Norway: Mercedes Galt




FLAG OF NORWAY

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Norway's Flag is red with an indigo blue Scandinavian Cross outlined in white that extends to the edges of the flag; the vertical part of the cross is shifted to the hoist side in the style Dannebrog, the flag of Denmark.


PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY
Is known as one of the "three fingers" of Scandinavia, it is just a little larger than New Mexico. Norway is bordered by Finland, Sweden, Russia, The Norwegian Sea, and the North Sea. The Northern most part of Norway crosses the Arctic Circle. Norways highest point is Galdhopiggen, reaching 8,100 ft. Its capital and largest city is Oslo. The next three largest cities are Bergen, Stavanger, and Trondheim. The Scandinavian Mountains are the most defining feature of Norway. About two-thirds of Norway is made up of Mountains. Only about 3 percent of Norway is suitable for cultivation. More than one-fourth of the land is forested.
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POPULATION
Norway's population is at just a little over 4.6 million. The poplulation is growing approximately 0.33 percent annually. Over 75 percent of Norwegians live along the coast and in urban areas. The two largest cities in Norway are Oslo (the capital) home to more than 900,000 people, and Bergen home to more than 253,000 people. The population is mostly of Scandinavian descent. A small group of native Sami live mostly in the north.
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SOCIOLOGY
The typical Norwegian family unit is small, consisting of a mother, father, and two children. Both parents usually work outside the home, but women still handle most of the household tasks. Most husbands and wives consider eachother equal in authority. Women have a strong presence in poitics, holding nearly 40 percent of the seats in parliament and roughly half of the cabinet posts. Serious dating is dicouraged among young teens, but group dating usually starts between the ages of 14 and 18, on average men marry at age 34 and women at age 31.


CUSTOMS
Norwegians are not generally shy. They usually introduce themselves to new people. Shaking hands is appropriate in both formal and informal situations. In formal situations, a more firm hand shake is appropriate. In personal situations, a more friendly welcoming handshake is appropriate. People that are comfortable with eachother often hug one another while touching opposite cheeks during or after a handshake. When greeting someone at anytime in the day it is casual to say morn, which means morning. Also the word hei is used as a greeting too, simply meaning hi. A more formal greeting is God Dag, which means good day. People greeting others for the first time since the last time they saw then usually say, Takk for sist, which means thanks for the last time. In tradition, only close friends called eachother by first name, but the younger each generation gets first names tend to be used more often. Even school kids are starting to call their teachers by their first names. When being introduced for the first time, a person addresses the other by both first and last name. There are many holidays in Norway, but five of the offical holidays include; New Year's Day, Easter (Thursday- Monday), Labor Day (1 of May), Constitution Day (17 of May), and Christmas (24-26 of December). During these holidays most all businesses close. During Christmas, the most common tree ornament is the Norweigen Flag. Consititution Day is celebrated much like the Forth of July. It consists of; parades, flags, family gatherings, etc. During the Easter Holiday it is common for families to take skiing vacations. The largest celebration of the year is Christmas. The holiday offically begins at 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve. Weddings are common is Norway, most men marry at the age of 34 and most women marry at the age of 31. They usually take place at a church or before a judge at a public office. Following the reception there are parties, speeches, and dancing.
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GOVERNMENT
Norway is a constitutional monarchy. Currently the kind is Harald V. He has limited authority, except as head of the military. The Leader of the dominant party in Parliament serves as prime minister, and has executive power. The Parliament has an upper chamber and a lower chamber. Members of Parliament are elected every four years. In the judicial system, the highest court is the Supreme Court. There are also courts of appeal for civil and criminal cases as well as courts for civil suits. All citizens must be 18 in order to vote. Norway has 19 counties, which are further subdivided into rural and urban counties.
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ECONOMY
Norway has one of the highest standards of living in the world. Wealth is for the most part evenly distributed. Inflation and unemployment are low. It is one of world's largest oil exporters, but the government is working to reduce its dependence on oil. It is also a major aluminum producer. Other important exports include natural gas, fish, and manufactured items. The key industries include; oil drilling, commercial shipping, paper products, textiles, chemicals, technology, and food processing. I think this country is developed because it has a good economy, and a good government. The current GDP per capita is $79,089. I believe it is good because they sell a lot of oil, and have one of the highest GDP's among all large countries.

CULTURE
Many Norwegians enjoy activity. They mostly enjoy skiing, cross-country especially, because of their climate. It is not uncommon for children to learn how to do this activity at such a young age. Other common activites in Norway are; fishing, soccer, swiming, hiking, and boating. Dress for the most part in conservative, and its purpose is to keep a person warm. Cleanliness and dressing are important, an unkempt apparance in public is considered inappropriate professional attire for men. Suits are worn for business meetings. A dinner party with colleagues is an occasion to dress up. Traditional costumes, Bunad, are worn on special occasions such as weddings and national and local holidays. Norway's most common language is Norwegian. This language consists of two forms; Bokmal and Nynorsk. Bokmal is the more common type of form used. Many families are into performing arts, either by performing themselves or by attending theater, concerts, and other cultural events. Also, traditional arts is very important to Norwegians. Folk musicians are popular. The best-known type of folk dance is halling. Equally popular are folktales. They usually portray animals or mythical creatures such as trolls, pixies, and monsters living in the ocean. Some of the movies that were filmed in Norway are; The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo, the popular tv series Amazing Race, and The Room. Some popular music in Norway are; the artist, Anne Lilia Berge Strand, Serena Maneesh, and the DumDum Boys.



ETHNIC/RELIGIOUS MAKEUP
More than 3/4 of the population belongs to the state church, The Church of Norway. The Church of Norway is Evangelical Lutheran. Freedom of religion is guaranteed. There are many active Christian churchs in the Country. Because of immigration, the Muslim population is also growing. To some Norwegians religion is very important, but less than half the population practices religion on a daily basis. Most of the population only attend church services on special occasions and/or holidays.

PROBLEMS
1. Family Disintegration
2. Ageing Population
3. Refugees
4. Abuse
5. Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Suicide

SOLUTIONS
1. Have more marriage counseling, which would lead to less divorces, hopefully.
2. Reach out to families, and convince them to have more children. Or set up better funds for nursing homes.
3. Have more funding and programs for the refugees, so they have the same amount of opportunites as natives!
4. Make the public aware of the abuse that is going on in their country and give them alternative options, and ways to report it.
5. Make people aware of the suicide that is going on, and why! And let people be aware that all the bullying and teasing they do is leading to these suicides!

QUESTIONS
1. What is the most common religion?
2. What kind of government does Norway have?
3. Does Norway have a small or large family size compared to the United States?
4. Is Norway part of Scandinavia?
5. What is the most defining feature of Norway?

ANSWERS
1. Evengelical Lutheran
2. Constitutional Monarchy
3. Small
4. Yes
5. The Scandinavian Mountains

BIBLIOGRAPHY
http://www.youth-suicide.com/gay-bisexual/news/norway-gay-lesbian-suicide.htm
http://online.culturegrams.com/world/world_country.php?contid=5&wmn=Europe&cid=119&cn=Norway
http://www.tulane.edu/~rouxbee/kids06/norway/_adafoe/Problems.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norway
http://www.norway.org/