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An essay about Norway for the Wodehouse Challenge
Norway is an egalitarian country with a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democratic government. It is known for its natural landscapes and is easily accessible by plane from other European countries. There are over five million people living in Norway currently. Norwegians have a rich culture comprised of fine arts, food, and architecture.

Norwegians are thought to be private and modest. Gender equality is highly important in their culture, and women are typically paid on an equal scale with men. It is not uncommon for women to hold positions of power or advance easily in the business field. Norwegians, in general, are hardworking and independent people. Personal space is highly valued and competition is not a motivator in most settings.

Before travelling to Norway, it is best to learn the countries etiquette, as it is important to Norwegians. They are categorically thought to be one of the most kind and tolerant people in the world, but are also highly independent and reserved. Criticism of other people is looked down upon as well as drawing attention to one's self. Person touching is not acceptable in Norway unless the person is a close friend or relative. This means slapping someone's back or touching their arm while talking would be considered socially unacceptable. Standing too close to an unfamiliar person is also thought to be rude and inconsiderate in Norway. Dress should be kept professional and modest as well.

Cuisine in Norway consists mainly of raw natural sources found on the land. Seafood is commonly found, especially smoked salmon, which is a major export. Other meats are popular as well and include sausages, lamb, and wild game. Sweet and sour sauces, which are found most commonly in Asia, are also used often in Norway. Desserts consist of fruits, sponge cakes, and meringues. Bread and cheese are also main staples in Norwegian meals and sandwiches comprised of the two are eaten regularly. Three to four meals a day are generally acceptable with breakfast, a cold lunch, a hot dinner, and sometimes a cold meal at night eaten by most Norwegians.

Fine arts and architecture are thriving in Norway with international recognition in cinema, music, literature, and expressionist/romantic painting. Many of the films and documentaries of the late 20th century were nominated for American Oscars. The film industry now has up to twenty feature films per year. Norway is also known for its classical romantic composers, such as Edvard Grieg. Jazz and folk music remain popular today. Literature started as pagan Eddaic poems in the 9th century in Norway and has had strong roots since. In the 20th century, three Norwegian novelists were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in Literature. Norway’s architecture works consists of woodwork and stonework and many traditional buildings are set into contrast by striking modern buildings of the 20th century.

Norway draws tourists from all over the world due to its breathtaking natural landscapes. The entire country was covered in thick ice during the last ice age causing deep valleys on the surface of the land. The melting ice turned many of these valleys into seas created the fjords for which Norway is most famous. Hornindalsvatnet is the largest fjord in Norway and the deepest lake in Europe with a depth of 514 meters. Norway is also one of the most mountainous countries in Europe where the Scandinavian Mountains cover large areas of the land. It is known to have one of the longest coastlines in the world with a length of 25,148 km. Over 2,600 square kilometers of Norway is covered by glaciers, the largest being Jostedalsbreen, which cover 487 square kilometers on its own.

A vacation to Norway could be filled with outdoor adventures at many natural tourist attractions. Canoeing, wilderness hiking, and glacier walking are just a few of the activities available to the outdoor lovers. For those who would rather stay indoors, Norway has hundreds of historical museums. Two of the most popular are the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History and the Viking Ship Museum, both of which offer an insight to the past of Norway and its people

Overall, Norway is a place of strong culture and work ethic. Their egalitarianism has led to a thriving economy and a low 2.6% unemployment rate. Norway has also been awarded first place in the UN’s Health Development Index for their national healthcare system. Norwegians enjoy a thriving art culture and are highly self-sufficient. It is no wonder Norway regularly ranks among the top three happiest countries in the world!

750 Words
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