As an Australian, it is common courtesy to bring a gift to give to the person or family you are visiting. You never visit empty handed. However, in Norway this custom is not recognised unless it has been pre-arranged for a party or event. This has put me in an unusual position. I want to follow my traditions (as they ‘die-hard’) but I also don’t want my Norwegian family to feel uncomfortable about me giving them unexpected gifts every time I see them. So a compromise was necessary and a new tradition born.
When I first met Farmor I found out that walnuts are her favourite. She always has a tub of walnuts on the kitchen table and often her salads and cakes are dressed with walnuts. Walnuts – they are inexpensive, small, and don’t impose! So the next time I saw Farmor I gave her a ‘visiting gift’ – walnuts. They were a hit! Ever since I’ve had great fun finding different varieties of walnut products to give to Farmor – walnuts in honey, walnut oil, walnut candy and chocolates, walnut bread, walnuts from different countries, etc. Whenever I see a new walnut product I get all excited and know how much Farmor will just love them.
Still when I give my walnut visiting gifts they are always unexpected, but they are very much appreciated. It’s fun to see Farmor’s smile when she is presented with a new unordinary walnut gift.