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Ten Interesting Facts About Norway

1. Vikings, who came from Norway and the other two Scandinavian countries, Sweden and Denmark, are depicted to have worn helmets with horns, but there are no archaeological proofs to this. In fact, historians believe that wearing horned helmets could have worked against the close-quarter combat style of Viking warriors.

2. Haakon VII, the first king of Norway after the dissolution of the union between Norway and Sweden, was actually a Danish prince. Originally called Prince Carl of Denmark, he changed his name when Norway made him king in 1905.

3. Although it is one of the top oil exporters in the world, Norway is one of the countries with the highest petrol price.

4. Norway handles driving violations very seriously. For instance, DUI is punished with a 30-day imprisonment, a fine that amounts to 10% of the offender’ annual income, and revocation of driver’s license.

5. Norwegian newspapers receive financial aid from the government. Locally called pressestøtte, this media support aims to help newspapers that cannot sustain themselves.

6. Ski is a borrowed Norwegian word, which literally means “piece of wood.” And unlike English speakers who use it as a verb, Norwegians treat ski as a noun.

7. A Norwegian carpenter named Bjørklund invented and patented the cheese slicer in 1925. It is locally called ostehøvel.

8. Norway keeps an underground seed bank on the archipelago of Svalbard. It was constructed to store and protect seeds from all possible threats such as war and disasters, hence the nickname “Doomsday” seed vault. The stored seeds are samples from all over the world.

9. Famous people – politicians, artists, and the like – who frequently visit the country and have amiable relationship with it and its people are called Norgesvenn, meaning “Norway friend.” The Norgesvenn list includes Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II and actress Linda Evans.

10. Norway observes a drinking tradition, wherein people drink to their hearts’ content on Fridays and Saturdays. This is aptly called helgefylla or “weekend binge drinking.”