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Norway in the US

Our last day of blogging! It has been fun but a little difficult to find time every day. At the beginning of February I never thought I would write about Norway every single day, but it actually wasn't very difficult. There are a few topics I wanted to write about but never covered, simply because it was too time consuming. I'll write those when I have more time! (For instance, I wanted to write about Nordic Mythology, Norwegian literature, etc.) Thank you for all your wonderful comments, I am glad you enjoyed learning about Norway!

For my last post I wanted to write about being Norwegian in the US (and maybe a little about being Norwegian abroad in general.) As most days, I am writing this late but I am happy that I posted something every single day!

In most cases, it is very easy to be a Norwegian abroad. We can go many places without visas; more places than Americans for instance. (Brazil is one of the countries that has instituted visa reciprocity - since Brazilians need visas to enter the US, Brazil decided that people from the US need visas to enter Brazil.) In general there are no places where there are bad feelings against Norwegians, making traveling easy.

In the US it also easy to be a Norwegian - but sometimes that makes me feel a little guilty. I am always welcomed warmly, I get lots of compliments on my accent (wow, you don't sound like a foreigner!), nobody thinks I am "taking jobs away from Americans." Sometime I see, for instance, Latinos being treated unfairly for speaking little English, and I think that I will never feel any anti-foreigner sentiments - and I wish that was the case for other foreigners as well. It is also interesting that people are less likely to think I am a foreigner just because I am white. In general, Americans are very friendly and open to outsiders, but the more Sarah Palin-inclined among us are quick to blame problems on immigrants, usually the ones from Latin America. Not cool!

Living abroad also makes you examine your own country and culture much more - it is always interesting to look at your country from afar. Some things I appreciate more - health care for all! - and some things I realize I don't miss at all! The lack of politeness and the difficulty with small talk are two of those.

Since I have already gotten serious in this last post, I will use this post to give Obama one piece of advice: Get the health care sorted out before it is too late! It is such a contentious issue and he has to act while he has good approval ratings and wide support. Health care is a right, not a privilege! (And now I will step down from my soap box.)

Thanks to all Slow Travel blog friends - congratulations on making through the whole month!

Comments (13)

Perfect post for ending your February challenge, congrats!
I enjoyed reading your blog, and will continue.
And I do think you are right, it is sad that many people don't treat Latin Americans, or even Arab-Americans very nicely, there seems to be more stereotyping when you are not white so to speak.
And I am with on health care! Working at the hospitals, we are starting to notice more and more the bad state of health care in the country.

jgk:

You are so right! Do you think maybe Obama reads your blog? Hope so.

Congratulations to you too! It has been a challenge to find the time but it's been a lot of fun to read everyone's blogs this month. I've enjoyed learning so much about Norway. Love your advice to Obama.

I missed more than half of the month but I’m looking forward to reading your Norway entries now that I have the time. On the topic of immigrants, I live in Arizona and we have a big problem with racial profiling by the County Sheriff. Being Hispanic and an American-born citizen, I feel very disturbed and ashamed at how immigrants are mistreated. The anti-immigration people have forgotten their own immigrant’s roots.

I agree with the health care issue. It is about time!

Great final Feb. post! Thank you again for a wonderful month of reading.
You've also put Norway higher on our travel list.

sandrac:

A wonderful, very thoughtful post to end the February blogging challenge. Now that I'm back home, I've got so much to catch up on, in terms of your blog posts.

Your advice to Obama is bang-on! I've never understood why so many Americans (it seems) are opposed to publicly funded health care. Proper care really is a basic human right. I realize that there are powerful lobby groups, including HMOs and insurers, that have a vested interest in the status quo. But the current American system is so incredibly costly and inefficient that I remain amazed it's allowed to continue (there; now I'll come down off my soapbox!)

Candi, you are so right - Arab-Americans are often met with a lot of prejudice and xenophobia, maybe more so than any other group. It is very sad! The concept of white privilege is very much true among "outsiders" as well.

Maria, that is sad - from what I understand there are more than one sheriff like that in Arizona.

Thanks everybody, for reading about Norway this whole month!

sheri:

I am always saddened that diversity is not celebrated in the U.S. Having grown up with many stereotypes, it disturbs me that in 2009, they still exist. Certainly agree with you about the need for Healthcare Reform Now! I've enjoyed learning more about Norway and will continue to follow your blog. In fact following the ST Blogs has become a favorite pastime!

nancyhol:

This was a great final post for February's blogging challenge!

I have enjoyed all of your Norway posts, and I will continue checking back to see what you are up to.

I have also really enjoyed learning more about Norway.

I find it very sad that there is still so much prejudice against so many minorities. Interestingly here in Hawaii, I am considered a minority. I have no problem with this. I can't say there isn't any prejudice here in Hawaii, but I find it much less than in many places on the mainland. I think we have made some progress but have so much farther to go.

I also agree that Health Care reform is a top priority. I just read an article today about most Republicans revolting against Obama's plans for Health Care reform. Hey they are all rich so what do they care. It angers me that people do not get that everyone has a right to health care in this country. Great post!!

Jan Fanning:

I just returned from an 11-day Hurtigruten tour and can't get enough of Norway! I loved every minute of it and would love to do a cruise from Bergen to Oslo on the south side. and then a train trip and a road trip and more and more trips. What a gorgeous cruise we had, although it was cold at the top and more rain than we wanted. We did see one evening of midnight sun which was magical. Thanks for this wonderful conversation.

Jan, thanks for your comment and I am so glad you enjoy Hurtigruten!

Did you see these two posts that both talk about Hurtigruten: http://www.slowtrav.com/blog/chiocciola/2009/02/hurtigruta_the_worlds_most_bea.html

http://www.slowtrav.com/blog/chiocciola/2007/07/july_26_and_27_back_to_tromso.html

Jan Fanning:

Yes, I read everything you blogged about from the very beginning 2 years ago to the most recent entries. Spent the morning and part of the afternoon reliving my wonderful trip through your words and your beautiful photographs. We were on the MS Midnatsol and it was just a wonderful experience.

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