What Norwegian (Norse) culture is
If you have to ask what Norwegian culture is, you will probably never understand it. Then you are not born into it, not bred by it, or you belong to another. The other alternative may be that you in the day of modernism have become "cultureless".
Our culture is a result of heritage and the environment. All Norwegian history begins with the last ice age. More than 10,000 years ago, most of Scandinavia was covered by ice and was not habitable. Our people lived further down the continent in Europe as in Northern Spain, France and other European areas further south and along the ice edge, which continued to extend north. More than 10,000 years ago, we followed the melting of the ice northwards from the south and populated Norway.
Thus, we have always had our habitat in Europe's outposts, along the ice, in more inhospitable environments. We lived as hunters, fishermen and gatherers. Norwegians have ever since lived in Norway, scattered, in decentralized and homogeneous tribes. We are place-bound. No one else has populated Norway longer than Norwegians. We can claim to be far more "grounded" than most other people elsewhere. We were few in number and we were dissidents.
A more than 6 000 year old reindeer trap alongside the lake Bygdin in Vestjotunheimen.
The traps were set in the reindeer flocs general routes in the Stone Age.
We began plowing the soil a few millennia later, settling more permanent and seasonal. We no longer exchanged our settlements in Norway to the extent of wild reindeer and game in the summer and along the coast with fishing in winter. However, you can still see the traces of this age-old lifestyle, where many farms in Norway to this day have small summer residences in the mountains in use in the summer, in connection with the farm. This is in many ways a direct legacy dating back to the early Stone Age, and when Norway was first populated by our ancestors.
Ivar Aasen's "Nordmannen" from 1875 including the apocryphal verses, gives a good insight into the Norwegian Folk soul.
Between cliffs and the billowing breakers
The Norwegian of old found his home
A foundation he laid in these acres
His own hands raised his house from the loam.
He looked out on the boulder-strewn beaches,
Not a settlement was there in sight.
‘Let’s build farms and clear fields in these reaches,
Thus we win them to be ours by right.’
He saw seas that the storm tore asunder
The rough waves made them risky to row
Yet the fish had their passage thereunder
And their ways he was eager to know.
In the winter he might fall to pining:
‘That I were in a sunnier part!’
But when sun in the springtime was shining
Then his homeland grew dear to his heart.
And when fields are like gardens in May-time,
When each hillside is leafy and green,
And when midnight grows light like in daytime
Nowhere else has such beauty he seen.
Southwards he often had to sail,
It was riches on benches and trays,
But around him he saw all the slavery,
So he again returned to the North.
Let others of the might quarrel,
Let them brag of money and wealth,
Amongst big shots I never will thrive
Amongs my equally own I thrive best.
Let them have all their honor and glory
And their riches and might as well,
When they only me would let enjoy,
To rule my heritage as I will.
The lake Tyin in Vestjotunheimen. Tyin, of proto-nordic of the god/natureforce TíwaR, of norse Týr and lake from last syllable -in, was one of many sacred lakes for our ancestors. The shores alongside Tyin contain the remains of the very first settlements in Norway from the Stone Age.
Historically, we have never had any religion other than nature. Our gods have always been it. We have always chosen our own kings, queens and leaders. Did they not meet the tribe’s expectations, they were replaced. Were they tyrannical or corrupt, they were often killed. If other candidates were better suited, the old ones were out-competed and democratically elected. The will of the people was paramount. Norway can thus be claimed to have the world's oldest democracy. Our three main Tings called the same today, Eidsivating, Frostating and Gulating, were operational gathering places for direct democracy perhaps more than 3,500 years ago. Our direct democracy is older than the Greek in ancient times.
At our Tings, equals voted on all important decisions. Women and men were equal, but there were traditional and natural gender roles, where they cultivated the sustainable large nuclear family. In our tradition, women have had the right to vote, inheritance, right to own land and to divorce. Rape and abuse have, for thousands of years, resulted in very severe penalties in Norway, and have been regarded as dishonorable acts.
Norwegians are "individualists". In order to survive in Norway, you had to be. You had to be hard, and not least smart. You had to plan, take risks, and portion your strength, resources, and actions in tandem with extreme nature and seasons. You had to go your own way, relate to a few you could trust. This is probably one of the reasons why Norwegians excel in individualistic winter sports, as an example of curiosity. For this reason, we generally do not enjoy large public gatherings. We have to have a half-meter clearance from the next person on the bus, and preferably look down or preferably out, if we have the opportunity. We do not greet people who are not among our closest, until we get air under the wings, in free nature. We thrive especially well in our own company. Therefore, Norwegians are considered "cold" and difficult to get into. Therefore, our mood is in many cases "static". Therefore, we are distinctly habitual beings, many with almost ceremonial routines. In the Nordic countries before modern society, you would not survive otherwise.
