Facts: Norway–officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic country in Northern Europe occupying the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, as well as Jan Mayen and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard. Norway has a total area of 385,252 square kilometers (148,747 sq mi) and a population of about 4. 8 million. It is one of the most sparsely populated countries in Europe. The majority of the country shares a border to the east with Sweden; its northernmost region is bordered by Finland to the south and Russia to the east; and Denmark lies south of its southern tip across the Skagerrak Strait.

The capital city of Norway is Oslo. Norway’s extensive coastline, facing the North Atlantic Ocean and the Barents Sea, is home to its famous fjords. Norway has rich resources of oil, natural gas, hydroelectric power, forests, and minerals, and was the second largest exporter of seafood (in value, after the People’s Republic of China) in 2006. Other major industries include shipping, food processing, shipbuilding, the metal industry, chemicals, mining, fishing, and the pulp and paper products from forests.

Norway maintains a Scandinavian welfare model with universal health-care, subsidized higher education, and a comprehensive social security system. Norway was ranked highest of all countries in human development from 2001 to 2007, and then again in 2009. It was also rated the most peaceful country in the world in a 2007 survey by Global Peace Index. The country is richly endowed with natural resources including petroleum, hydropower, fish, forests, and minerals. Large reserves of petroleum and natural gas were discovered in the 1960s, which led to a boom in the economy.

Norway has obtained one of the highest standards of living in the world in part by having a large amount of natural resources compared to the size of the population. The Norwegian welfare state makes public health care free, and parents have 12 months paid Leaders: Government Parliamentary democracy and Constitutional monarchy – Kinh– King Harald V – Prime Minister– Jens Stoltenberg (AP) – President of the Storting– Dag Terje Andersen (AP) – Chief Justice– Tore Schei History— Archaeological findings indicate the area currently constituting Norway has been inhabited since at least the 10th millennium BC.

The indigenous people of Northern Norway and Central Norway are the Sami people, though Norse culture arrived very early also. The current monarch of Norway has stated that the kingdom was founded upon the territories of two peoples—the Norwegians and the Sami. In the first centuries AD, Norway consisted of a number of petty kingdoms Modern etymologists believe the country’s name means “the northward route” (the way north or the north way), which in Old Norse would be nor veg or *nor? vegr. The Old Norse name for Norway was Noregr, in Anglo-Saxon Nor? weg, and in mediaeval Latin Northvegia.

The present name of the Kingdom of Norway in Norwegian Bokmal is “Kongeriket Norge” and in Norwegian Nynorsk “Kongeriket Noreg”, both only a couple of letters removed from the original “northern way”; “Nor(d)-(v)eg. Currency– Norwegian krone (NOK) Official language(s)– Norwegian (Bokmal and Nynorsk) Performing arts: –In late 2008, the movie Max Manus opened at Norwegian theatres. The movie was a WW2 drama, telling the story of the Norwegian resistance hero Max Manus who led many successful sabotage operations against the German occupation. The movie became the highest grossing Norwegian movie ever.

— Along with the classical music of romantic composer Edvard Grieg and the modern music of Arne Nordheim, Norwegian black metal has become something of an export article in recent years. Norway’s classical performers include Leif Ove Andsnes, one of the world’s more famous pianists, and Truls Mork, an outstanding cellist. The jazz scene in Norway is also thriving. Jan Garbarek, Terje Rypdal, Mari Boine, Arild Andersen, and Bugge Wesseltoft are internationally recognized while Paal Nilssen-Love, Supersilent, Jaga Jazzist and Wibutee are becoming world-class artists of the younger generation.

Norway has a strong folk music tradition which remains popular to this day. Among the most prominent folk musicians are Hardanger fiddlers Andrea Een, Olav Jorgen Hegge and Annbjorg Lien, vocalists Agnes Buen Garnas, Kirsten Braten Berg and Odd Nordstoga. — Of particular note is Edvard Munch, a symbolist/expressionist painter who became world famous for The Scream which is said to represent the anxiety of modern man. Fjords– Geologically, a fjord is a long, narrow inlet with steep sides or cliffs, created in a valley carved by glacial activity.

