Weird things about Norway

Weird things about Norway

Sweet cheese wrapped in wet paper, hiking with children in blizzards and only eating tacos on Fridays. Norwegians sure are weird! Here’s why.

Updated 02.01.23

Norwegians only eat Tacos on Friday's - "Taco Fredag"

Don’t be surprised if a Norwegian friend invites you over for tacos, but we can guarantee you that it will be on a Friday. Why? Because Norwegians only eat tacos on Fridays. Taco Friday or Taco Fredag has become somewhat of a symbol of something “koselig” and a part of the mainstream Norwegian culture. Families, friends and even Tinder dates kickstart every weekend together by eating their own version of the popular Mexican dish.

Many Norwegians doesn’t really get the weekend vibe without tacos on the table.

But beware: If you are used to the true Mexican version of tacos, you might be disappointed. In Norway, tacos and burritos are often considered the same thing, and if you are invited to a Taco Friday in somebody’s home you might not get the spices and the jalapeno-punch you were expecting. But there will be plenty of sour cream, we can promise you that.

New in Norway? Check our mobile plans to call abroad!

Learn more

Obsessive passion for hiking

There’s a reason why this “Norwegians are born with skis on their feet” is one of the most popular Norwegian sayings.

No matter the weather and how many minus degrees it is, Norwegians will suit up in their warmest wool and their fastest shades and go hiking, with or without skis. Don’t be surprised if you see families with small children hiking up steep mountains in the freezing cold. They claim to love it, and so does the children, already being pro at downhill skiing by the age of five.

Article continues below the image

This outdoor activity is also part of having a “koselig” time, especially if you bring the traditional hiking chocolate Kvikklunsj, a hammock or stay overnight camping (in the cold). But if you are ever on a hike in the Norwegian mountains, remember to always say hello to everyone passing you – or else you’ll be considered extremely un-”koselig”. "Koselig" is also a word that don´t exist in english.

New in Norway and in need of a SIM card or monthly subscription? Check out our phone plans here

«Dugnad» - the social glue in Norwegian society

When you think about Norwegians you might think of cold-hearted people that used to kill each other to conquer land, but in fact they can be quite neighbourly.

The “dugnad” is a corner stone in the Norwegian society. While you absolutely shouldn’t talk to Norwegians on public transportation, as it will be considered strange and even rude, you will be considered the same if you don’t participate in a dugnad when asked.

Dugnad stems from agricultural communities, where farmers helped each other with work that proved difficult to do alone.
Article continues below the image

Read more

Today you will probably encounter a dugnad in your neighbourhood, your apartment building, your local sports association, or other communities. The point of having one of these gatherings is often to work together and feel a sense of community while repairing or improving something, like a building, a football field or just to clean up your neighbourhood.

Maybe it’s just an excuse to get to know their neighbours, as Norwegians can be quite shy in social settings – or maybe it’s because they don’t want to do boring tasks alone. Either way it’s an efficient way to socialise and it usually ends with pizza.

Brown cheese – the Norwegian sweet caramel cheese

Another fact that goes to the top of the weird things about Norway is the Norwegian food and brown cheese is one of the reasons for it. People don’t expect a cheesy meal to taste sweet, but in Norway that’s not uncommon. Norwegian brown cheese is a must to try as a foreigner. The brown block of cheese is usually made from goat-milk and has a sweet, almost caramel-like taste to it. The cheese is common in all situations that involve food, so you might encounter it on anything from a waffle to bread and even on fish during Christmas (we know, it’s weird).

Article continues below the image

« Koselig» - a word for everything!

“Koselig” is a mythical way of being that only Norwegians can fully understand. Being both a noun and a verb, it can be used for many things. Such as car rides, people, a meal, or a conversation. The term does not directly translate to any English word, “cozy” being the closest, but you may have heard the Danish “hygge” that is basically the same thing.

Koselig is a feeling of being safe and warm, implying togetherness and being content.

To “kose deg” is something subjective, and only you know what you find koselig. Ask a Norwegian what they find koselig and watch them look dreamily into the horizon while they answer.

Being in a foreign country with strange customs and traditions can be confusing but we know how you feel. Most Mycall employees were once new in Norway ourselves.

If you ever need any advice or have any questions regarding your new country you are always welcome to contact our multilingual customer support.