How to use a Norwegian cottage?

How to use a Norwegian cottage?

Norway is a small country, where a growing multi ethnicity and internationalization result in a strong need to define the «typically Norwegian», before it is lost forever. «Typically Norwegian» is widely understood as something only original Norwegians can truly appreciate, such as skiing, hiking, not to mention a Sunday stroll in the woods. The activity regarded as the holiest of the holy is the cottage holiday.

norwegian cottage

As many as 400 000 cottages dot the Norwegian countryside, from simple huts with no electricity or running water, to huge palaces worth at least a million euro. Many Norwegian families own a cottage in the mountains or by the sea, and those who don’t can hire one through an agency. Many companies own cottages as well, making them available to their employees as a part of their employee welfare measures. A sedentary cottage holiday is a usual way to spend holidays, especially for families with small children and for senior citizens. The sporty types can choose to hike or ski along one of Norway’s countless medium- or long-distance trails, spending the nights at the cottages run by the Norwegian Trekking Association.
A cottage is not only a building; it is an institution, the focal point of a family holiday, with its own taboos and a set framework of rules. In the 2007 documentary «Norwegian for beginners», shown on the national TV, four of our «pet foreigners» (doesn’t every Old World country have a few of them?) set out for a winter week-end in a simple cottage in the mountains. During the entire 30-minutes episode the viewers could chuckle at the girls’ in observance of the cottage rules, starting with one of them packing high-heeled shoes and a dress in case there was some dancing involved, and ending with two of the girls nearly dying of exhaustion on a few hundred meters’ trip to fetch water from a hole in the ice. In contrast to those hot-blooded foreigners, the «real» Norwegians suck the do’s and don’ts of the cottage holiday with their mothers’ milk. They know what the off-limits items are (makeup, skirts, dresses, nice clothes, elegant shoes), and they always remember to pack the necessities (wellingtons, mosquito repellent, warm, old clothes and a torch). Hiking, fishing, and long evenings with a good book or a game of cards in front of the fireplace are typical activities, with absolutely no dancing on the agenda.
The cottage holiday is such a patriotic act nobody really dares to complain too loudly about the rainy, cold days, mosquitoes, or the smelly outhouse. With their log walls, hand-woven rugs, rose-painted furniture, and small troll figurines, the interior of most of the cottages is so explicitly inspired by the romantic nationalism it borders to utter kitsch. It is as if the true Norwegian spirit, hidden deeply behind a modern facade of a city dweller, finally broke free to shape the surroundings to its liking. For a foreigner, the cottage is THE place to experience the real Norway. For Norwegians, it’s one of the last stands of the dying traditional culture of this once so rural and isolated country. For everybody, it’s a great way to relax and recharge batteries before returning to the crazy pace of the modern, international community of the big cities.

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How to use a Norwegian cottage? How to use a Norwegian cottage? Reviewed by Zahir Style on August 08, 2019 Rating: 5

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