inside. Pre-schoolers have playtime outside every day. They suit up in jump-suits, beanies and boots to play in the mud, ice and snow. Of course, they are hosed off before going back inside. Normal kids are kept inside when it’s freezing out so they won’t catch cold, but Norwegian kids are kicked outside no matter how deep the snow. School kids play soccer at lunch in two feet of fluffy white sugar. Teenagers skate on ice in just their shoes along slippery paths. Adults ski with sleds tided around their waists pulling the kids. The elderly ride on kick-sleds to the shops and walk on ice with studded shoes – they sound like football players marching when they walk inside.
The Norwegian sense of nature is ‘baked’ not bred. If surviving the cold winters had been an instinct, I would have been doomed for extinction, but because it is a way of life, a culture, there might be hope for me yet.
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