(The picture is from the Norwegian Horn Club. One that I found fitting to our mentality).
Norwegians are known to be positive people. We see solutions instead of problems, we're happy and sociable under the right conditions, and we're also serious drinkers!
Positive? What I mean by saying Norwegians are positive? I'll tell you what I mean.
Well, first of all, the first word in our national anthem is "yes". ("Ja, Vi Elsker"/"Yes, We Love", excellent title, no?) And such an excellent attitude as well! I think that pretty much sums it up. But because Norwegians are so much more than just that "Yes!" I'll continue.
We are raised with enthusiasm towards challenges, most of us are hard to put off - we're always zealous globally, to aid in the strive towards peace. Norwegians may seem shy and frightened of the world outside, we are known to be rather reserved towards strangers (bordering to rude), but towards the people we know? What other country can offer such an intensely eager population?
One of our past Prime ministers, Gro Harlem Bruntland said during her New Years' speech January 1st 1992 that "It's typically Norwegian to be good". What she meant by that exactly - have become a more or less controversial debate. The statement has the same dual meaning in Norwegian as it has in English. By this I mean that she could either have meant it as "It's typically Norwegian to be good ...(towards others)" or, that "It's typically Norwegian to be good ...(at the things they do)". Which is where I personally think that the Norwegian positive mind-set splits into the extro-positive and the self-positive.
We like to think of ourselves as a beautiful nation. Whenever we feel down, somebody can bring the albums out and point out that both Marilyn Monroe and Paris Hilton have Norwegian heritage. Beauty have become an interesting icon to our attitude towards patriotism (or at least how we feel about being Norwegian, and how that makes us beautiful, both physically and mentally). Being known as beautiful (or commonly misconcepted for being Swedes) we like to embrace the fact that we're a beautiful rare species! There are few Norwegians! And we are, I agree (I am Norwegian, I'm partial to our mentality), but we often forget that half the Norwegians on the planet (that is those who call themselves Norwegians) live in the USA. In addition to a couple of other madmen settled elsewhere - the Norwegians add up to approx 9. something million people.
Oh, you're laughing now, aren't you! I know you are! Shht! Really, I'm trying to shock the Norwegians! We are used to thinking that we make up a little less than 5 million people in Norway, never really to often consider the Norwegians that live elsewhere on the globe. And there you go again, that's how we perceive ourselves, not necessarily elitists, but better. Better than others. In a totally extrovert, open, warm and embracing, accepting, respective way. Like we totally tolerate and boggle at your country's achievements, but we still think (deep down) that if it had been done in Norway, or at least, by Norwegians - it would have been done a little better.
"Ja, Vi Elsker" actually continues with "dette landet". "Yes, we love this country".
We have our own flag printed on all our cucumbers, because we believe that only the Norwegian cucumbers are good enough for us to eat. No other country can make something up to Norwegian standard. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if Norwegian guys use bubble-wrap condoms when they're abroad. That's the kind of self-possessed attitude I feel Norwegians can have sometimes. Strolling around with their blonde hair, waving and winking just like the foreign girls can't handle it.
It's not that impressive!
(and the "I POP BubbleWrap" blinkie in the sidebar suddenly seemed so inappropriate)