Our people have historically never terminated freedom, or free will. That is why we have never had any lasting elite or any aristocracy in our country. Historically, our view of world and value has always been decentralized. Our many thousands of years of direct de centralized and real democratic rule as an absolute, allow nothing else. The elected king or chieftain always stood first in the charging ranks of the army, and had to prove himself worthy. It was a shame for a chieftain to be surpassed by his warriors, and at the same time it was a shame for the others to be surpassed by their chieftain. A man was a man, a woman was a woman, and the structure of society has always been flat. We have never been told what to do and what not to do. To leave a better society than what we have borrowed from our children was a mantra. To hand over the allodial property in better condition than you inherited it was a duty. This is what Norwegian honor is all about.
This decentralized structure made the pre-Christian Norwegian society very robust. In the face of external threats or invasion, the decentralized tribes joined together, forming resistance as a single entity. Inwardly and in less warlike contexts, this society was no less robust. A decentralized societal structure, which shares heritage, culture, values and holds a flat and genuine democratic power structure of each tribe, will never be very vulnerable. It will not be imperialist in any form. Not even the Vikings were imperialists, as they are often portrayed as. They mainly fought reactionary resistance struggles against forced Christianity and deprivation of liberty, based on strong age-old Norse land and maritime laws.
Norwegians have thus historically always strongly opposed, and fought fiercely against outside directives. We never accepted special rules, loss of freedom, leaders we had not chosen and accepted ourselves, or loss of self-government in any way. Therefore, Norway's history is filled with centuries of civil wars and conflicts against the monotheistic religions of the Middle East, other restrictions and feudal recipes. Norwegians have never really accepted the means of power from the Middle East; therefore Christianity was also strongly "reformed" to the unrecognizable, and today contains almost completely Norwegian pre-Christian practice. Today, the country is as good as de-Christianized, for good and for bad.
That being said, it is also true that our culture is vulnerable, because we have inherited in us that we believe well in others. That is called Norwegian blue-eyed naivety, which is a concept in itself. We are inclusive and gullible. At least to a certain point. In today's political climate, with the absence of direct democracy, increased globalism, more centralized decision-making and more social engineering than ever, Norwegians are easy victims. We lose ourselves.
Norwegian traditions, celebrations and high festivals are still almost identical to those they were thousands of years ago. All of our celebrations and high festivals are shining examples of that. They follow the sun and moon cycles, our Nordic nature and seasons. This is a crucial part of our cultural nerve. Our tradition of pork, which today is in cumulative conflict with special rules from other parts of the world, is a noteworthy detail in this context. It is culturally important, from a historical perspective. In Northern Europe, it is virtually impossible to survive in a traditional early agricultural society with the absence of sophisticated logistic systems and modern imports, without having pigs as a food source. It is slaughtered, cooked and preserved in the autumn, so that you have a source of food over a long and cold winter. If the welfare state and the modern economy collapsed, neither practicing Muslims nor vegetarians would particularly thrive in our part of the world. That is a fact. Therefore, for us historically, mythological and practically, the pig is sacred. We have other traditional foods too, and common to them all is that they have ancient roots, with symbolic, mythological and practical meaning, adapted to the Nordic climate and nature, and follow its pulse. They all descend from the necessary critical ability for planning, preservation and serving. Never have our people been able to pick low hanging fresh fruit or harvest year-round.
Overall, this is the actual foundation of Norwegian culture, and all isolated, concrete and subtle individual elements of it spring from this. Culture does not arise by itself, arbitrarily and randomly. A people forms the culture, and the culture reflects the people's overall shared psychic characteristics, mentality, peculiarity and organizational ability, shaped over thousands of years.
Norwegian culture is thus also a set of in-group preferences only those born in, bred by and raised in Norwegian culture recognize. It is of a subtle nature, but even very concrete in meeting the unwritten rules of this in-group preference. If you as a Norwegian settle in Saudi Arabia and try to assimilate you there, this will appear obvious. Brown cheese, bunad, dugnad and all other isolated details make no sense alone. It is the sum of the details, the subtile and specific in-group preferences, heritage, environment, history, mood and the total overall set of values that give our culture. In this context, inheritance is sub communicated in the public spelling. If one is to speculate further in today's relativistic time, one can argue that this is probably not without intention.
In today's society, we are systematically impressed with the fact that there is no Norwegian culture. An elite’s goal may seem to be just that. If everything is done relativistically, consolidation of power will be far easier. Identity-less individuals can more quickly be grouped under one tab, and steered in a desired direction, under the clutches of globalism. The way this is done is to highlight cultural elements singled out and divided, isolated, and argue that they are originally not attributable to the specific culture or even the people. For some "scholars," it seems that Norwegians lived in caves before the Enlightenment, where equality and brotherhood were imported and enriched from the south. This is also done historically, inaccurately and in most cases outright false. In the professional language, this method is called deconstruction.
In the ongoing cultural struggle, Norwegians have to find their way back to themselves. Our identity and our heritage lies there, but it has gone into hibernation. The time has come to take it back, and to wake up. In the context of the world, together with our Nordic neighbors, we are a very small minority. We are an indigenous people. We are vulnerable, just like Tibetans. When the global new world does not direct the same spotlight on us, we must do it ourselves. Our ancestors have done it before us, for thousands of years.