I was just carrying three bags of potatoes on my wheelbarrow, when I met Terje, walking his dog. We got into conversation about redesigning the way people think, bringing old ideas to the new context and generally about improving this world. Then he coined the metaphor of Jenka (traditional Scandinavian folk dance) – kick to the left, kick to the right, one step ahead, look around, then one step back and three steps ahead.
It’s not just for Norway, but – as I am travelling here at the moment – I tend to see especially how appropriate for the Nordic society it can be. We can dance it, can’t we? Continue reading Let’s dance Jenka!→
It was all about the energy. Or the power, maybe. Or tension.
However we’d call it, Norway raised from the World War II disaster with the highest economical growth rate and strong drive towards Nordic and Scandinavian regional identity.
As the Cold War developed, however, Norwegian aspirations shifted slightly. The ties with the USA grew stronger and in 1949 from the neutral-ish position Norway changed into one of the founding members on NATO. Being the only of them, with the direct land border with the enemy USSR, and having it’s geostrategical position well proven during the WW2, Norway was very important part of the NATO strategy in Europe. There is still a lot to learn and discover about what was going on here, during the Cold War period. Continue reading Global God of Oil. The norwegian way, part three.→
It wasn’t quite a fun. Just newly established, democratic state, coerced into uneasy union with Sweden, had to share major partner’s burdens and fate. From outside, Norway may have looked like another dependent state, practically colonized by the mightier neighbour.
But within, the work continued. Every May 17th Norwegians celebrated their Constitution. Meanwhile they started changes in the state structure. More conscious use of parliamentary game rules led to more participation. Till 1850, Norway saw the surge of industrialisation, great rise in hygiene and nutrition quality, major shift in internal politics, the latter being strongly community oriented. Continue reading Wars and revolutions. The norwegian way, part two.→
A man of honor was a principled man. He was given to moderation, was hospitable and generous and offered a helping hand to friends in need. (Including aligning himself against his friend’s enemies). A man of honor also never forgot to be the foe of his enemy. This he did with all his heart. (Daily life in the Viking Era)
I spent two hours today, scraping a torn-out paint and plaster out of a wall. Not for the money. For public good. My hosts’ daughter attends the barnehagen (like 90% of kids here between 1 and 5 yo). Ø. got this task assigned by the barnehagen (kindergarten) personnel, as his share of the volunteer work (dugnad) parents normally perform in turns. I was more than happy to go with him and lend him a hand. Continue reading Barnehagen, Danning, Dugnad and the Social Engineering.→
Quite often people ask me a candid question: “Why won’t you take a train/bus/plane to get to your destination? Or arrange a trip somehow beforehand?”
Usually the 100% true answer is that I do not have money for the ticket, plus I really hate the humiliating security practices introduced in the civil aviation. But even if it’s not the case, there is one fundamental reason.
Hitch-hiking is about people and their stories, not kilometres.
My first idea to go to Norway sparked somehow February-ish, I guess. M., who is a seasoned contemporary hobo, was telling tall stories about “småjobber” available here, top-notch freegan food, benevolent people and stunning landscape. It was enough to make me dreaming about fjords, salmon, painting houses and meeting contemporary oil Vikings. So I federated with three young people from our community, borrowed some money from friends and family and decided to give Norway a try. Continue reading As usually, in the beginning there was chaos…→
You may be curious, why I do not include pictures from my roaming. This year, I decided to stick with words. Reasons are partly pragmatic, partly fundamental. If you divert your attention too much (like looking for best angle to take, composition etc.), you will loose the focus on what’s really happening. Making good pictures needs much better equipment I have. Finally, many people I meet on my path, do not want to be photographed (be it their shyness, or simple precautions we all should take in the NSA-made Panopticon).
This way or another, there will be extremely few pictures from Norway here, except some of a real importance. For sweety pic of the sun setting over the fjord – believe me, it really looks as they show it in postcards!