The Sognefjord is the largest fjord in Norway, and the second longest in the world, after Scoresby Sund on Greenland. Located in Sogn og Fjordane county, it stretches 205 kilometres (127 mi) inland to the small village of Skjolden. The fjord takes its name from the traditional district of Sogn. The flag, folk costumes, the land (or landscape), and the home are the major symbols of national unity. The flag (a red background with blue stripes outlined in white) is owned and flown not only by public agencies but by many private individuals.

On Constitution Day (17 May), citizens appear at public celebrations carrying small flags and wearing red, white, and blue streamers pinned to their clothing. In the year 2000, there were thirteen official flag days. Folk or national costumes (bunad) are owned by large numbers of both men and women. Based on local traditional peasant apparel, women’s costumes include elaborate skirts, blouses, jackets, stockings, and shoes adorned with silver pins and decorations. Because of increased affluence in recent decades, more individuals own costumes, which are considered correct attire for any festive or formal occasion.

The design and colors of the costumes vary according to locality so that each large fjord or valley has a distinctive costume. Fostered by national romanticism, folk costumes are partially constructed traditions, with some historically authentic elements and some new elements. The costume for the city of Bergen, for example, was designed in 1956. The national anthem affirms a love for the land and the importance of the home as symbols of nationhood. Festive days in this home-centered society often feature a public celebration followed by gatherings of families and relatives in people’s homes.

Entertaining is done at home, not at restaurants or bars. Homes are comfortable refuges and are decorated to express the identity of the family. Because there is less geographic mobility than is the case in some other countries, family members and relatives tend to live in the same region over a number of generations and identify with the local area. This attachment to place is also apparent in people’s relationship to nature. Half the nation’s families have access to nearby ski huts, cabins, or boats, and virtually everyone engages in outdoor pursuits such as skiing, hiking, and boating.

In a variety of ways, Norwegians aim to preserve rather than transform the local natural landscape. At the same time, they attempt to preserve the cultural traditions of the locality through numerous folk museums and other specialized heritage organizations. Basic Economy. The country is highly dependent on international trade for manufactured consumer goods but has a trade surplus. Most employment is in highly specialized services and manufacturing, with only a small workforce in the traditional occupations of forestry, farming, and fishing.

In a labor force of more than two million workers, approximately 72 percent are in services, 23 percent work in industry, and 5 percent engage in agriculture, forestry, and fishing. The currency is the Krone (Crown). The traditional rule for the naming of children born in Norway is referred to as “patronymics’ A child is given a first name and a patronymic name, which consists of the fathers first name with an appended “sen” (son also used) or “datter”(dotter or dtr also used in writing). Thus, if a man named Ole has a son and names him Hendrick, he becomes Hendrick Olesen.

If this Hendrick, later in life, has a son and names him Ole, he would be called Ole Hendricksen. Or if he had a daughter and named her Guri, she would be Guri Hendricksdatter. Further tradition required that the first-born son be named for his paternal grandfather. The second-born son would be named for his maternal grandfather. A similar procedure was followed in naming first and second born daughters after their grandmothers. This can be both boon and bane in genealogy research. A bane because there can be so many of the same name, finding the right person can be a matter of chance; a boon, because the system is predictable.

For example: I knew that my gr-gr-grandfather, Ole Hendrickson, was the oldest of his brothers. I did not know who his father was. By the patronymic system, I knew his father’s given name had to be Hendrick, and because Ole was the oldest, I knew his grandfather’s given name had to be Ole. Therefore, Ole’s father had to be named Hendrick Olesen. On this premise, I searched the 1801 Norwegian census files and found Hendrick Olesen and his family. In 1925, the use of a family name became compulsory by Norwegian law. — Customs

. Greetings are casual, with a firm handshake, direct eye contact, and a smile. . Norwegians are egalitarian and casual; they often introduce themselves with their first name only. . In some circumstances people may use the honorific title “Herr” (Mr. ) or “Fru” (Mrs. ) and their surname. . You can wait to be invited before moving to first names although most people will start with this. . Shake hands and say good-bye individually when arriving or departing. . Shake hands with people on a first come first served basis.